States look as if they’re fighting a “litigation ‘civil war’” over a number of issues related to the Affordable Care Act, a top benefits lawyer told a group of state insurance regulators Sunday.
The lawyer, Anthony Shelley, used that metaphor while giving the regulators a case update on Texas v. United States.
Shelley appeared in Boston at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners summer meeting, at a session organized by the NAIC’s Health Insurance and Managed Care Committee.
Shelley compared the Texas v. United States case with other cases in which states critical of the ACA have squared off against states that generally support the ACA.
Shelley suggested, for example, that the U.S. Department of Labor’s new association health plan regulations and the Trump administration’s new short-term medical insurance benefit period regulations could soon spark similar court battles, according to a slidedeck included in a meeting document packet. The packet is available on the Health Insurance and Managed Care Committee’s section of the NAIC’s website.
The Texas v. United States case poses a “serious and potentially mortal challenge to the ACA in the individual market,” Shelley said, according to the slidedeck.
“Did prior ACA rulings from the Supreme Court back the courts into a corner and now necessitate a holding of unconstitutionality?” Shelley asks.
Texas v. United States
One key provision in the ACA has required many individuals to have what the federal government classifies as solid major medical coverage, or “minimum essential coverage,” or else pay a penalty.
Supporters of the provision say that using a mandate to maximize the number of young, healthy people who pay for coverage is critical to holding the cost of coverage down.
Critics have argued that the provision is as unconstitutional as a mandate requiring U.S. residents to buy broccoli.