Stein joins other attorneys general in asking SCOTUS to resolve Affordable Care Act controversy

NC the only non-Medicaid expansion state included

As the Nevada Current’s Dana Gentry reports, a group of 20 state attorneys general, including North Carolina’s Josh Stein, has filed a motion with the U.S. Supreme Court asking it to quickly resolve judicial uncertainty surrounding the Affordable Care Act.

This is from Gentry’s story:

The Fifth Circuit’s ruling that the ACA’s individual mandate is unconstitutional “causes uncertainty that may harm the health of millions of Americans, as well as doctors, clinics, patients and the healthcare market,” [Nevada Attorney General Aaron] Ford said in a statement. 

The court remanded the case to District Court Judge Reed O’Connor to decide the severability issue — whether the law can stand without the individual mandate. O’Connor is the judge who ruled the individual mandate is unconstitutional.

“The actions of the lower courts have cast doubt on hundreds of other statutory provisions that together regulate a substantial portion of the Nation’s economy,” the attorneys general wrote in the writ asking the high court to hear the case. “States, health insurers, and millions of Americans rely on those provisions when making important—indeed, life-changing—decisions. The remand proceedings contemplated by the panel majority would only prolong and exacerbate the uncertainty already caused by this litigation.”

Last month, Stein issued the following statement in response to the 5th Circuit ruling:

“I strongly disagree with the court’s ruling. I am gravely concerned that this lawsuit may deprive people of their access to affordable healthcare. I have talked to a number of the millions of North Carolinians whose healthcare is at risk. I want to assure them that this fight is not over. I will continue the fight in court to protect lifesaving healthcare for North Carolinians.”

States represented in the action are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington and the District of Columbia.

Interestingly, North Carolina is the only one from the group that has yet to expand Medicaid under the ACA.

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