U.S. Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut says that congressional Democrats plan to respond to a federal judge’s ruling that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.
Murphy said he believes the judge’s ruling will likely be overturned on appeal because Republicans were only able to muster the votes in Congress to get rid of the individual mandate of the ACA.
“That same Congress chose to keep in place all the other provisions of the Affordable Care Act – the subsidies, the tax credits, the protections for people with pre-existing conditions. So this judge is simply inventing a congressional intent that the plain face of legislative history contradicts.”
In the meantime, Murphy said Senate Democrats are working with House Democrats to get their Republican colleagues on the record as to whether they support getting rid of coverage for pre-existing conditions.
“America needs to know whether Senate Republicans stand with this judge and are willing to be complicit in 20 million people losing healthcare, or whether they are going to fight it. And again there is really no middle ground.”
In January Democratic Congressman Frank Pallone of New Jersey will chair the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He said the bill will come out of his committee, which has oversight over the ACA.
“As Senator Murphy says, we also intend to move legislation like the Stabilization Act that would guarantee coverage, nondiscrimination for pre-existing conditions.”
Murphy and Pallone were speaking to reporters on a conference call organized by Protect Our Care, a Washington, D.C.-based health care advocacy group that’s fighting Republican efforts to repeal the ACA.