TRENTON – Acting to protect the healthcare of New Jersey residents and the stability of the State’s healthcare system, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today joined a multi-state coalition of Attorneys General in seeking to defend the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) from legal attack by intervening in a suit filed by Texas and other states that seeks to have the ACA thrown out as unconstitutional.
“Once again, states like Texas are asking a federal judge to toss out the Affordable Care Act, a law that has brought health care to nearly 20 million Americans, including more than 800,000 New Jersey residents,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Typically, it’s the responsibility of the U.S. Department of Justice to defend federal laws like the ACA from constitutional attack. But unfortunately – given everything going on in Washington these days – it’s clear that New Jersey and other like-minded states need to step up to protect the law from yet another meritless legal challenge.”
Enacted in 2010, the ACA has helped a significant number of New Jersey residents secure healthcare coverage -- including such vulnerable populations as senior citizens, children, people with medical conditions and disabilities. The statute has withstood constitutional attacks before, including previous challenges filed by plaintiffs in the Texas case. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected the main challenge to the statute in 2012.
Between 2013 and 2016, the percentage of people without health insurance coverage in New Jersey dropped from 13.2 percent to 8 percent.
More than 555,000 New Jerseyans have been able to enroll in Medicaid as a result of the ACA’s expansion of the program, and more than 274,000 New Jerseyans selected an Affordable Care Act Marketplace plan for 2018.
More than 130,000 New Jersey residents are receiving cost-sharing reductions as a result of the ACA, and more than 211,000 are receiving an advance premium tax credit. The ACA also has steered billions of dollars in federal funding to New Jersey, including more than $10 billion associated with Medicaid expansion.
Texas and other states have sued the federal government, alleging that the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 amended the ACA in a way that renders the entire Act unconstitutional.
The group of states supporting the ACA and seeking to intervene in Texas et al. v. United States is led by California and, aside from New Jersey, includes Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont and Washington, as well the District of Columbia.
A legal brief filed today by New Jersey and the other states hoping to oppose Texas’s ACA challenge notes that a decision in favor of the plaintiffs “would dismantle the nation’s healthcare system, harm millions of people, and deprive the Intervenor States of hundreds of billions of dollars that they use to provide healthcare and coverage to their residents.”
“Each intervenor state has an interest in the health and well-being of its citizens, who would be gravely harmed by the loss of the ACA,” the brief contends.
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