Neal accuses GOP of wanting to strip health coverage from millions as Obamacare court case begins
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal, D-Massachusetts, warned Tuesday of the damage that would be done by overturning Obamacare, just hours before oral arguments were to set to begin in a court case that could undo the Affordable Care Act.
A panel of federal judges in New Orleans is taking up the future of Obamacare, hearing from states that argue it is unconstitutional, as well as Justice Department lawyers directed by President Donald Trump.
The House of Representatives and a group of Democratic-led states led by are defending the ACA, saying it “transformed the nation’s health care system,” giving more than 20 million Americans access to affordable coverage.
Neal charged that Republicans are continuing “their relentless effort to dismantle our nation’s healthcare system and strip coverage from millions of Americans.”
“The Trump Administration’s position in the case is clear – they’re siding with Republican leaders from across the country who want to eliminate protections for 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions; reinstate insurance companies’ lifetime caps on coverage; raise prescription costs for nearly 12 million seniors; and get rid of the Medicaid expansion that helped 17 million Americans gain coverage,” Neal said in a statement. "While the GOP continues its reckless attack, Democrats are fighting hard to protect Americans’ care and bring down costs.”
Oral arguments begin Tuesday afternoon in Texas v. United States, which is being heard before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in New Orleans.
If Obamacare is overturned, the Kaiser Family Foundation has predicted that “tens of millions of people would lose health coverage or insurance protections immediately.”
According to the Kaiser foundation, if the ACA is completely overturned it will mean an end to:
- Expanded Medicaid
- Pre-existing condition protections
- Premium subsidies
- Coverage up to age 26
- Guaranteed preventive care
“Republicans and the Trump administration are behind the ACA lawsuit, and they would own the chaos and loss of coverage that would ensue if it succeeds,” tweeted Larry Levitt, executive vice president for health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The three judges who will hear the appeal are Kurt Engelhardt, who was nominated by President Donald Trump; Jennifer Elrod, who was chosen by President George W. Bush; and, Carolyn King, a nominee selected by President Jimmy Carter.