Attorney General Becerra Reiterates the Stakes in Texas v. US, Leads Coalition of 21 Attorneys General in Fight to Protect the Affordable Care Act

Friday, July 5, 2019
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SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, leading a coalition of 20 states and the District of Columbia, today provided a supplemental briefing at the Fifth Circuit Court’s request, reiterating the vast impacts that Texas v. United States would have on California and states across the nation. In the filing, the Attorneys General demonstrate their standing in the case by outlining the direct negative impacts that the dismantling of the ACA would have on their states. They further argue that – regardless of the federal government’s abrupt decision to abandon their defense of the ACA – active legal issues remain before the Court, including the continued conflict between the positions taken by Texas’ plaintiff state coalition and the federal government.  

“If the Trump Administration had done its job to defend and protect the healthcare of millions of Americans, we wouldn’t be in this mess,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Since President Trump refuses to protect Americans’ healthcare, California’s coalition has picked up his fumble. Our argument is simple: the health and wellbeing of nearly every American is at risk. Healthcare can mean the difference between life and death, financial stability and bankruptcy. Our families’ wellbeing should not be treated as a political football. We’ll see the Trump Administration in court to make sure it isn’t.”

On June 26, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit asked for supplemental briefing from Attorney General Becerra and his coalition. The Attorneys General argue that the positions taken by the Trump Administration and the Texas-led coalition are legally incorrect and dangerous to our healthcare system. Dismantling the ACA would cost the United States between $150 and $350 billion over the next decade. Further, if affirmed, the District Court’s decision would affect nearly every American, putting at risk:

  • More than 12 million Americans who received coverage through Medicaid expansion—including over 6.5 million people in California’s state coalition;
  • 12 million seniors who receive a Medicare benefit to afford prescription drugs;
  • 133 million Americans, including 17 million kids, with pre-existing health conditions—including over 66 million people in California’s coalition;
  • Nearly 5 million individuals in California’s coalition who receive tax credits to help afford insurance through individual marketplaces;
  • Millions of working families who rely on high-quality employer-sponsored insurance plans; and
  • More than $702 billion in federal funding to California’s coalition of states, including Medicaid expansion and public health dollars.

The supplemental briefing also addresses the fact that the Texas-led coalition’s position in this case remains in conflict with the federal government’s position, as:

  •  The United States would be harmed by an invalidation of the ACA;
  •  The federal government chose to appeal the District Court’s ruling; and
  •  The federal government indicated that it will continue enforcing the ACA absent a final judicial decision to the contrary. 

On July 9, 2019, Attorney General Becerra and his coalition will be arguing the stakes in the Fifth Circuit. Oral arguments will take place in New Orleans in the West Court Room of the Fifth Circuit.

An electronic copy of the opening brief can be found here. More details of Texas v. US can be found here.

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