This morning, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring joined Sen. Chris Murphy and Protect Our Care for a media call to discuss Friday’s ruling, by a right-wing activist judge in Texas, which absurdly found the Affordable Care Act to be unconstitutional. See below for some audio or AG Herring’s comments. Highlights include:
“This ruling is a disgrace…brought to you by a president and Republican Attorneys General who care more about scoring political points than protecting Americans…they are playing games with Americans’ lives and their health care.”
“This fight isn’t over, not by a long shot…This lawsuit has the potential to wreak havoc on the entire health care system, putting lives in every state and community at risk.”
The ruling is “so legally flawed, that both conservatives and liberal lawyers say it is ridiculous…if that sounds far-fetched, it is, but this ultra-conservative judge nonetheless bought it….It’s contrary to well-established rules about severability…Congress’ intent was clear that they wanted an Affordable Care Act, just without the penalty for not having insurance…This is a bad ruling that could hurt a lot of people.”
“Voters need to remember how hypocritical some of the campaigns were this past midterm season…”
ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING AND COALITION OF 17 AGS FILE MOTION TO PREVENT HARM, PROTECT THE ACA, AND DEFEND AMERICANS WITH PREEXISTING CONDITIONS
RICHMOND (December 17, 2018) —Attorney General Mark R. Herring and a coalition of 17 attorneys general today filed an expedited motion to prevent disruption to Americans’ healthcare and to more quickly challenge Friday’s opinion in Texas v. HHS, which declared the Affordable Care Act (ACA) unconstitutional. Today’s motion seeks clarification on the impact of Friday’s decision and requests that the judge prevent any confusion about the opinion. The motion requests the court to make clear that the ACA is still the law of the land and will continue to be enforced and implemented by states, the federal government, and entities across the country unless and until an order by the court expressly states otherwise. While Attorney General Herring and his colleagues maintain that the ACA is the law of the land, Friday’s opinion has caused uncertainty in the nation’s healthcare system that could harm people across the country.
“I’m going to do everything in my power to keep this deeply flawed decision from ever taking effect,” said Attorney General Herring. “The ruling leaves many unanswered questions, which is why we’re moving as quickly as possible to get this in front of an appellate court. If this decision takes effect, millions of Virginians and Americans with preexisting conditions will lose critical protections, Medicaid expansion will be under threat, and millions of Americans will suffer from reduced access and higher costs. The stake are too high to let this decision stand without a fight.”
Today’s filing is a critical step in challenging Friday’s opinion. It requests that the court provide clarity on its opinion and confirm that it does not change the status quo. Attorney General Herring has asked the court to grant an immediate stay that requires the federal government, states and all entities to continue enforcing and implementing the ACA or, alternately, to certify the opinion, so that it may be appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals immediately.