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A.G. Schneiderman – Part Of A Coalition Of 16 AGs – Moves To Intervene In Defense Of Affordable Care Act Against Destructive Federal Lawsuit Filed In Texas

AGs’ Motion To Intervene Seeks To Protect Healthcare For Millions, Including Over 4 Million New Yorkers

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman – part of a coalition of 16 Attorneys General – recently filed a motion to intervene in defense of the Affordable Care Act in Texas et al. v. United States et al., a lawsuit in federal district court in Texas that seeks to dismantle the ACA.

The Texas lawsuit jeopardizes health care coverage and funding for all Americans, especially the most vulnerable Americans like seniors, children, and people with chronic medical conditions or disabilities. According to New York State of Health, 4.3 million New Yorkers have enrolled in comprehensive health coverage under the ACA. Today’s motion to intervene follows several recent actions taken by Attorney General Schneiderman to expand access to affordable, equitable care for millions of families in New York, includingsuing the Trump administration for unlawful funding cuts to New York's Basic Health Plan, filing suit to defend the ACA’s cost-sharing reduction payments, challenging the Trump Administration’s issuance of a final rule that would expand exemptions to provide contraceptive coverage, opposing the Trump Administration’s efforts to give employers the ability to discriminate in health care, and fighting to safeguard the ACA’s consumer protections.

“New Yorkers and their health should not be used as pawns in a political game to undermine the Affordable Care Act. Our coalition is fighting to protect health care for millions of Americans, including 4.3 million New Yorkers, who depend on the program for comprehensive and affordable health care,” said Attorney General Schneiderman.

The Texas lawsuit petitioned the federal court to 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 fromour nation’s public health system, including work to combat the opioid epidemic; and much more. If the ACA were terminated, Americans living in the states seeking to intervene could lose half a trillion dollars in healthcare funding if this lawsuit succeeded.

Texas and a coalition of other states filed the lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division on February 28, 2018, alleging that the ACA is no longer constitutional due to the December 2017 passage of the Republican tax bill, which zeroed out the penalty payment due under the ACA’s individual mandate for those who could afford to pay for their health insurance but failed to do so.

In the motion to intervene filed today, the Attorneys General allege that the ACA has not been repealed by the passage of the Republican tax bill, and its constitutionality has been upheld by the Supreme Court:

  • 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.
  • The state of New York and every state in the United States would suffer grave harm if the plaintiffs achieved the goals of their lawsuit.

Today’s coalition intervening in defense of the Affordable Care Act includes the Attorneys General of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.