Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford is joining attorneys general in 19 states in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to resolve judicial uncertainty surrounding the Affordable Care Act.
The Fifth Circuit’s ruling that the ACA’s individual mandate is unconstitutional “causes uncertainty that may harm the health of millions of Americans, as well as doctors, clinics, patients and the healthcare market,” Ford said in a statement.
The court remanded the case to District Court Judge Reed O’Connor to decide the severability issue — whether the law can stand without the individual mandate. O’Connor is the judge who ruled the individual mandate is unconstitutional.
“The actions of the lower courts have cast doubt on hundreds of other statutory provisions that together regulate a substantial portion of the Nation’s economy,” the attorneys general wrote in the writ asking the high court to hear the case. “States, health insurers, and millions of Americans rely on those provisions when making important—indeed, life-changing—decisions. The remand proceedings contemplated by the panel majority would only prolong and exacerbate the uncertainty already caused by this litigation.”
“With the future of the Affordable Care Act in jeopardy, the health care of hundreds of thousands of Nevadans hangs in the balance,” said Ford. “There may be long-term effects for 133 million Americans with pre-existing conditions, as well as seniors dependent on Medicare and children under the age of 26. My office will be using its legal tools to defend Nevadans’ right to affordable and accessible healthcare.”
In addition to Nevada, states represented in the action are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington and the District of Columbia.