WASHINGTON – Ahead oral arguments in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Texas v. United States, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, on Tuesday authored an op-ed in the Hartford Courant outlining what’s at stake for the 522,000 residents in Connecticut and over 130 million Americans with pre-existing health conditions if the Affordable Care Act were overturned.
Last year, 18 Republican state attorneys general, led by Texas, sued the federal government arguing that the ACA is unconstitutional. The Trump administration took the unprecedented step to side with the partisan lawsuit. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will begin oral arguments today.
Excerpts from the op-ed are below an can be viewed here.
“Today in a federal courthouse in Louisiana, the Trump administration will argue that protections for over 522,000 people in Connecticut with pre-existing conditions should be invalidated immediately,” Murphy wrote.
“Upon taking office, President Trump and his allies in Congress pushed for a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act. They came close, but thanks to grassroots activism from people across the country and a few brave Republicans, the repeal effort ultimately failed. Unfortunately, that didn’t stop President Trump; he just shifted his efforts to the courts and executive actions to sabotage our health care system and weaken the protections established by the ACA.”
“The Trump administration’s support for the lawsuit, brought by a handful of Republican states, to overturn the ACA in its entirety is its most aggressive and dangerous move yet, and it’s one that would put care for hundreds of thousands of Connecticut families in jeopardy,” Murphy continued.
“Let’s be clear about the consequences of invalidating the entire ACA: It would be a humanitarian catastrophe.”
“Protections for people with pre-existing conditions that keep insurance companies from denying them care or charging them more? Gone. Requiring insurance companies to let young adults stay on their parents’ plans until age 26? Gone. Health insurance for the 231,000 people who are covered under Medicaid expansion in Connecticut? Gone.”
“The people who I hear from are afraid, and, frankly, they have every right to be. There are 130 million Americans living with pre-existing conditions. If the Trump administration gets its way, many of them will be denied the life-saving care they depend on,” Murphy added.
“It doesn’t have to be this way. There is no denying that we can improve the ACA and strengthen its protections. But throwing it out with no plan for a replacement is cruel and illogical.”
“Today in court, the Trump administration will argue that these fundamental protections should be overturned. And we cannot let them get away with it.”
Read the full op-ed here.