Hartford, CT)– Attorney General William Tong joined a California-led coalition of 20 states and D.C. in filing a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court seeking review of the Fifth Circuit’s recent decision in Texas v. U.S. The decision held the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) unconstitutional and called into question whether the remaining provisions of the ACA could still stand, including those that protect and provide coverage to Americans with pre-existing conditions. Because this decision causes uncertainty that may harm the health of millions of Americans, and severely impact doctors, clinics, patients, and the healthcare market, Attorney General Tong and the coalition are petitioning the Supreme Court to take up the case and resolve it before the end of the Court’s current term in June.
In Connecticut alone, 250,000 residents have benefited from the expansion of Medicaid. Thousands of young adults under the age of 26 have health insurance through their parents’ plans. Nearly half a million residents with pre-existing conditions have health coverage as a result of ACA protections.
“Hundreds of thousands of Connecticut residents have access to affordable healthcare as a result of the ACA. No one wants to return to the days where insurers discriminated against patients with so-called pre-existing conditions like diabetes, childhood cancer or pregnancy. No one wants thousands of young people, or hundreds of thousands of Medicaid patients kicked off their plans overnight. The consequences in this case are literally life and death for far too many people in Connecticut. I join my colleagues across the nation in urging the Supreme Court to end this uncertainty and resolve this case before the end of its current term,” said Attorney General Tong.
The lawsuit was originally filed by a Texas-led coalition, and supported by the Trump Administration, which argued that Congress rendered the ACA’s individual mandate unconstitutional when it reduced the penalty to $0. They further argued that the rest of the ACA should be held invalid as a result of that change. 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.
Today’s filing by Connecticut and its coalition states makes clear that patients, doctors, hospitals, employers, states, pharmaceutical companies and more will be impacted by the looming uncertainty of the Fifth Circuit’s decision. It asks the Supreme Court to review the case this term. It also highlights important advancements in healthcare access made under the ACA, including:
- More than 12 million Americans receiving coverage through Medicaid expansion;
- Nearly 9 million individuals nationwide receiving tax credits to help afford health insurance coverage through individual marketplaces;
- Millions of working families relying on high-quality employer-sponsored insurance plans;
- Important protections prohibiting insurers from denying health insurance to the 133 million Americans with pre-existing conditions (like diabetes, cancer, or pregnancy) or from charging individuals higher premiums because of their health status; and
- Nearly $1.3 trillion in federal funding being dedicated to keeping Americans healthy and covered, including Medicaid expansion and public health dollars.
Joining Attorney General Tong in today’s filing are the Attorneys General of California, Colorado, 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, and Washington, and the District of Columbia, as well as the Governor of Kentucky.
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