Michigan AG files motion to defend Affordable Care Act in federal lawsuit

Posted at 8:41 AM, Feb 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-01 10:15:23-05

LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — Michigan Attorney General has filed a motion to intervene and defend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in a federal lawsuit. The announcement came Friday morning, and said the motion was supported by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Nessel joined two other newly-elected attorneys general, Philip Weiser from Colorado and Aaron Ford from Iowa, as well as Iowa Attorney General Thomas Miller.

The goal, according to Nessel, is to get the court's permission to join 16 other states and the District of Columbia that have already opposed the decision from a Texas federal court that said the ACA was unconstitutional.

“The Affordable Care Act provides important protections – including protecting people with pre-existing conditions – and access to health care for hundreds of thousands of residents in Michigan,” Nessel said in a news release, on behalf of the governor and the state. “We have a strong interest in ensuring that the strongest possible arguments are presented in support of the ACA.”

“Health care for hundreds of thousands of Michiganders is on the line," Whitmer added. “If this decision is upheld, it will make it harder for families across the state to get the care they need. That’s why Attorney General Nessel and I are stepping up to defend the ACA on behalf of the State of Michigan. As governor I will never stop fighting to ensure everyone in Michigan has access to quality, affordable health care.”

In the filing, Michigan and the three other states "seek to defend the ACA to protect their existing healthcare infrastructure and the orderly operation of their healthcare systems, which would be thrown in disarray if the ACA were ruled unconstitutional."

In December, a federal judge in Texas struck down the ACA, saying the individual coverage mandate is unconstitutional and that the rest of the law must also fall.

"The Court ... declares the Individual Mandate ... unconstitutional," District Judge Reed O'Connor wrote in his decision. "Further, the Court declares the remaining provisions of the ACA ... are inseverable and therefore invalid."