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Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

 

For media inquiries only, contact:  
Michael Kelly, Director of Communications
Phone: (804)786-5874 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING DEFENDS VIRGINIANS' HEALTHCARE AGAINST LATEST LEGAL ATTACK

~ AG Herring and 15 fellow AGs file motion to intervene to protect healthcare for millions of Americans against lawsuit filed in Texas ~

RICHMOND (April 9, 2018)- Attorney General Mark R. Herring, joined by 15 fellow state attorneys general, today filed a motion to intervene in Texas et al. v. United States et al., yet another lawsuit filed in federal court which seeks to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Texas lawsuit imperils health care coverage and funding for all Americans, particularly more vulnerable groups like seniors, children, and people with chronic medical conditions or disabilities. Attorney General Herring is seeking to enter the lawsuit to vigorously defend the ACA and the Virginians who rely on it for affordable care. 

 

"This politically-motivated lawsuit threatens the health and financial well-being of hundreds of thousands of Virginians who benefit from the Affordable Care Act, so we're stepping up to defend them," said Attorney General Herring. "Despite continual losses in the courts, Congress, and at the ballot box, there are still some out there quixotically trying to raise costs and rip healthcare away from Americans. I'm hopeful that this challenge will meet the same fate as previous ones, and Virginians can continue to rely on the important protections and benefits of the ACA."

 

More than 400,000 Virginians selected a plan on the ACA Exchange during the 2018 open enrollment period. Around 80% of Virginia consumers qualified for a tax credit averaging $586 to help them afford their insurance, reducing the average premium for those receiving assistance to just $82 per month. In addition, all Virginians with health insurance benefit from the ACA's provisions barring discrimination against those with pre-existing conditions, providing free contraception and other preventative treatments, and limiting financial exposure for medical expenses.

 

Attorney General Herring will be fighting the Texas lawsuit, which if successful would:

  • Stop Medicaid expansion;
  • End tax credits that help people afford insurance;
  • Allow insurance companies to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions;
  • Take away seniors' prescription drug discounts; 
  • Strip funding from our nation's public health system, including work to combat the opioid epidemic;
  • And much more. 

If the lawsuit succeeds and the ACA is terminated, Americans living in the states seeking to intervene could lose half a trillion dollars in healthcare funding. 

 

The State of Texas led a coalition of states in filing the lawsuit, which alleges that the recent federal tax bill rendered the ACA unconstitutional by eliminating the penalty payment associated with the individual mandate, despite the fact that the bill did not repeal any section of the ACA, and in fact recent attempts to do so have been defeated in Congress.

 

In their motion to intervene, Attorney General Herring and his colleagues refute the notion that a tax law change can invalidate the entire ACA, noting that the law has been consistently upheld as constitutional, and survived nearly 70 unsuccessful repeal attempts in Congress since it was passed in 2010.

 

Joining Attorney General Herring in filing today's motion are the Attorneys General of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.  

 

Attorney General Herring previously defended the healthcare rights of Virginians by leading a multistate coalition in the Fourth Circuit and the Supreme Court of the United States in the cases of King v. Sebelius. He intervened to defend "cost sharing reduction payments" that more than 220,000 Virginians rely on to afford healthcare, and successfully sued to block President Trump's attempts to end the no-cost contraception benefit created by the ACA.

 

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