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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: 214869

Reported Deaths: 2836
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah41288617
Washington27471257
Marion24180329
Clackamas19603240
Lane14464171
Jackson12195151
Deschutes1035787
Umatilla918292
Linn607281
Yamhill496981
Klamath490279
Douglas423587
Polk421556
Josephine395874
Malheur365067
Benton338722
Jefferson245642
Coos226839
Columbia204732
Union159024
Lincoln151122
Wasco149831
Crook136824
Hood River124634
Morrow120317
Clatsop111810
Baker105717
Curry75512
Tillamook7285
Grant5577
Lake4848
Harney45111
Wallowa2086
Gilliam841
Sherman772
Wheeler351
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Reported Deaths: 64228
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San Bernardino3040755236
Riverside3040604657
San Diego2906253793
Orange2787205141
Santa Clara1217672099
Sacramento1128961770
Kern1123181417
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Alameda939531272
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San Joaquin760341446
Contra Costa74030830
Stanislaus650191085
Tulare50104854
Monterey44273524
San Mateo43880588
San Francisco38954561
Solano35193259
Santa Barbara35189465
Merced32814484
Sonoma31965328
Imperial28996745
Placer24530304
Kings23366248
San Luis Obispo21717264
Madera16885249
Santa Cruz16452207
Marin14589238
Yolo14574214
Butte12982203
Shasta12804242
El Dorado10774120
Napa1025281
Sutter9965115
Yuba681651
San Benito622963
Lassen586826
Tehama581566
Nevada518375
Humboldt489753
Mendocino457150
Tuolumne433473
Lake396364
Amador381648
Siskiyou252740
Glenn245727
Colusa233918
Calaveras227958
Del Norte15518
Inyo145338
Mono13125
Plumas7626
Modoc5737
Mariposa4857
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