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Attorney General Madigan Files Motion to Defend Affordable Care Act Against Federal Lawsuit

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Madigan & 15 Attorneys General File Motion to Intervene to Protect Health Care for Millions

CHICAGO —(ENEWSPF)—April 9, 2018

By: Rosemary Piser

Attorney General Lisa Madigan joined 15 other Attorneys General filing a motion to intervene in Texas et al. v. United States et al. This lawsuit, filed in federal district court in Texas, seeks to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The Attorneys General filed their motion to seek to enter the lawsuit filed by Texas and other states in order to vigorously defend the ACA and the millions of Americans across the country who rely on it for affordable care. The Attorneys General claim the Texas lawsuit imperils health care coverage and funding for care for all Americans, particularly more vulnerable people like seniors, children, and people with chronic medical conditions or disabilities.

Attorney General Madigan said, “Dismantling the Affordable Care Act would deprive millions of people of the coverage they need to access health care, including some of our most vulnerable people. I am committed to defending the Affordable Care Act to protect the benefits that many Illinois residents rely on to ensure that they have access to health care coverage.”

Texas was joined by 19 states in filing its lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas on Feb. 28. Texas has alleged that the ACA is no longer constitutional due to the passage of new tax laws in December 2017. The new tax laws zeroed out the penalty payment under the ACA’s individual mandate for those who could afford to purchase health insurance but did not.

The Texas lawsuit petitioned the federal court to:

  • End the 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 the nation’s public health system, including work to combat the opioid epidemic; and
  • Much more.

If the Texas lawsuit were to succeed and the ACA terminated, Illinois could lose $49.9 billion in federal funds used to provide health care to Illinois residents.

In today’s motion to intervene, the Attorneys General allege that the ACA has not been repealed under the new tax law and its constitutionality has been upheld by the Supreme Court, noting that:

  • The ACA has survived nearly 70 unsuccessful repeal attempts in Congress since it was passed in 2010;
  • In National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sebelius (2012), the Supreme Court ruled that the individual mandate is constitutional; and
  • The state of California and every state in the United States would suffer grave harm if the plaintiffs achieved the goals of their lawsuit.

Joining Madigan in filing today’s motion were the Attorneys General from: California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, and Washington.