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House Votes to Adopt ACA Lawsuit Rule

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U.S. House members today voted 235-192 to adopt a proposed rule that will let the new Democratic House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, go to court to defend the Affordable Care Act.

House Democrats put the ACA litigation authorization provision in Title III of House Resolution 6.

House Resolution 6 is a three-title measure that establishes the guidelines Democrats plan to use to run the House while the 116th Congress is in session. The 116th Congress came to life Jan. 3.

(Related: Democrats Aim to Put ACA in the New House Rules)

All 232 of the Democrats who participated voted for the provision. Republican House members voted 192-3 against the provision.

House members last week voted 234-197 to adopt Title I of House Resolution 6, and 418-12 to adopt Title II of House Resolution 6.

House Republicans today said during debate on the House floor that Title I of House Resolution 6 already includes another provision that authorizes Pelosi to intervene in ACA litigation.

“The speaker does not need to be given this authority again,” Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, said.

Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., called the ACA litigation measure “a waste of time, paper and ink.”

Many Democrats have said that they support a pure, government-run, single-payer health care system, and the most interesting question is where the Democrats’ single-payer health care bill is, Walden said.

House Democrats said they need to intervene in ACA litigation to protect provisions ordinary Americans like.

If the courts gutted the ACA in rulings on the Texas v. United States suit, “women may once again face buying insurance that doesn’t cover maternity care,” Rep. Donna Shalala, D-Fla., said. “Our bipartisan efforts to phase out the Medicare [Part D] doughnut hole could come to an end.”

Burgess argued that House Democrats’ defense of ACA provisions such as the ACA restrictions on medical underwriting is a facade meant to obscure their efforts to protect the ACA individual mandate provision.

The ACA individual mandate provision, or “individual shared responsibility” provision, requires many people to own a minimum amount of major medical coverage or else pay a penalty. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 set the penalty for 2019 and later years at zero.

Resources makes a variety of House Resolution 6 resources available here.

— Read House Passes Medicaid Home Care Extender Bill, on ThinkAdvisor.

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