Democratic Attorneys General Will Continue to Fight Back Against Republican Attempts to Strip Healthcare from Millions of Americans and Their Families

January 11, 2019

Texas Judge’s ruling strikes down the Affordable Care Act, taking away healthcare coverage from millions of Americans and ending protections for patients’ pre-existing conditions

Washington, D.C.— Republican attorneys general are working with Republican lawmakers from 20 states to methodically steal health insurance from the 133 million Americans with pre-existing conditions and the 20 million Americans who rely on the Affordable Care Act for healthcare. The ruling from the Texas court to undercut the ACA came down hours before the already-shortened 2019 Open Enrollment period was set to close, ensuring maximum confusion and disruption for people across the nation.

In response to this dangerous ruling, the Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA) Co-Chair Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said: “The decision to gut the Affordable Care Act jeopardizes millions of Americans’ access to healthcare. This lawsuit was brought by a coalition of Republican attorneys general and lawmakers and has never been in the best interests of the people. As the Peoples’ Lawyers, we Democratic attorneys general will do everything in our power to protect ALL our people. The fight continues.”

“Democratic attorneys general will not stop fighting to protect the people and their access to healthcare,” said DAGA Co-Chair Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring. “The Democratic Attorneys General Association stands with California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and his call for this decision to be immediately appealed. Democratic attorneys general now represent 58% of the nation’s population and we will make sure the peoples’ voices are heard.”

Here are statements from Democratic attorneys general on the ruling:

California: Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement, “Today’s ruling is an assault on 133 million Americans with preexisting conditions, on the 20 million Americans who rely on the ACA’s consumer protections for healthcare, on America’s faithful progress toward affordable healthcare for all Americans. The ACA has already survived more than 70 unsuccessful repeal attempts and withstood scrutiny in the Supreme Court. Today’s misguided ruling will not deter us: our coalition will continue to fight in court for the health and wellbeing of all Americans.”

Kentucky: Attorney General Andy Beshear said in a statement, “Last week, We fought for over 200,000 Kentucky families and won. We are ready to take on this fight for more than 1.3 million Kentuckians who could lose their access to affordable health care, and for Kentucky women and seniors who could be charged even more.” AG Beshear announced this morning, “On Monday at 10am, I will outline how I will lead the fight to overturn Friday night’s ruling from Texas that could eliminate health care coverage for more than 1.3 million Kentuckians and which would cost our state more than $50 billion. Seniors would pay even more for prescriptions, and women could be charged more than men for their health insurance. I will not let this happen.”

Maryland: Attorney General Brian Frosh said in a statement, “This Texas judge got it wrong. Our lawsuit in MD defending the constitutionality of the ACA continues. Hearing on 12/19. Stay tuned.”

Massachusetts: Attorney General Maura Healey said in a statement, “Today’s ruling is a threat to the health care of all Americans, including seniors, children, and people with chronic medical conditions or disabilities. Despite this decision, we will always defend the Affordable Care Act and keep fighting to protect coverage for pre-existing conditions and access to healthcare for millions of families.”

New York: Attorney General Barbara Underwood said in a statement, “To all the Americans who are feeling scared right now, wondering how they’re going to survive: I am thinking of you. I am working for you. We are going to do all we can. Millions upon millions of Americans rely on the #ACA for their healthcare. We’ll continue to fight in court for New Yorkers and all Americans.”

North Carolina: Attorney General Josh Stein said in a statement, “The Affordable Care Act not only saves lives but I believe it is lawful. I strongly disagree with the TX District Court’s decision and will keep fighting to protect NCians’ health care.”

Oregon: Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said in a statement, “Yesterday’s ruling puts access to healthcare for millions of Americans who rely on the ACA, and millions more who have pre-existing conditions, into jeopardy. Our fight to defend the ACA is not over! We will not stop until every American has access to health care. We are working with our state attorney general colleagues in California and around the country to determine our next steps, which include appeal of this hurtful ruling.”

Pennsylvania: Attorney General Josh Shapiro said in a statement last night, “Tonight, a federal judge wrongly struck down the entire ACA. Because I purposefully did not make PA a party to this lawsuit, we are not bound by this. I will not let one misguided judge in TX prevent us from protecting the residents of our Commonwealth.”

Vermont: Attorney General TJ Donovan said in a statement, “Vermont will fight to preserve the Affordable Care Act and will join in the appeal of the court’s ruling. Vermont will continue to defend access to health care for all people.”

Virginia: Attorney General Mark Herring said in a statement, This is an absolute disgrace and it’s brought to you by a President and Republican AGs more interested in scoring political points than protecting Americans. They’re playing games with Americans’ lives and healthcare, but this fight isn’t over. Not by a long shot.”

Here are statements from Democratic attorneys general elects on the ruling:

Colorado: Attorney General-Elect Phil Weiser said in a statement: “The Texas judge’s decision on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), striking down the entire law, and not just the protection for those with pre-existing conditions, is wrong, legally and morally. It just be reversed. I will join other State AGs to defend the ACA.”

 Michigan: Attorney General-Elect Dana Nessel said in a statement, “In January, I will be joining the 17 State AGs defending the ACA on behalf of the 1.7 million Michiganders who have pre-existing conditions and the hundreds of thousands of our state residents who rely on the ACA for health insurance.”

Nevada: Attorney General-Elect Aaron Ford said in a statement, “The #ACA is vital to millions of Nevadans, and I will fight tooth and nail for our health care.”

New York: Attorney General-Elect Tish James said in a statement, “The ACA has provided so many Americans with access to the basic healthcare that we all deserve. Striking it down doesn’t help us, it only hurts those already struggling the most.”

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