Charles Gaba's blog

Kelley v Becerra

Updated to include extra details from Harris Meyer, who wrote about the case back in March.

Yesterday morning in my post celebrating the Supreme Court throwing out the insanely stupid CA v. TX lawsuit (previously TX v. Azar or, as I called it, Texas Fold'em), which threatened to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act, I noted that...

So, are there any MORE challenges to the ACA? Of course. As Katie Keith notes over at Health Affairs:

As the law hangs in the balance, other ACA litigation is proceeding. The Supreme Court has been asked to hear appeals by health insurers over whether they are entitled to fully recover unpaid cost-sharing reduction payments. It is not year clear whether the Court will agree to do so; if it does, the appeals would be heard next term. Other lawsuits remain pending before district and appellate courts over the scope of the ACA’s contraceptive mandate, the preventive services mandate, and Section 1557, among other issues.

Connect for Health Colorado Logo

This just in from Connect for Health Colorado...

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds the Affordable Care Act

  • Coverage protections, financial help and many other programs continue as part of law that has helped millions of Coloradans 

Today, the United States Supreme Court announced its 7-2 decision in California v. Texas, No. 19-840, to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA), now covering 31 million Americans.

“We are pleased with the Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act. This is welcome news to more than 500,000 Coloradans who have gained access to quality health care coverage through Medicaid expansion,” said Kim Bimestefer, executive director of the Department of Health Care Policy & Financing. “This coverage expansion is more important than ever, given the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn, which has caused many Coloradans to lose their jobs and with that their employer-sponsored health insurance coverage.” 

Maryland Health Connection

via Maryland Health Connection:

(BALTIMORE) — Michele Eberle, executive director of Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, issues the following statement:

As we celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the creation of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange this month, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the Affordable Care Act remains the law of the land. This is great news for all Marylanders, including more than 1 million of our neighbors, friends and family covered through Maryland Health Connection. They will continue to have access to quality health insurance plans and financial help for those who qualify. Maryland Health Connection remains open for business and we encourage anyone in need of health insurance to check out their options today. There are new, bigger savings this year. Now more than ever, it’s worth taking a look.

MNsure Logo

via MNsure:

ST. PAUL, Minn.—Nate Clark, Chief Executive Officer of MNsure; Grace Arnold, Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Commerce; Jodi Harpstead, Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services; and Jan Malcolm, Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Health issue the following statement:

“Today, the United States Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the Affordable Care Act. This is a huge relief for the hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans who get health care coverage through the law - whether from Medicaid or MinnesotaCare, or if they purchase health insurance through MNsure.

“This year, because of actions by President Biden and Congress, more Minnesotans than ever will qualify for financial help that makes their health coverage more affordable when they seek a plan through MNsure.

Nevada Health Link Logo

Via Nevada Health Link:

From: Heather Korbulic, Executive Director, Silver State Health Insurance Exchange

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed a challenge from 18 states to the Affordable Care Act  (ACA)—a decision that keeps the law intact and saves health care coverage for hundreds of thousands of Nevadans. For more than a decade, the ACA has helped Nevadans secure coverage, whether it is through the expansion of Medicaid, subsidies on the Exchange, or consumer protections built into the law.

The urgent need for comprehensive and affordable health care coverage has only increased throughout the pandemic and both Nevada Medicaid and the Nevada Health Link, the online health insurance marketplace operated by the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange, have been there to support Nevadans throughout this crisis and will be there as the state recovers. This is an important day for our country and an important win for Nevadans.

New York State of Health

via NY State of Health:

Millions of New Yorkers have embraced the health care expansion provided by the Affordable Care Act and I applaud today's decision by the Supreme Court to uphold the ACA. New York State has codified critical consumer protections from the Affordable Care Act into State law; including preexisting conditions, prohibition on annual and lifetime dollar limits, the guarantee of quality essential health benefits and the ability to keep children on their parent's plans through age 26.

NY State of Health has provided seamless access to affordable coverage and remains open for enrollment through the end of the year. The ACA has been a lifeline for many New Yorkers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and I encourage all uninsured New Yorkers to enroll today.

Washington HealthPlan Finder

This just in from the Washington Health Benefit Exchange...

Today, Pam MacEwan, CEO of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, issued the following statement regarding the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) upholding the Affordable Care Act (ACA): 

“The Exchange is relieved to see the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. Over 860,000 Washingtonians receive health care coverage through the ACA. The ACA is here to stay.

“Today Washington residents continue to benefit from the consumer protections that have been incorporated into both federal and state law which includes protections from annual and lifetime caps, excessive waiting periods, pre-existing condition exclusions, and discrimination based on gender, race, national origin or disability.

“The American Rescue Plan Act expanded the ACA allowing Washingtonians to save on the cost of their individual health insurance. The new act now makes it easier to get covered and stay covered, with the opportunity to take advantage of savings by signing up or switching plans by August 15, 2021.

New Jersey

TRENTON – New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner Marlene Caride issued the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court decision today upholding the Affordable Care Act by a 7-2 vote: 

“Today’s Supreme Court decision is a victory for millions of Americans and New Jerseyans who have access to quality, affordable health insurance as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

“Under Governor Murphy’s leadership, New Jersey has led the way in increasing access to health insurance based on the guiding principle that health care is a fundamental right. New Jersey launched its own state-based health insurance exchange, Get Covered New Jersey, and provided state-level subsidies to increase access and affordability of health coverage and care for our residents, and enrollment increased by nearly 10 percent during our first Open Enrollment Period. Nearly 40,000 residents have signed up for health insurance during the Special Enrollment Period opened by the state on February 1 in response to COVID-19. 

UnPresidented Podcast

Shortly after this morning's Supreme Court ruling upholding the ACA and dismissing the infamous Texas Fold'em lawsuit over a lack of standing by the plaintiffs, I joined John Aravosis and Cliff Schecter on the UnPresidented Podcast to discuss the case, the ruling and what it may mean going forward:

Ep 393: The Supreme Court saves the Affordable Care Act... for now. An interview with ACA expert Charles Gaba.

In late-breaking news, the Supreme Court this morning threw out a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka Obamacare) that many observers thought would lead to the the entire law being struck down as unconstitutional, costing 31 million Americans, myself included, their health insurance. Instead, the court threw out the lawsuit! We invited back ACA expert Charles Gaba to walk us through what happened, and what it means for the ACA going forward. The second half of the show we get into the other issues of the day.

The 12 Year War

Annnnnnd there it is: Moments ago, the U.S. Supreme Court finally issued their decision in the long-awaited "CA vs. TX" lawsuit...previously known as "Texas vs. Azar," "Texas vs. U.S." or, as I always preferred to call it, "Texas Fold'em," a term first invoked by University of Michigan law professor Nicholas Bagley just over three years ago.

Bottom Line: The case was basically thrown out for lack of standing, in a 7-2 decision, with Justice Breyer delivering the opinion of the court, joined by Justices Sotomayor and Kagan (of course), but also Justices Roberts, Kavanaugh, Barrett and Thomas!

Justice Alito and Gorsuch dissented.

From the opinion itself:

Held: Plaintiffs do not have standing to challenge §5000A(a)’s minimum essential coverage provision because they have not shown a past or future injury fairly traceable to defendants’ conduct enforcing the specific statutory provision they attack as unconstitutional. Pp. 4–16.