Reaction to Texas v. Azar Court Case Decision

AHIP Issues Statement on Fifth Circuit Court Decision on TX v US

Matt Eyles, president and CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), issued this statement following the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals' decision in TX v US on the validity of the Affordable Care Act (ACA):

"Every American deserves affordable coverage and high-quality care. This has been - and always will be - our commitment.

"Since its passage in 2010, the ACA has improved the health care system by protecting patients with pre-existing conditions, delivering affordable coverage options in the individual and group markets, reducing the uninsured by expanding Medicaid, and lowering costs for seniors on Medicare. While coverage in the individual market needs to be made more affordable, it is clear that the zeroing out of the mandate has not destabilized the individual market. Today there are more choices at lower costs.

"We had hoped the appeals court would have ruled outright that the entire ACA is valid, rather than returning the case back to the district court. The district court's original decision to invalidate the entire ACA was misguided and wrong - and if the district court reaches the same conclusion as before, it will be misguided and wrong again.

"The good news is today's decision will not affect anyone's coverage or care for the foreseeable future. Patients will continue to be covered for the care they need. We will continue to engage throughout the legal process. Health insurance providers remain committed to continuing to serve all of their members, and to strengthening affordability, access and choices for every American."

AMA Statement on Texas v. United States

CHICAGO - The American Medical Association (AMA) released the following statement after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment striking down the individual mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and vacated the judgment invalidating the entire ACA, remanding the case to the district court for additional analysis on the question of whether the remaining provisions of the ACA remain valid.

"Today's decision leaves important health insurance protections shrouded in uncertainty despite overwhelming public support for these policies," said AMA President Patrice A. Harris, M.D., M.A. "The decision underscores that the district court's initial ruling striking down the entire ACA was made without appropriate analysis, ignoring the extensive reach of the law and its many provisions that have no relationship to the individual mandate. The AMA will continue our efforts to preserve health insurance coverage and patient protections that the ACA extended to millions of Americans, and will work to ensure the district court understands the extensive scope of the ACA's many provisions that are unrelated to the individual mandate."

"In the meantime, the benefits and protections enacted in the ACA are still in place and the AMA encourages uninsured individuals and families in the handful of states where enrollment is still open to seek health insurance coverage offered by the ACA marketplaces."

Alexander Statement on Texas v. Azar Court Case Decision

United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate health committee, today released the following statement on the Texas v. Azar court case:

"Congress eliminated the individual mandate penalty, and the court has finished the job by ruling the individual mandate itself is unconstitutional.

"As for the rest of Obamacare, I am not aware of a single senator who said they were voting to repeal Obamacare when they voted to eliminate the individual mandate penalty.

"I thought the Justice Department's argument in the case was far-fetched."