House Resolution No. 78.
A resolution to urge the United States Department of Justice to reverse its position affirming the federal court decision to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act as unconstitutional.
Whereas, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 led to a historic rise in health insurance coverage with nearly 20 million Americans gaining coverage. The ACA allows states to expand Medicaid, removes the lifetime and annual caps on health insurance coverage, and protects essential health insurance benefits, including for individuals with pre-existing medical conditions; and
Whereas, On December 14, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas struck down the entire ACA in Texas v. United States, ruling that the minimum essential coverage requirements of the ACA render the entire law unconstitutional; and
Whereas, On March 25, 2019, the Department of Justice announced, in a reversal of its earlier position, that the decision by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas should be upheld, invalidating the entire ACA. Previously, then Attorney General Jefferson Sessions sent a letter to Congress on June 7, 2018 announcing that the Department of Justice would not defend the constitutionality of the minimum essential coverage requirements of the ACA but that the provision is "severable from the remaining provisions of the ACA"; and
Whereas, Tens of thousands of Michigan residents have gained health insurance coverage since Michigan expanded Medicaid. Signed into law in 2013, Michigan’s Medicaid Expansion program, the Healthy Michigan Plan, now provides health insurance coverage to more than 657,000 Michigan residents. Between 2013 and 2017, the number of uninsured children decreased by more than 40,000, and the number of uninsured non-elderly adults was cut in half, dropping from 16 percent to 7 percent. Coverage gains have provided the most benefit to low-income Michigan residents; and
Whereas, The passage of the ACA has also been beneficial for health care providers and the health care system. From 2013 to 2015, Michigan hospitals saw a decline of over 40 percent in uncompensated care. Hospitals with above average rates of uncompensated care prior to the ACA saw the most benefit. Declines in uncompensated care were significantly more in Michigan than in states that did not expand Medicaid; and
Whereas, Repealing the ACA would reverse the countless strides gained by the state of Michigan, potentially leaving thousands of Michigan residents uninsured. The impact would be most detrimental to some of Michigan’s most vulnerable residents, including low-income individuals and those with pre-existing medical conditions; and
Whereas, The state of Michigan has expressed its strong interest in protecting the ACA by filing a motion to intervene in Texas v. United States and joining a coalition of 20 states also fighting to ensure that their citizens continue to have access to quality, affordable health care; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the House of Representatives, That we urge the United States Department of Justice to reverse its position affirming the federal court decision to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act as unconstitutional and protect the thousands of citizens in Michigan and millions throughout the United States who have gained health insurance coverage since 2013; and be it further
Resolved, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the Attorney General of the United States.