Shaheen Slams Partisan ACA Repeal Lawsuit as Republicans File Legal Briefs in Support

June 25, 2020

**SHAHEEN: “It’s reprehensible to take away health care in normal times – it’s the height of recklessness during a pandemic.”**

**The Trump Administration-Backed Suit Could Invalidate the Entire Healthcare Law, Including Protections for Patients With Pre-Existing Conditions**

(Washington, DC)—U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement in response to briefs that will be filed by Republican officials and the Trump administration in support of their partisan lawsuit to strike down the Affordable Care Act. This lawsuit has the support of President Trump despite his administration not having a plan for a replacement.

“It’s reprehensible to take away health care in normal times – it’s the height of recklessness during a pandemic,” said Shaheen. “Rather than working across the aisle to lower costs and expand coverage, the Trump administration and Republicans officials backing this lawsuit have chosen blind partisanship instead of the health and welfare of the American people. This law has withstood partisan attack after partisan attack for one reason: the public doesn’t want to go back to a time when far fewer people could access health care and insurance companies could deny people coverage or charge them exorbitantly higher premiums on the basis of pre-existing conditions. This lawsuit should have been abandoned a long time ago, however, it’s not too late for Republican leaders to do the right thing. It’s time to join with Democrats to lower the cost of health care and prescription drugs, and finally establish universal coverage.”

NH ACA Facts:

  • Granite Staters who have health care coverage by purchasing on the ACA exchanges: 44,496.
  • Granite Staters who have health care coverage through the ACA’s Medicaid Expansion: 51,574.
  • Granite Staters with Pre-Existing Conditions who are protected by the ACA: 233,000.

Shaheen has led efforts in Congress to protect and improve the ACA, including leading all 47 Senate Democrats on a Senate resolution that would reverse the Department of Justice’s decision to side with U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor’s ruling that would strike down the ACA. This health care sabotage could result in 133 million Americans losing protections for pre-existing conditions, millions more Americans without health insurance, soaring prescription drug costs for seniors, and nearly 90,000 Granite Staters losing health care coverage. Instead of defending the law and its vital health care protections, the Trump administration’s DOJ chose to side with Texas and other states challenging our health care law last year, arguing that pre-existing condition protections are unconstitutional. The DOJ later expanded its position, arguing on the side of Judge O’Connor that the entire Affordable Care Act should be struck down. 

In March, Senator Shaheen sent a letter with 23 of their colleagues to urge the Trump administration to re-open the enrollment period to allow people without health insurance to purchase an Obamacare plan through the health insurance marketplaces.

Last year, Shaheen introduced the Marketing and Outreach Restoration to Empower (MORE) Health Education Act of 2019 with Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Gary Peters (D-MI) to counteract Trump administration sabotage efforts that have slashed funding for health care enrollment advertising and marketing by 90 percent since the President took office. She also introduced the Protecting Americans with Pre-existing Conditions Act with Senators Mark Warner (D-VA), Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) to prevent the Trump administration from using federal premium tax credits to  promote and incentivize enrollment in “junk plans” that do not provide coverage of pre-existing conditions or essential health benefits.  Shaheen has also introduced a health care affordability package that includes three pieces of legislation to reduce health care costs for patients and expand access to critical medical services. Together, the Marketplace Certainty ActImproving Health Insurance Affordability Act and Reducing Costs for Out-of-Network Services Act would make essential reforms to the health care law that would help stabilize the marketplace, lower premiums and deductibles for middle-class families and combat escalating out-of-pocket health care costs.