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Democratic states appeal Texas judge's ruling striking down Affordable Care Act

The battle over Obamacare has advanced to the next round.A coalition of 17 Democratic state attorneys...

Posted: Jan 4, 2019 4:41 AM
Updated: Jan 4, 2019 4:41 AM

The battle over Obamacare has advanced to the next round.

A coalition of 17 Democratic state attorneys general is appealing a Texas district judge's ruling that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional to the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals.

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"Our goal is simple: to stand up for the law of the land -- the Affordable Care Act -- in order to keep health care affordable and accessible for millions of Americans," California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who is leading the group, said Thursday. "This shouldn't be a debate."

The move comes a day after House Democrats signaled they intend to grant themselves authorization to intervene in the lawsuit as part of their rules package. A vote on the largely symbolic effort is expected soon.

Meanwhile, Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone of New Jersey announced Thursday that he will hold a hearing later this month on the impact of District Judge Reed O'Connor's ruling.

It will likely be many months before the appeals court issues a decision, and however it rules, the case is expected to end up in the Supreme Court.

O'Connor ruled last month that the sweeping health care law must fall because Congress had eliminated the individual mandate penalty by reducing it to $0 starting this year. This rendered the mandate itself unconstitutional and the rest of the act therefore cannot stand, O'Connor said. However, Obamacare remains in effect pending appeal, the judge clarified earlier this week.

The Democratic states have stepped up to defend the law because the Trump administration has declined to do so. They argue that the penalty was zeroed out, not eliminated, and that the mandate remains constitutional. In any event, they say, the rest of the law can stand without the mandate.

Also, the blue state officials stress that killing Obamacare would harm millions of Americans, including those with pre-existing conditions.

Becerra told reporters he hopes that more states will join the group now that four additional states have elected Democratic attorneys general.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds259141
DeSoto172418
Madison132635
Jones114049
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Yazoo5236
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Tippah13811
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Hancock13413
Webster12711
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Tunica1133
Jefferson1103
Prentiss1103
Greene1059
Amite1043
Wilkinson939
George913
Tishomingo891
Quitman811
Choctaw754
Alcorn742
Perry724
Stone692
Franklin452
Benton420
Sharkey370
Issaquena101
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 45263

Reported Deaths: 1007
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson5486155
Montgomery4246105
Mobile4219136
Tuscaloosa234644
Marshall177011
Madison15548
Lee143337
Shelby135724
Morgan11285
Walker98525
Baldwin9809
Elmore96215
Dallas9109
Franklin90216
Etowah79013
DeKalb7615
Chambers64327
Autauga63612
Butler63228
Tallapoosa60469
Russell5680
Unassigned52226
Limestone5181
Houston5106
Lauderdale5016
Lowndes47821
Cullman4705
Pike4525
Colbert4266
St. Clair4162
Escambia4118
Calhoun3875
Coffee3863
Covington3727
Bullock36810
Barbour3572
Talladega3237
Marengo31711
Hale31521
Dale3020
Jackson3022
Wilcox2948
Sumter28512
Clarke2836
Winston2663
Chilton2622
Blount2511
Monroe2412
Pickens2386
Marion23613
Conecuh2177
Randolph2169
Macon1999
Choctaw19712
Bibb1961
Greene1868
Perry1791
Henry1363
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