The Journal Gazette
Saturday, July 28, 2018 1:00 am

8 groups press state: Quit suit on health law

NIKI KELLY | The Journal Gazette

INDIANAPOLIS – A health care coalition of eight advocacy groups called on Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill on Friday to withdraw Indiana from a federal lawsuit that aims to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

Kate Shepherd, spokeswoman for Protect Our Care Indiana, said not just those who get insurance through the market place would be impacted. About 2.7 million Hoosiers have pre-existing conditions and would lose protections.

“It has helped millions of Hoosiers access care and live healthier lives,” she said.

Hill signed Indiana onto the lawsuit in February, joining with 19 other states. The Trump administration said in June that it would not defend the ACA against this legal challenge, making the threat very real.

The group dropped off petitions with hundreds of signatures outside Hill's office Friday. 

The event came on the one-year anniversary of the Republican failure in Congress to repeal the ACA. Since then, Republican efforts have continued. The Texas lawsuit is part of the yearslong attack on the landmark legislation.

Hill issued the following statement Friday: “Along with 19 other states, we have opposed the Affordable Care Act because it is unconstitutional. In NFIB v. Sebelius, the U.S. Supreme Court narrowly upheld the core provision of the ACA – the individual mandate – as a 'tax.' However, Congress later repealed this tax while leaving the mandate in place. As a result, the foundation on which the Supreme Court built its justification for Obamacare's constitutionality ceased to exist.

“I hope to see the emergence of sound policies that constitutionally safeguard the healthcare needs of all Americans, including those with pre-existing conditions.

“I support efforts to this end by Governor Holcomb and the General Assembly here in Indiana, and I support such efforts by Congress and the Trump administration on the national level.” 

Rob Stone, a doctor in Bloomington and the director of Hoosiers for a Commonsense Health Plan, said he worked in emergency rooms for 28 years and only recently has seen improvement under the ACA.

That's because people have insurance and aren't waiting until the last minute to get care.

Fran Quigley, director of the Health and Human Rights Clinic at Indiana University McKinney School of Law and coordinator of People of Faith for Access to Medicines, said the attorney general should be fighting for Hoosiers – not using the office and taxpayer resources to hurt them.

“Causing Hoosiers with pre-existing conditions to lose health insurance coverage will take away rights, freedoms, and make unsafe the lives of millions of Hoosiers,” he said.

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