Gov. Beshear, Other States Fighting to Protect Access to Health Care Coverage before U.S. Supreme Court

Coalition of 20 states will defend ACA in U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 9, 2020) – Gov. Andy Beshear is among the leaders in a coalition of 20 states that are defending the Affordable Care Act (ACA) ahead of a Tuesday U.S. Supreme Court hearing that could decide the fate of coverage for those with preexisting medical conditions, Medicaid expansion and other key pieces of our health care system.

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments remotely in the health care repeal case, California v. Texas at 10 a.m. EST Tuesday, Nov. 10.

Gov. Beshear is fighting to protect health care, including maintaining coverage for nearly 1.8 million Kentuckians with preexisting medical conditions, like cancer and pregnancy, as well as chronic health conditions, like heart disease, asthma and diabetes.

“I believe health care is a basic human right and want to ensure every Kentuckian has access to quality, affordable care,” Gov. Beshear said. “Eliminating coverage and protections at the height of this pandemic, which has hospitalized almost 8,000 Kentuckians, could be devastating for these families and our health care system. We have to ensure the more than 100,000 Kentuckians who have contracted COVID and all Kentuckians receive the care they deserve and are not a diagnosis away from financial ruin.”

If the ACA were overturned, Kentuckians and tens of millions of Americans would be harmed, with the following at stake:

  • Health care for the 20 million Americans who are able to afford insurance either through Medicaid expansion or thanks to tax credits and employer-sponsored plans through health care exchanges;
  • Guaranteed coverage for the 133 million Americans who have preexisting health conditions, including 17 million children, and benefit from the law’s protection against discrimination and higher costs based on health status;
  • Families of children with chronic health conditions who are currently protected from lifetime insurance limits;
  • The fight against the opioid epidemic;
  • Coverage for those under the age of 26 to remain on their parents’ insurance;
  • Affordable prescription drugs for seniors; and,
  • Guaranteed pregnancy coverage.

As attorney general, Gov. Beshear became involved in the case and is now continuing to lead the state’s efforts to preserve access to affordable health care.

Background: In 2018, a Texas-led coalition, supported by the Trump Administration filed Texas v. U.S., arguing that Congress rendered the ACA’s individual mandate unconstitutional when it reduced the penalty to $0 and that the rest of the ACA should be held invalid because of that change. The coalition of states that included then-Attorney General Beshear defended the ACA. The Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that the individual mandate is unconstitutional, but declined to further rule on the validity of the ACA’s remaining provisions. The court instead sent the case back to the Northern District of Texas to determine which provisions of the 900-page law are still valid. In January, Gov. Beshear’s coalition filed a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court seeking review of the Fifth Circuit’s decision. The Supreme Court granted review of California v. Texas in March.

The coalition includes the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota (by and through its Department of Commerce), Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia, as well as the Governor of Kentucky.