Attorney General Andy Beshear is fighting a request for a temporary injunction filed this week by a group of states seeking to halt the nation’s health care system while an ongoing lawsuit on the issue plays out in federal court.
Beshear and a group of state attorneys general are intervening in the lawsuit – Texas et al. v. United States et al. – that claims the ACA is unconstitutional because the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated the ACA’s penalty for failing to purchase health insurance – known as the individual mandate.
The lawsuit, filed in a Texas federal court in late February by 18 state attorneys general and two governors, seeks to invalidate the entire ACA on this basis.
If successful, Texas’ preliminary injunction filed June 7 would harm millions of Americans by:
Stopping Medicaid expansion;
Ending tax credits that help working families afford insurance;
Allowing insurance companies to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions;
Taking away seniors’ prescription drug discounts; and
Stripping funding from the nation’s public health system, including work to combat the opioid epidemic.
“Kentucky stands to lose a projected $49.7 billion in federal funding for our expanded Medicaid and subsidies for those on the individual market if this lawsuit moves forward,” Beshear said. “Hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians are at risk of losing their health care coverage, many of whom have coverage for the first time.”
The $49.7 billion is estimated to be lost from 2019-2028.
Beshear said a major provision of the ACA allows significant and critical assistance for drug treatment, providing coverage to an additional 2.8 million Americans suffering from addiction. It requires both private plans and Medicaid to cover certain drug treatment.
“At a time when the opioid crisis is tearing our families apart, this injunction seeks to halt tens of millions of dollars for treatment and recovery that are used to help our friends, family and neighbors who have fallen into addiction,” Beshear said. “This funding is essential in our ongoing fight against addiction.”
Beshear views Kentucky’s drug epidemic as the single greatest challenge facing the state that is still recovering from the flood of addictive pain pills and now faces a surge in drugs like heroin, fentanyl and carfentanil.
Beshear is joined by attorneys general in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia.
The parties seeking to dismantle the ACA include attorneys general in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and governors of Maine and Mississippi.