|RICHMOND (March 2, 2020) – Attorney General Mark R. Herring issued the below statement today following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to hear the Trump-backed lawsuit that would functionally kill the Affordable Care Act:
“I can’t believe we have to go back to the Supreme Court yet again to block Republican attempts to destroy our healthcare system,” said Attorney General Herring. “This politically motivated lawsuit has forced Americans to live in constant fear that their health care is going to be ripped away from them by President Trump and his allies, who have absolutely no plan for a replacement. Trump and his allies continue to play games with the lives of millions of Virginians, especially those with pre-existing conditions, who rely on the Affordable Care Act to receive quality, affordable health care. If the Supreme Court goes along with Trump’s request to kill the entire ACA, it would be an unbelievable disruption to the entire healthcare system just as we are preparing for a potential public health crisis caused by coronavirus. I will continue to fight to make sure that Virginians health care is protected from these dangerous, reckless attacks that play with peoples’ lives.”
In January, Attorney General Herring joined a coalition of 21 attorneys general in filing a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court seeking review of the Fifth Circuit’s decision in Texas v. U.S. The Fifth Circuit’s decision held the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional and called into question whether the remaining provisions of the ACA could still stand, including those that protect and provide coverage to Americans with pre-existing conditions.
In order to protect Virginians’ healthcare, Attorney General Herring and his colleagues intervened to defend the Affordable Care Act in this lawsuit after President Trump switched sides and joined with Republican state attorneys general in trying to strike down the law. When a district court judge in Texas issued a decision in December 2018 finding the ACA to be unconstitutional, Attorney General Herring and his colleagues immediately appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
If the Trump Administration and its allies are successful in eliminating the ACA with this lawsuit:
- 642,000 Virginians could lose their health coverage, leading to a 96% increase in the uninsured rate in the Commonwealth
- The 3,441,400 Virginians who have pre-existing conditions would lose their protections and insurance companies would be able to deny or drop coverage and charge more for those pre-existing conditions
- 289,081 Virginians in the marketplace would have to pay more for their coverage
- 109,517 Virginia seniors could have to pay more for their prescription drugs
- Insurance companies would be allowed to discriminate against women by charging them higher premiums
- $1.15 billion in tax credits that helped 335,000 Virginians afford insurance in 2017 would be ended
- Funding from our nation’s public health system would be stripped, including work to combat the opioid epidemic
- Billions in federal aid for health care would be stripped, including $458 million in FY 2019 and $1.9 billion in FY 2020