April 03, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) today announced his support for a Senate resolution rejecting the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) decision to uphold a Texas Federal Judge’s ruling that deems the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. The DOJ’s decision is the most recent in a slew of attempts from the Administration to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which could result in 133 million Americans losing protections for pre-existing conditions, and millions more losing their health insurance.
After the 2017 Republican tax cut bill zeroed out the ACA’s individual mandate penalty, the Texas attorney general led a lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act in Texas v. United States. Instead of defending the law and its vital health care protections, the Trump administration’s Department of Justice chose to side with Texas and the states challenging the Affordable Care Act, arguing that pre-existing condition protections are unconstitutional. Late last year, U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor sided with Texas and ruled to strike down the entire current health care law. Now, the DOJ has expanded its position, arguing on the side of Judge O’Connor that the entire Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.
“Time and again, we are faced with attacks on the American peoples’ access to health care,” Senator King said. “It is frustrating and disappointing – but above all it is an attack on the poor, on the sick, and on families who are fighting to care for their loved ones. There is no question we can strengthen the American health care system, but we should do so by building on the successes of Affordable Care Act – which has provided health care options to tens of millions of people across our country – not by tearing it down with no viable plan in place. The DOJ and the Administration at large should listen to the American people, and start looking for solutions that improve the ACA and increase health coverage across the country.”
Senator King has been a vocal proponent of protecting and improving the Affordable Care Act, which has helped millions of Americans access healthcare. In July 2018, Senator King joined a group of his colleagues to introduce a resolution that would have authorized the Senate Legal Counsel to intervene in Texas v. United States, and in December 2018 he joined a group of Senate colleagues to call on President Trump to condemn the resulting decision in the case. He has also fought the Administration’s various attempts to sabotage the health care law, urged Maine people to sign up for health insurance during the shortened Open Enrollment period, and met with Maine people around the state to discuss the ACA’s importance to their lives.
Senator King has continually called on Congress to strengthen the Affordable Care Act, lower health care costs, and stabilize the health care marketplace. His roadmap of health care priorities can be found HERE.
The resolution is non-binding and aims to express the sentiments of the Senate. It can be read in full HERE.