House Democrats, led by Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi (D-California), are prepared to intervene in a lawsuit to save the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.
Pelosi spokesman Henry Connelly said Wednesday that a vote to intervene will be held next week, in part, to turn up the heat on Republicans in Congress on the matter of protecting individuals with pre-existing conditions.
“After two years of brutal attacks on health care and desperate GOP misrepresentations on the campaign trail, we’re not giving Republicans anywhere to hide,” Connelly said. “Republicans who survived the election on their tardy promises to protect pre-existing conditions will have to explain why they have once again been complicit in trying to strike down those life-saving protections.”
Pelosi previewed what would happen in early December, when she responded to U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor‘s ruling that Obamacare should be struck down as unconstitutional, in light of the elimination of the penalty once tied to the individual mandate.
President Donald Trump‘s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 got rid of the penalty, which the U.S. Supreme Court previously declared a “tax,” and therefore legal. The Justice Department then did an about-face from the Obama administration’s position, and agreed with the plaintiffs’ position that by removing the “tax,” the mandate was no longer connected to any Congressional authority and was therefore unconstitutional.
Judge O’Connor agreed, siding with the plaintiffs most of them states. Those states (and other plaintiffs) were: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Gov. Paul LePage (R-Maine), Neill Hurley and John Nantz.
Pelosi called the ruling “absurd” at the time, and she is now looking to get involved in the appeal of that decision.
“Tonight’s absurd ruling exposes the monstrous endgame of the GOP’s all-out assault on people w/ pre-existing conditions & the ACA. When @HouseDemocrats take the gavel, the House will swiftly intervene in the appeals process to #ProtectOurCare!” she said.
Judge O’Connor has decided to keep Obamacare in place as his ruling is appealed.
[Image via Zach Gibson/Getty Images]
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