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Congressman Courtney Votes to Uphold Affordable Care Act, Protect Healthcare for Connecticut Residents with Pre-Existing Conditions

January 9, 2019
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) joined House Democrats in taking action to protect Connecticut residents’ health care by voting in favor of a resolution that strengthens Congress’s hand to intervene against the Texas v. U.S. lawsuit, which seeks to strike down the entirety of the Affordable Care Act and its landmark provisions, including protection for over 1.5 million people in Connecticut who live with pre-existing conditions.  The resolution, which passed the House of Representatives 235-192, affirms the House Counsel’s authorization to intervene as a party in the Republican-led lawsuit, asserting the House of Representative’s authority to defend laws it has passed and enacted into law.

“I’ve heard loud and clear from people across eastern Connecticut,” said Congressman Courtney, “from patient advocacy groups, to healthcare professionals, to individuals who rely on the Affordable Care Act for coverage – and they do not want to turn the clock back on access to healthcare for folks with pre-existing conditions. Families from every corner of the District oppose this lawsuit that would put them back in the world of medical bankruptcy. Today’s resolution, which I voted in favor of, affirms the House Counsel’s authority to step in where the Trump Administration has failed to defend the law against this existential threat.  Congress has a responsibility uphold the law, and to stand up for Americans and their health care – and I am proud to do so today.”

James Michael, CEO of Access Health Connecticut, issued the following statement:

“The Affordable Care Act has been the driving force behind healthcare reform in this country since 2010.  This landmark law helps provide Connecticut residents with access to affordable healthcare, protects people with pre-existing conditions and changes the way healthcare is delivered in Connecticut and the entire U.S.. Connecticut’s early implementation of the ACA has created a stable marketplace for people to find and enroll in healthcare coverage, and is a contributing factor to reducing the uninsured rate to historic lows and helping Connecticut be considered one of the five healthiest states in the country. Congress must do everything it can to protect and continue this progress for all.”

Originally filed on February 26, 2018, during the 115th Congress, the plaintiffs of Texas v. U.S. assert that because the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act in 2012 as a constitutional use of its taxing power, the elimination of the tax makes the remainder of the law unconstitutional.

Following the lawsuit’s filing, Congressman Courtney became a cosponsor of H.Res.1031 in the 115th Congress, which sought to authorize Congressional intervention in the case of Texas v. U.S. The legislation was not scheduled for consideration by the House of Representatives under Republican leadership in the 115th Congress.

In December 2018, a federal district court judge in Texas ruled in favor of Republicans, issuing a stayed decision that would strike down the entirety of the Affordable Care Act, including:

  • Protections for people with pre-existing conditions;
  • The ban on lifetime and annual limits on health coverage;
  • The Medicaid expansion covering 15 million Americans;
  • Health insurance affordability tax credits assisting 9 million Americans;
  • Bans on discriminatory insurance practices that force women to pay more for coverage;
  • Young adults’ ability to remain on their parents’ insurance until age 26, and more.

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