Attorney General Becerra Holds Press Conference on Affordable Care Act (ACA) Case


Good afternoon, Xavier Becerra, Attorney
General here for the State of California I want to thank the people who are with
me and I’m gonna introduce them very quickly because they may have some
things to add to the remarks I make today Sam Siegel who is the Deputy
Solicitor General here at the California Department of Justice Kathleen borgers
who is a supervising Deputy Attorney General who deals with a lot of these
healthcare issues in this case in particular and Melanie Fontes Raynor who
is a special assistant to the Attorney General especially when it comes to the
issues of health care the three of them are here can answer questions as well
about today’s ruling that we’re going to speak about today I’d like to begin by
giving everyone a reminder the reminder is that if you are looking to sign up
for health care here in California under the covered California program the
Affordable Care Act program here in the state of California do it open
enrollment it’s still available to you until this Friday please take advantage
if you want to be able to get coverage health care coverage for yourself and
for your family members and I should also say if you don’t have health care
and you haven’t been thinking seriously about signing up for a plan under the
covered California program reconsider you still have a couple of days you can
go to covered California that’s CoV e are C a.com covered California com to
sign up today the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals based in Texas issued its ruling
regarding the Affordable Care Act I believe it’s a regrettable decision that
was issued not because the ruling by the Fifth Circuit undid the entire
Affordable Care Act but because it leaves us today in a state of great
uncertainty two of the judges of the judges who ruled in this appellate case
held that the individual mandate which is part of the Affordable Care Act is
unconstitutional one of the three judges disagreed vigorously but today not one
of the three judges agreed with the district court in Texas that the entire
law should be overturned not one but then again their decision a two-to-one
decision has created real and long-term uncertainty for all Americans but
certainly those who used the essential benefits of the Affordable Care Act to
cover themselves and their family whether it is their children under the
age of 26 whether you’re a senior who receives Medicare enhanced Medicare
benefits whether you’re someone who now has received expanded Medicaid coverage
through your state whether you are someone who has been able to afford your
prescription drugs under Medicare as a result of the expanded benefits so many
different ways that people have been able to take advantage of the Affordable
Care Act you can still apply today in California but long term I think you had
to say where we had is unclear and as dissenting judge Carolyn King said in
her opinion there is quote no reason to prolong the uncertainty this litigation
has caused to the future of this significant statute the Affordable Care
Act we mightily agree with Judge Kings language and her words it is for this
reason that today we are announcing here at the California Department of Justice
that we are prepared to file a cert petition with the US Supreme Court to
challenge this ruling to uphold the affordable care act in all respects and
to continue to protect the health care that millions of American
have received and rely on in order to stay healthy and ensure that they their
families can move forward knowing that they are safe
today’s decision could take us to a dangerous and irresponsible place not
just for the 133 million Americans who right now have a pre-existing condition
and could lose the protections against discrimination by health insurance
companies when it comes to whether or not they’ll qualify for a health care
plan not just for the seniors who use Medicare and now have access to zero
copay preventive health care services and have additional assistance to pay
for the prescription medication as a result of the Affordable Care Act but
for millions of children under the age of 26 like some of my daughters who
currently have health insurance because their parents can keep them on their
policies until they turn 26 or perhaps it’s those 20 million Americans who had
no health coverage before and now have it because they got their plan through
the exchanges provided through the Affordable Care Act either way
today’s decision could be a danger for them and it’s certainly irresponsible
for all of us as a nation to see that we may be going down this treacherous path
for now at least President Trump got his gift that he wanted uncertainty in the
health care market and a pathway to repeal of Affordable Care Act and as a
result the health care that seniors workers and families they secured under
the Affordable Care Act might be yanked from under them so close to the holidays
our nation may have just taken a giant step backwards but that’s why California
and our coalition of states along with members in the House of Representatives
have been fighting to protect your health care every step of the way we
will move swiftly to challenge this decision and and seek certification
because this could mean the difference between life and death for so many
Americans and their families

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