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On March 2, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will hear an appeal from the Fifth Circuit ruling in Texas v. United States, a case challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.

In earlier phases of that litigation, a federal district court and an appellate court had ruled that the ACA’s individual mandate is unconstitutional; the two lower courts did not agree, however, on how much of the statute therefore should be thrown out.

The ACA and its patient protections continue in effect for now, as the lower court rulings have been stayed pending the continuing litigation.

Today, HFA and other patient advocates praised the Supreme Court for taking up Texas v. United States, stating:

“The Court’s decision today offers millions of patients who rely on the health care law and its critical patient protections a timelier resolution to a case that threatens to significantly erode or eliminate their access to comprehensive health coverage. The current uncertainty also threatens to weaken the insurance markets that need clear, stable rules on which to price and offer coverage.”

The patient groups urged the Supreme Court to uphold the ACA and provide the clarity and certainty people and the health care system need.

In today’s announcement, the Supreme Court did not specify a date for hearing the appeal in Texas v. United States (the justices had previously rejected a petition to expedite their review of the case). As a result, observers say it is unlikely that the Court will issue a ruling before November’s presidential election.

HFA staff will continue to update you about the ongoing litigation, and will continue its efforts to advocate for affordable, quality health coverage, in all available forums. Please stay tuned – and thank you for your interest and engagement.

 

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