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Image of the Virginia AG Seal

Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

 

For media inquiries only, contact:  
Charlotte Gomer, Press Secretary
Phone: (804)786-1022 
Mobile: (804) 512-2552
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

STATEMENT OF ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING ON ACA HEARING

~ Since Trump and Sessions have abandoned defense of the ACA, Herring and his colleagues are stepping in to protect accessible, affordable healthcare ~

RICHMOND (September 5, 2018)Attorney General Mark R. Herring released the following statement on today’s hearing in Texas on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA.) Attorney General Herring and fellow state attorneys general are defending the Affordable Care Act, including its protections for people with preexisting conditions, after the Trump Administration abandoned its defense and sided with Republican attorneys general who have sued to end the ACA. If successful, the lawsuit would end protections for the 1.3 million Virginians with a preexisting condition, and would threaten health care coverage and funding for all Americans, particularly more vulnerable groups like seniors, children, and people with chronic medical conditions or disabilities.

 

“This lawsuit threatens the health and economic well-being of millions of Virginians who live with a preexisting condition, or who have finally been able to access coverage because of the Affordable Care Act. Unfortunately the conservative activists who cooked up this lawsuit now have the full backing of the federal government and the Trump Administration in their quest to rip healthcare away from people,” said Attorney General Herring. “Virginians are tired of their healthcare being yanked around for political points and they want these partisan attacks on their healthcare to stop. I’m hopeful this latest attack will fail, as the ones before it have, and I promise to keep fighting to protect affordable, accessible healthcare for all Virginians.”

 

If successful, Texas’ lawsuit would harm Virginians by:

  • Allowing insurance companies to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions or charge them more;
  • Allowing insurance companies to discriminate against women by charging them higher premiums;
  • Halting Medicaid expansion, which was recently signed into law in Virginia yesterday with the goal of covering an additional 400,000 Virginians;
  • Taking away seniors’ prescription drug discounts;
  • Ending $1.15 billion in tax credits that helped 335,000 Virginians afford insurance in 2017 alone;
  • Ending the healthcare exchange where more than 410,000 Virginians purchased their healthcare in 2017;
  • Stripping funding from our nation’s public health system, including work to combat the opioid epidemic; and
  • Ending billions in federal aid for healthcare, including $458 million in FY 2019 and $1.9 billion in FY 2020.

 

Since the ACA was implemented in 2009, Virginia’s uninsured rate has dropped from 16.4% to 12.4%, and the recently enacted Medicaid expansion is expected to drive it down even further.

 

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 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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