WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education Labor & Pensions, released the following statement in response to the Trump Administration announcing that it will now no longer defend any part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including Nevada’s Medicaid expansion and protections for 1.2 million Nevadans with pre-existing conditions. The Justice Department had previously argued to keep the law mostly intact, with the exception of striking down the law’s protection of pre-existing conditions.
“This latest decision by the Department of Justice is a new low that will spell out serious consequences for millions of Americans who rely on our health care law for guaranteed access to coverage,” said Senator Rosen. “We cannot allow the Trump Administration to invalidate our nation’s health care law. This dangerous decision goes above and beyond stripping coverage protections for those with pre-existing conditions and could gut ACA’s Medicaid expansion along with tax credits that allow hundreds of thousands of Nevadans to have access to affordable coverage. While the Administration continues to take every possible avenue to undermine our nation’s health care system, I’m fighting each day to protect access to care for Nevada’s hardworking families.”
BACKGROUND: Earlier this month, Rosen helped introduce Senator Mazie Hirono’s (D-HI) Resolution to Defend the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Resolution is a sense of the Senate that the Justice Department should reverse its policy of refusing to defend the constitutionality of the ACA, including the law’s coverage protections for those with pre-existing conditions, in Texas vs. United States. Rosen and her colleagues filed the resolution following the Senate’s confirmation of William Barr as attorney general.
One of the first actions Rosen took as Senator was introducing a resolution with Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) to defend protections for those with pre-existing conditions. Rosen’s Senate resolution would authorize the Senate Legal Counsel to intervene in Texas vs. United States – a pending lawsuit in federal court, on behalf of the U.S. Senate, in order to defend the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act’s coverage protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Last Congress, Rosen led this same legislation when she was in the House. Earlier this year, the House passed legislation that included core provisions from Rosen’s resolution to defend the constitutionality of the ACA and its pre-existing conditions protections. In the House, Rosen’s resolution was co-sponsored by the Ranking Members of all House committees of jurisdiction in addition to Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer. The resolution had nearly 190 co-sponsors by the end of the 115th Congress. According to the Center for American Progress, 1.2 million Nevadans have a pre-existing condition.