|RICHMOND (June 17, 2021) – Attorney General Mark R. Herring is celebrating his win after he successfully defended the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in the case California v. Texas. Attorney General Herring and 21 attorneys general successfully defended the ACA against a lawsuit filed by the Trump Administration that, if successful, would have dismantled the entire ACA, including its protections for people with pre-existing conditions, public health investments, and Medicaid expansion, among others. The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the ACA means 642,000 Virginians keep their healthcare coverage and 3.4 million Virginians with pre-existing conditions will keep their protections.
“Today’s decision is a massive win for every single Virginian and every single American. This lawsuit was no more than a thinly veiled political attack from the start, forcing millions to live in fear that their healthcare could be ripped away from them at any moment,” said Attorney General Herring. “It is unconscionable that Trump and his Republican allies played politics with human lives, especially as a global pandemic ravaged our country, killing 600,000 Americans – but the threat of healthcare loss is now gone.
“I am incredibly proud to have played a role in defending the Affordable Care Act, ensuring that it remains the law of the land. Everyone deserves access to quality, affordable healthcare no matter who they are, what their medical history is, their employment status, or what financial background they have.”
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. Following a Texas district court judge’s decision in December 2018 that found the ACA unconstitutional, Attorney General Herring and his colleagues immediately appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
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 May, Attorney General Herring and his colleagues filed a brief at the Supreme Court defending the ACA against efforts by the Trump Administration and Republicans to repeal the entire ACA. In July, the coalition filed a reply brief in the U.S. Supreme Court further defending the ACA against this reckless lawsuit.
Joining Attorney General Herring in fighting to protect the Affordable Care Act are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota (by and through its Department of Commerce), Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.