Oregon Joins States Fighting in Favor of Affordable Care Act

After the Justice Department decided not to defend the Affordable Care Act in court, states have banded together to fight a Texas lawsuit.

Posted: Jun 20, 2018 4:21 PM
Updated: Jun 20, 2018 4:29 PM

SALEM, Ore. — Oregon will join a list of other states fighting in favor of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a statement from Governor Brown's office. The move comes after the Trump Administration's Justice Department made the unusual decision not to defend the ACA (still federal law) in court.

A total of 16 states are suing to defend the ACA in spite of the Justice Department's abandonment of the issue.

"We are gravely concerned by the U.S. Department of Justice’s refusal to defend the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act’s guarantee of health coverage for Americans with pre-existing conditions," said the governors in a letter to Attorney General Sessions.

The ACA has been in a tenuous position since Congress passed the Republican tax cut package in December. While Republicans were repeatedly unsuccessful in repealing the ACA outright, and were unable to pass a replacement health care bill, they did manage to strike a potential death blow to the ACA buried within the tax cuts.


CLICK HERE for more background on the case, and how Oregon's Attorney General decided to weigh in.


The "individual mandate" portion of the ACA—which required all Americans to hold health insurance of some kind—was backed up by a tax penalty for Americans who could not provide proof of insurance. Within the Republican tax cut was an elimination of those penalties—rendering the individual mandate hollow and, according to the Trump Justice Department, unconstitutional.

Texas led a coalition of 19 states in filing the original lawsuit against the federal government, arguing that the individual mandate is unconstitutional. With the Justice Department vacating their usual role as defenders of federal law, that defense has fallen to the opposition raised by Oregon and other pro-ACA state governors.

According to the pro-ACA group, it is the largely popular benefits provided by the ACA that are on the line in this case.

"All families deserve access to affordable, comprehensive health coverage. That’s why the American public has overwhelmingly rejected efforts in Congress to return to a time when people would face higher rates, limited benefits, or denials of coverage simply for having widespread health conditions," said the governors.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 135142

Reported Deaths: 1832
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah28678460
Washington18867175
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Clackamas11789138
Lane8467110
Jackson700485
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Yamhill322846
Malheur316453
Linn314949
Polk249240
Klamath246944
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Jefferson171225
Douglas170943
Union112516
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Lincoln100417
Hood River96121
Coos95215
Morrow94510
Clatsop6925
Crook62911
Baker5765
Tillamook3692
Curry3235
Lake2365
Grant2131
Harney1784
Wallowa973
Gilliam511
Sherman470
Wheeler201
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Kern87240572
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Sonoma24184242
Kings19588148
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Marin11732159
Yolo10789138
Shasta9750123
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Tehama433244
Tuolumne340340
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Amador302431
Lake262531
Humboldt242725
Glenn194820
Colusa17969
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Mono11244
Inyo98329
Del Norte8672
Plumas5895
Modoc3853
Mariposa3464
Trinity3044
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