Legal Defense of the Affordable Care Act

A few months ago, Texas and 19 other states (including AZ) launched a new legal effort to eliminate the Affordable Care Act.  Fortunately, California and 15 other states intervened as defendants in the lawsuit, because they were worried that the President’s administration wouldn’t defend the ACA.

Earlier this month the Department of Justice filed a pleading that agreed with TX, AZ and the other 18 states.  Instead of defending the ACA as is customary, the DOJ argued that several crucial provisions of the ACA are unconstitutional and announced that it would not defend those provisions in court (3 career DOJ attorneys removed their names from the brief and one quit a few days later).  CA and other states will be defending the ACA and argue on its behalf in court. 

If the Intervenor states lose the case, insurers could invoke pre-existing conditions to refuse coverage or increase premiums and could underwrite coverage based on gender, age, and occupation.  

Here’s a useful summary of the case written by the National Health Law Program.