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HEADLINES: Trump Vows to “Terminate” Health Care for 20 Million Americans During Coronavirus Crisis as House and State AGs File SCOTUS Briefs Defending Health Care Law and Sound Alarm on Disastrous Lawsuit

Yesterday, the House of Representatives and a coalition of Democratic-led states filed briefs in the Supreme Court opposing the Trump-Republican lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act. To discuss the briefs filed yesterday, Protect Our Care held a national press call with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra in addition to calls in Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin which highlighted the severe consequences of this lawsuit. Coverage of the briefs and Protect Our Care’s activity detailed President Trump’s reckless desire to “terminate” the health care law and Democratic leaders nationwide spelling out the grave consequences of ripping coverage away from 20 million Americans during the coronavirus crisis.


San Francisco Chronicle: Democrats Slam GOP Effort to Have Supreme Court Halt Obamacare During Coronavirus Pandemic. “As the Supreme Court prepares to consider a Republican challenge to former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, leading Democrats said Wednesday that it is the wrong time to repeal health insurance coverage for 20 million Americans as the coronavirus pandemic spreads…pursuing this repeal while the nation is reeling from coronavirus is an act of ‘staggering cruelty and senselessness,’ House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, said in a telephonic news conference.” [San Francisco Chronicle, 5/6/20]

Bloomberg Law: Pandemic Shows Obamacare ‘Indispensable,’ Democrats Tell Justices. “Democrats are pointing to the coronavirus pandemic in an effort to persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to save Obamacare. In the high-stakes litigation that a group of Republican states led by Texas initiated to take down the law, the California-led coalition working to defend it kicked off its opening brief telling the high court that many of the Affordable Care Act’s reforms ‘have proven indispensable in the context of the current pandemic.’” [Bloomberg Law, 5/6/20]

Washington Post: Trump Vows Complete End of Obamacare Law Despite Pandemic. “‘We want to terminate health care under Obamacare,’ Trump told reporters Wednesday, the last day for his administration to change its position in a Supreme Court case challenging the law…Democrats, who view the fight over the Affordable Care Act as a winning election issue for them, denounced the president’s decision. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement that ‘the President’s insistence on doubling down on his senseless and cruel argument in court to destroy the ACA and every last one of its benefits and protections is unconscionable, particularly in the middle of a pandemic.’” [Washington Post, 5/6/20]

Vox: Trump Still Wants to Get Rid of the Affordable Care Act, Even as Covid-19 Rages. “Moments after signing a proclamation honoring National Nurses Day on Wednesday, and in the middle of a pandemic that has already claimed tens of thousands of American lives, President Donald Trump reaffirmed his support for throwing out the Affordable Care Act….it would also have consequences for the country’s future — potentially devastating ones regarding the country’s ability to combat the coronavirus pandemic, and interesting ones in this fall’s general election.” [Vox, 5/6/20]

CNN: Trump Says Administration Will Continue Legal Fight to Eliminate Obamacare. “President Donald Trump said Wednesday his administration will continue to push the Supreme Court to invalidate the Affordable Care Act, defying a last-minute request from Attorney General William Barr to modify the administration’s position…lawyers for the House of Representatives launched a broad defense of the Affordable Care Act, telling the Supreme Court that access to affordable health care is a ‘life-or-death matter for millions of Americans.’ In briefs filed Wednesday, the lawyers linked the law to Covid-19 and said it had become an ‘indispensable precondition to the social intercourse on which our security, welfare and liberty ultimately depend.’” [CNN, 5/6/20]

Vanity Fair: Trump Still Wants to Kill Obamacare, Pandemic Be Damned.President Donald Trump has long been opposed to the Affordable Care Act—and not even a global pandemic is going to change his mind. As his administration faced a Wednesday deadline to change their current position on the ACA’s fate before the question goes before the U.S. Supreme Court, Trump doubled down on his intention to see the health care law be abolished, even as others in his administration argue that’s not the smartest plan. ‘Obamacare is a disaster, but we’ve made it barely acceptable,’ Trump told reporters Wednesday. ‘What we want to do is terminate it and give great health care.’” [Vanity Fair, 5/7/20]

U.S. News & World Report: Trump Says Obamacare Must Go as U.S. Coronavirus Cases Climb Past 1.2 Million. “U.S. coronavirus cases surged past 1.2 million and the death toll topped 73,000 on Wednesday. But President Donald Trump also said Wednesday that he would renew efforts to end the Affordable Care Act, which many credit with opening access to health care amid the COVID-19 crisis. ‘We want to terminate health care under Obamacare,’ Trump told reporters. The government health insurance program was designed to expand coverage to include all Americans.” [U.S. News & World Report, 5/7/20]

