Commissioner Jones issues statement after Texas judge rules Affordable Care Act unconstitutional
News: 2018 Press Release
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — As a result of lawsuits filed by Republican Attorneys General, today a judge in Texas ruled that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones issued the following statement in response to Judge Reed O’Connor’s decision in Texas v. Azar regarding the Affordable Care Act:
“This ruling threatens access to health care for tens of millions of Americans who gained health coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act and means that more than 100 million Americans with pre-existing conditions are now at risk when it comes to buying their own health insurance coverage. The lawsuit brought by Republican Attorneys General to deprive Americans of life-saving health care has also successfully placed in jeopardy the protections for those with pre-existing conditions.
California will continue to fight in court to protect healthcare reform and the right of those with pre-existing conditions to get health coverage.
The judge decided, with the Republican Congress’ elimination of the tax penalty for failure to comply with the individual mandate, that the individual mandate is now unconstitutional. In an unwarranted overreach, the Texas judge ruled the entire Affordable Care Act unconstitutional, including premium subsidies and even those portions of the ACA, such as the expansion of Medicaid, that are completely unrelated to the individual insurance mandate.
In anticipation of Republican efforts to take health care away from Californians, the State of California has enacted many of the protections of the Affordable Care Act in California law, and, unlike the federal exchange, Covered California remains open for enrollment through January 15th. I encourage people to continue signing up for health insurance coverage in California. Any Californian with questions regarding the effect of the Texas ruling can contact the Department’s Consumer Services division at 1-800-927-4357.”
# # #
Media Note: In 2010, Congress enacted the Affordable Care Act, which brought new health insurance coverage to tens of millions of Americans and included a tax penalty associated with the mandate that individuals obtain insurance. Last year, the Republican Congress lowered the penalty amount down to zero, but left the mandate to purchase insurance in place.
The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $310 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011 the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $469 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance website at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4357. Teletypewriter (TTY), please dial 800-482-4833.