CSAC Bulletin Article

Affordable Care Act Survives Third Supreme Court Battle

June 21, 2021

The United States Supreme Court tossed out the California v Texas case today, opining that the plaintiffs lacked standing to bring the suit on a 7-2 vote.

The justices did not rule on the merits of the case, but rather on whether the state of Texas, along with two individuals, were harmed by the continuation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) after Congress eliminated the individual mandate to purchase health care and associated penalties in 2017.

Justice Stephen G. Breyer, writing for the court, said neither the state of Texas nor the two men who joined the suit suffered a “concrete, particularized injury” that gave them standing to sue.

California challenged the Texas case, along with 18 other states. CSAC, along with Santa Clara County, led an amicus brief https://www.counties.org/sites/main/files/file-attachments/texas_v_us_amicus_brief.pdf?1554223157 in support of California’s argument that the ACA provides critical health and behavioral health care coverage and services to residents. For California’s counties, repeal of the ACA would mean one in three residents covered by Medi-Cal could lose health coverage or face substantial coverage limits, thereby reducing health outcomes and placing a financial strain on counties to provide medical care under Section 17000 of the state’s Welfare and Institutions Code. In addition, with more than a quarter of patients with serious mental illness relying on federal Medicaid program dollars, Medi-Cal expansion under the ACA has played a critical role in providing mental health services and substance abuse treatment to Californians, including people experiencing homelessness.

CSAC wishes to thank the County Counsels Association of California and Santa Clara County for leading the amicus brief effort highlighting the potential impacts of Texas v California on local governments.

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