2020 OPEN ENROLLMENT ENDS (most states)

Time: D H M S

Roundup of responses to #TexasFoldEm ruling...

"Open enrollment is full-steam ahead in California and continues in other states for several more weeks. No one in America should let this TX District Court ruling discourage them from enrolling in health coverage or be worried about using the coverage they have. This case will wind its way through the courts and I’m confident the Supreme Court will once again do the right thing and uphold the Affordable Care Act,"

--Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California

Pelosi Statement on District Judge Ruling in GOP Lawsuit Against Pre-Existing Condition Protections and the Affordable Care Act

“Tonight’s district court ruling exposes the monstrous endgame of Republicans’ all-out assault on people with pre-existing conditions and Americans’ access to affordable health care.

“The GOP Congress tried and failed to destroy the Affordable Care Act and protections for pre-existing conditions. Then, in the midterm election, the American people delivered a record-breaking margin of almost 10 million votes against House Republicans’ vile assault on health care. Now, the district court ruling in Republicans’ lawsuit seeks to subvert the will of the American people and sow chaos in the final day of HealthCare.gov open enrollment.

“While the district court’s absurd ruling will be immediately appealed, Republicans are fully responsible for this cruel decision and for the fear they have struck into millions of families across America who are now in danger of losing their health coverage. When House Democrats take the gavel, the House of Representatives will move swiftly to formally intervene in the appeals process to uphold the life-saving protections for people with pre-existing conditions and reject Republicans’ effort to destroy the Affordable Care Act.”

Attorney General Becerra Denounces Court Ruling Declaring the ACA Unconstitutional, Vows to Continue the Fight

SACRAMENTO—Attorney General Becerra today issued the following statement regarding Judge Reed O’Connor’s decision in Texas v. U.S., declaring the Affordable Care Act (ACA) unconstitutional, but denying the injunction:

“Today’s ruling is an assault on 133 million Americans with preexisting conditions, on the 20 million Americans who rely on the ACA for healthcare, and on America’s faithful progress toward affordable healthcare for all Americans,” said Attorney General Becerra. “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.”

TEXAS LAWSUIT RESPONSE: Affordable Care Act Gutted by Republican Court in Deeply Flawed Ruling

“There is nothing more American than ensuring that every citizen has access to the lifesaving and necessary health care they need. This ruling cements the fact that Republican leaders will stop at nothing to put the lives and livelihoods of America’s working families at risk to pursue their partisan agenda.

“In the midterm elections, the American people forcefully rejected Republican efforts to repeal and undermine the Affordable Care Act. And yet, Republicans have made it clear that their priority is attacking access to critically-needed health care, protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and insurance for young people. Now, conservative courts are cowardly following suit.

“The Republican Party should be ashamed and leaders in Congress must fight back against this reckless decision.”

--Health Care Voter

"Today's ruling is an assault on all Americans' basic health csare rights and judicial overreach at its worst," Wyden said. "Trump and Republicans in Congress will achieve their long-sought goals if this ruling stands: the elimination of pre-existing condition protections and Medicaid coverage for millions of vulnerable Americans. Seniors will pay more for their prescriptions and middle-class families will lose tax breaks that keep their health care affordable. This judge chose to deliver his ruling the day before the end of open enrollment -- a deliberate, ideological move to sabotage the Affordable Care Act at the expense of families' health care. If you or your loved ones need health care, you should still sign up as planned at HealthCare.Gov before the open enrollment deadline at the end of the day tomorrow despite this attempted sabotage."

--U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR)

Statement by Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levy:

"If allowed to stand, today's outrageous ruling by a Fort Worth-based federal judge could eventually deprive millions of working people of a fair shot at affordable health care."

"We are ashamed that Gov. Abbott, indicted Attorney General Paxton and shadowy Texas interests that cannot abide a historic expansion of health care are undermining one of the clearest messages of the Nov. 6 election: Americans want and need affordable coverage for pre-existing conditions."

"The working families of the Texas AFL-CIO will continue the long fight for health care for all."

