FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 18, 2017
Contact: James Hallinan (505) 660-2216
Albuquerque, NM – Attorney General Hector Balderas today took legal action to challenge the Trump Administration and protect healthcare access for thousands of New Mexico families. Attorney General Balderas moved to intervene in a lawsuit filed by House Republicans that undercuts the affordability of health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The motion was filed by New Mexico, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington state and the District of Columbia.
“Every New Mexican deserves access to quality, affordable healthcare, and I will continue to stand up to President Trump’s dangerous actions that threaten the health and safety of our families,” said Attorney General Balderas. The lawsuit, House v. Price, would eliminate the stable funding that the law created to protect millions of working families from high healthcare costs. Experts predict that simply the threat to end this funding could destabilize the healthcare market and increase premiums by as much as 21%. The Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans have made it clear that their number one priority is to repeal the ACA and take away affordable healthcare.
In President Trump’s own words, the House v. Price lawsuit could “explode” the ACA and leave thousands of New Mexicans and millions of Americans without affordable healthcare coverage, leaving states to pick up the pieces. The intervention by the aforementioned states seeks to protect health care coverage secured for Americans under the ACA.
Background on House v. Price:
The cost-sharing subsidies help working families access more affordable healthcare coverage by helping individuals with incomes between $11,880 and $29,700. The Kaiser Family Foundation projects premiums will increase by 19% on average across the country to compensate if there is a loss of the subsidy payments, finding that the premium increases would be higher in states that have not expanded Medicaid (premium increases of 21%).
House Republicans sued the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) during the Obama Administration, challenging the legality of making the cost-sharing subsidies. A district court judge ruled in favor of the House, but the ruling was appealed in order to protect access to healthcare, and the subsidies were permitted to continue pending appeal. After the election, the House requested that the case be held in suspension while the newly-elected President Trump had time to make decisions regarding the case. During this time, the President has continually played politics with people’s access to affordable healthcare, including threatening to shut down the federal government by taking health care subsidies away from Americans who need health care.
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