The House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee today held a hearing to examine how a recent federal court ruling on the Affordable Care Act could impact Americans with preexisting conditions if upheld on appeal.
 
U.S. District Court Judge Reed O'Connor in December ruled the entire ACA unconstitutional because Congress repealed the tax penalty enforcing the law's individual mandate. Seventeen Democratic attorneys general have appealed the ruling. The AHA and other national groups urged the district court to reject the ACA challenge and will urge the court of appeals to reject the challenge.
 
At today’s hearing, witnesses from the USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy, American Enterprise Institute, Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity, and a constitutional lawyer discussed potential impacts of the lawsuit; and a representative from Little Lobbyists expressed concerns the lawsuit could eliminate protections for children with preexisting conditions.
 
In opening remarks, subcommittee chairwoman Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., said the panel next week will hold a hearing on legislative proposals to reverse the administration’s expansion of short-term limited duration insurance plans and guidance on 1332 waivers, and restore outreach and enrollment funding.
 
The House Education and Labor Committee also held a hearing today examining threats to workers with preexisting conditions, which focused on the potential impact of the ACA lawsuit and recent administrative actions on employer-based coverage.
 

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Elrod at the end called the appeal a “very complex case,” and so predictions are even harder than usual. There is no deadline for the court’s decision.