The following is a press release from the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office submitted to the news media outlet.
BOSTON — Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey today, November 9, issued a statement on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) ahead of tomorrow’s oral arguments before the United States Supreme Court in the health care repeal case, California v. Texas.
A coalition of 20 states and the District of Columbia, alongside the U.S. House of Representatives, will defend the ACA, including the law’s protections for people with preexisting conditions, public health investments, and Medicaid expansion, among others. In the midst of rising COVID-19 cases and deaths nationwide, the Trump Administration and the Texas-led state coalition are risking the health care of millions of Americans and financial support for states.
“The ACA remains the law of the land and it needs to stay that way – we cannot let this Administration get away with sabotaging our health care,” said AG Healey. “I am joining my colleagues in defending the ACA in front of the U.S. Supreme Court and protecting access to health care for millions of families across the country. People’s lives depend on it.”
The coalition, led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, includes the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota (by and through its Department of Commerce), Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia, as well as the Governor of Kentucky.
The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments telephonically on Tuesday, Nov. 10 at 10 a.m. ET.
Every American could be affected if the ACA is destroyed. In particular, the following is at stake:
- Health care for the 20 million Americans who can afford insurance because of the expansion of Medicaid or thanks to tax credits and plans through healthcare exchanges, including nearly 422,000 Massachusetts residents;
- Guaranteed coverage for the 133 million Americans who have a pre-existing health condition, including 2.5 million in Massachusetts, and benefit from the law’s protection against discrimination and higher costs based on health status;
- Many billions of dollars in federal health care spending in states, including $3.3 billion in Massachusetts;
- Health care for young adults under the age of 26 covered by a parent’s plan;
- Families of children with chronic health conditions who are currently protected from lifetime insurance limits; and
- Funding for our nation’s public health system, including investments in local and state public health systems that help during the pandemic, FDA biosimilars that power drug development, and more including Medicare payment reforms, Indian health services, and work to fight the opioid epidemic.
An updated analysis from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation released today shows the devastation that repeal of the ACA would have on Massachusetts. Without state intervention, repeal would take away health insurance from 422,000 Massachusetts residents and $3.3 billion in federal funds.
During the pandemic, the Commonwealth would have to spend an estimated $2.2 billion to reinstate the health insurance coverage that existed here since 2006. Even then, 69,000 Massachusetts residents would lose coverage.
In 2018, a Texas-led coalition, supported by the Trump Administration, filed Texas v. U.S., arguing that Congress rendered the ACA’s individual mandate unconstitutional when it reduced the penalty to $0 and that the rest of the ACA should be held invalid as a result of that change. The California-led coalition defended the ACA in its entirety.
The Fifth Circuit held that the individual mandate is unconstitutional but declined to further rule on the validity of the ACA’s remaining provisions.
The court instead sent the case back to the Northern District of Texas to determine which provisions of the 900-page law are still valid. In January, AG Healey joined the coalition in filing a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court seeking review of the Fifth Circuit’s decision.
The Supreme Court granted review of California v. Texas in March.