Essence: Trump Continues To Push To Bring An End To Obamacare. “That means that the Trump administration is signaling its full support of the lawsuit against the healthcare law, which was filed by a group of Republican states, and is scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court in October. Meanwhile, lawyers for the Democratic-led House of Representatives have been working to defend the law, telling the Supreme Court that this is a “life-or-death matter for millions of Americans.” [Essence, 5/7/20

Courthouse News: House Urges Justices to Reject Challenge to Obamacare Tax Penalty. “In a press call after the brief was filed, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned against the Supreme Court striking down the ACA in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. The high court will hear oral arguments in the case during its next term that begins in October. Pelosi was joined by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and others who all warned ending the program could leave millions of sick Americans without health insurance at a time when the nation will be recovering from a virus-driven recession.” [Courthouse News Service, 5/6/20


Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI): “Perez and Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul Defended the ACA, Known as Obamacare.” “During the call, Perez and Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul defended the ACA, known as Obamacare…Kaul ended Wisconsin’s participation in lawsuits against Obamacare. Wisconsin previously fought Obamacare under former Gov. Scott Walker and former Attorney General Brad Schimel. ‘This is a suit that the state of Wisconsin never should have been a part of,’ Kaul said. ‘It’s a suit that should not succeed and it’s a suit frankly that no state should be a part of.’” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5/6/20]

Cedar Rapids Gazette (IA): Defending Obamacare, Iowa Democrats Attack Ernst. “Democratic Attorney General Tom Miller, who has joined attorneys general from 19 other states in briefs opposing the ACA challenge, said overturning Obamacare would be a ‘catastrophe’ for the 12 million Americans who would lose health care insurance through Medicaid expansion and the 9 million individuals who have insurance through the marketplaces or exchanges. ‘And most Americans would potentially be subject to the pre-existing condition exclusion that over time was like a cancer eating away at the health care system,’ he said on a call hosted by Progress Iowa.” [Cedar Rapids Gazette, 5/6/20]

WWLP (MA): Millions Could Lose Health Insurance If Affordable Care Act Is Ruled Unconstitutional. “The US Supreme Court received its final briefs Wednesday for yet another challenge to the Affordable Care Act. A group of state attorney general’s is hoping Obamacare will be ruled unconstitutional. Millions of Americans get their health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act.If the law is found unconstitutional, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says they’re all in jeopardy. ‘This is an act of cruelty on the part of the administration. A major disruption in the health and well being of the American people,’ Representative Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said.” [WWLP, 5/6/20]

Iowa Capital Dispatch: Iowa Joins 19 States in Brief Defending ACA in U.S. Supreme Court Case. “Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said Wednesday he hopes the COVID-19 pandemic will cause the Trump administration and others to reconsider their efforts to have the Affordable Care Act declared unconstitutional…Miller said that if the Trump administration succeeds in having the court strike down the ACA, it would be a ‘catastrophe’ for the people of Iowa. ‘Twelve million Americans would lose their health care insurance through Medicaid expansion,’ he said…‘if they are successful, the pre-existing exclusion would come back with a vengeance.’” [Iowa Capital Dispatch, 5/6/20]

Up North News (WI): Millions in Wisconsin Could Lose Healthcare If Supreme Court Backs Trump’s Effort to Repeal ACA. “Former Sen. Russ Feingold and California Sen. Kamala Harris warned Tuesday that more than 150,000 Wisconsinites could lose health care, and another 2.4 million could be disqualified due to pre-existing conditions if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the Affordable Care Act when it rules later this year on a President Trump-backed lawsuit…they warned of dire implications for millions of Americans who could lose insurance if the ACA is killed in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.” [Up North News, 5/6/20]

WLUC (MI): AG Nessel Joins Coalition of 20 States, District of Columbia in Defending the ACA in US Supreme Court. “Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel Wednesday joined a coalition of jurisdictions in filing a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court to defend the Affordable Care Act (ACA) against efforts by the Trump administration and the state of Texas to repeal the entire ACA, putting the health care of tens of millions of Americans at risk…this decision threatens health care coverage protections for 133 million Americans with pre-existing conditions, and would allow health insurance companies to deny individuals care or charge more based on their health status.” [WLUC, 5/6/20]