Speaking yesterday in South Los Angeles, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced that he was joining more than a dozen Attorneys General (AG) across the United States to fend off federal efforts to sabotage the stability of the nation’s insurance markets while undermining security for millions of Americans in the process.
These Attorneys seek to directly intervene in a protracted legal dispute initiated by Congressional Republicans that, for years, has left a key financial underpinning of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in limbo – depriving beneficiaries and insurers alike of the stable certainty needed to plan for their future. This widespread instability has prompted jittery health insurers to abandon insurance marketplaces, sending premiums and other out-of-pocket costs soaring. State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones warns that Covered California is susceptible to these same dangers, with a recent analysis estimating that insurance premiums would rise to 49 percent across the state’s insurance market in 2018.
“Nearly 1 in 5 of the Americans who gained coverage through the ACA are from California. We thank Attorney General Becerra for his leadership in protecting the health of millions of working class Californians,” said Megan McClaire, Director of Health Equity at Advancement Project California. “Our lawmakers should be working together to repair the ACA because affordable, quality health care for all should never be negotiable.”
The AGs’ legal move intends to give their respective states a foothold in this case that directly impacts the lives of tens of millions of Americans – including over five million in California alone. Their action has two goals: to bring a speedy resolution to this anxiety-inducing legal purgatory and to rescue vulnerable families’ life-altering health care subsidies from the grasp of a Presidential administration whose view on health reform whipsaws between malign neglect and explicit threats to hold the vital federal payments hostage as a bargaining chip to haggle over.
Millions of working-class Californians and their families depend upon these funds to access basic health care – access that is vital to their day-to-day well-being and financial security. For them, and for all of us, these subsidies are not trivial and should not be dangled like a disposable toy in a playground.
We need this Administration and our federal lawmakers to make an earnest attempt to ensure our health system truly cares for all our people. We urge that these AGs be granted legal standing to contest the case on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as the Trump Administration & Secretary Price have already done grave harm by refusing to take an active, decisive role in this case. We support the motion to end the suspense that has left these subsidies – along with millions of Americans’ health and peace of mind – under perpetual threat.
Finally, we ask that the Trump Administration abide by the spirit of the current health care law. Rather than decimating our entire health care system in a menacing political campaign – we call on our federal leaders to come together to repair the Affordable Care Act to restore confidence, security, and good health to all who live here.
Tags: ACA, American Health Care Act, The Affordable Care Act (ACA)