California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and 20 other attorneys general filed a reply brief on Wednesday urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the Texas case to repeal the Affordable Care Act this term.
Back it up -- Becerra is leading a group of liberal states to defend the law against Texas and a crew of red states that are challenging the individual mandate of the ACA. At question is whether this core element of the signature Obama achievement is unconstitutional, and if it is, does the law even matter?
The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled against California late last year, saying the individual mandate was unconstitutional, affirming what a federal judge in Forth Worth ruled in December of 2018. The appeals court then sent the case back to the federal district court in Texas for further review.
But Becerra quickly petitioned the nation's highest court to hear the case instead, and before the term concludes in June.
"This dangerous repeal case jeopardizes the lives of our families, neighbors, and millions of Americans who rely on the ACA for their healthcare," Becerra said in January. "We'll continue to fight because our communities are healthier when everyone can access affordable care -- whether that means gaining coverage from Medicaid expansion or by staying on a parent's health insurance."
The coalition echoed Becerra, saying the "litigation is creating profound uncertainty" and the prolonging of the case has caused harm to individuals and disruption in the insurance and small business markets.
"Postponing review would accomplish little beyond prolonging uncertainty about the future of the ACA," the states argue, "with accompanying harm to patients, doctors, businesses, and the Nation as a whole."
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