Ruling Striking Down the Affordable Care Act is Catastrophic for the Nation

30 Million people could lose coverage and protections for pre-existing conditions could be gutted.

(BOSTON, MA) -- Statement of Diane Felicio, interim executive director of Community Catalyst, regarding the federal court ruling in Texas v. Azar in favor of repealing the entirety of the Affordable Care Act.

“Today’s misguided ruling by District Court Judge Reed O’Connor in Texas v. Azar striking down the entirety of the Affordable Care Act is a monumental step backwards for Americans’ health security. Despite the case’s questionable legal merits, the judge sided with 17 attorneys general and 3 governors who filed a politically motivated lawsuit in yet another attempt by ACA opponents to gut the law in the wake of Congress’ failure to repeal it.

“Judge O’Connor’s decision flies in the face of two Supreme Court rulings upholding the constitutionality of the ACA. If the ruling isn’t overturned by a higher court, the consequences will be profoundly tragic for the 20 million people who have gained access to health care under the ACA, the 52 million with pre-existing conditions like cancer, diabetes or asthma, and generations to come. Even the Trump administration, which sided with the plaintiffs and refused to defend the law in court, admitted to Judge O’Connor that repeal would cause immediate chaos and confusion in insurance marketplaces with consumer enrollment still underway throughout the country.

“The ACA has become foundational to our health care system, alongside Medicare and Medicaid, providing millions with high quality, affordable health care that was once out of reach to many. This decision and any subsequent higher court decision to uphold the ruling would be a return to the dark days that allowed insurance companies to deny care to people when they get sick or for a pre-existing condition, charge women or older adults more for their coverage, or impose annual or lifetime limits on coverage. Seniors would have to pay much more for prescription drugs, young adults under the age of 26 would no longer be able to join their parents’ health plans, and small businesses would be denied tax credits that make it affordable to provide health care for their employees.

“Just a few weeks ago people spoke clearly and decisively - they’ve had enough of endless efforts to undermine protections for people with pre-existing conditions and rip away their health security. As the people across the country realize all that they could lose through this decision, there will be a massive outcry. Recent polling shows that 75 percent of the public supports the ACA’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

“Prominent legal scholars, including some who have not supported the ACA, have rightly questioned the merits of this case, and nearly every part of the health system -- physicians, hospitals, insurers and consumer advocates -- strongly oppose it. We hope the appeals court will agree and reverse this decision based on its weak legal grounding and the grave harm overturning the ACA would cause to people across the country.”

--Community Catalyst

This one may surprise you, but there's a reason:

*WHITE HOUSE: OBAMACARE LAW REMAINS IN PLACE PENDING APPEAL

— Laura Litvan (@LauraLitvan) December 15, 2018

The Trump Administration's Dept. of Justice was guilty of dereliction of duty when they refused to defend the law of the land against the #TexasFoldEm lawsuit in the first place, and went so far as to support the overall thrust of the plaintiffs.

HOWEVER, even they, oddly enough, didn't want the entire law thrown out--they "only" wanted the pre-existing condition protections killed off (Guaranteed Issue, Community Rating and possibly Essential Health Benefits). The official stance of the Trump DOJ was that they wanted the rest of the law kept in place.

Again, I realize how nonsensical this may seem, especially given the Trump Administration's obsession with repealing the ACA--you'd think this would be exacty the outcome they want. However, there's a couple of reasons why they only wanted a partial victory at the moment:

  • First, it's gonna cause even more massive chaos and outrage than if they'd "only" stripped away pre-existing condition protections. They want outrage, but they want to be in control of that outrage, if that makes any sense.
  • Second, Trump's "solution" to the problem of high ACA premiums is to push junk plans...but he still wants to keep control over the billions of dollars of APTC & Medicaid expansion funds...to the point of actually using them to subsidize those junk plans. If the entire ACA is repealed, that's a major revenue source cut off which I presume they can no longer use for bribes, kickbacks and the like.

Granted, these are just speculation on my part, but whatever the reason is, the fact remains that the judge gave Trump and the entire Republican Party exactly what they claim they've wanted for the past 8 years...and they aren't happy about it.