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Attorney General Becerra: Millions of Lives on the Line As Republicans Continue to Block Access to Health Care

Monday, July 17, 2017
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Becerra issued the following statement after filing a response brief to the U.S. Department of Justice and House Republicans request to the D.C. Court of Appeals to deny the motion to intervene in the lawsuit House v. Price by California and 17 other states: New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, North Carolina, Washington State and the District of Columbia. Without intervention from the attorney generals, millions of working families will be at risk of losing financial support from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to lower their health care costs. 

“Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans once again showed that they cannot be trusted with the health care of millions,” said Attorney General Xavier Becerra. “The attempt to block our motion shows the true colors of this Administration: prioritize politics over protecting the health care of families having to decide between paying the rent or paying the medical bills. No one should have to live with this uncertainty. I will continue to fight vigorously to protect health care access for millions of Californians and Americans across the country.” 

BACKGROUND:

On May 18, 2017, Attorney General Becerra took legal action to challenge the Trump Administration and protect health care access for millions of Americans, including more than five million Californians. He is leading 17 attorneys general in seeking to intervene in a lawsuit filed by Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives that undercuts the affordability of health insurance plans under the ACA. The Republican bill now before Congress would completely repeal critical cost-sharing subsidies.

House Republicans sued the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Secretary of the Treasury during the Obama Administration, challenging the legality of making the cost-sharing subsidies. A district court judge ruled in favor of the House, but the ruling was appealed by the Obama Administration in order to protect access to healthcare, and the subsidies were permitted to continue pending appeal. After the election, the House requested that the case be held in suspension for newly-elected President Trump to have time to make decisions regarding the case. During this time, the President has continually played politics with people’s access to affordable healthcare, including threatening to shut down the federal government by taking health care subsidies away from Americans.                   

The Trump Administration, with its allies in Congress, is attacking access to health care on all fronts. Their number one priority is to repeal the ACA and take away affordable healthcare from families. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis showed that the Republican repeal bill would have devastating effects by stripping away coverage from 22 million working families, seniors, women and children in California and across the country. 

A copy of the brief filed yesterday is attached to the electronic version of this release at oag.ca.gov/news.

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