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Health

NC Attorney General, Others Ask Court To Clarify ACA Ruling

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JOSH STEIN
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Seventeen Democratic Attorneys General, including North Carolina’s Josh Stein, are asking the court to clarify last week’s ruling declaring the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional.

The decision came last Friday during the end of the health insurance sign up period. A judge in Texas agreed with 18 Republican attorneys general and two governors who claimed without the individual mandate, a key part of the law which is the tax on people who don’t buy health insurance, that the whole law is unconstitutional.

A part of the 2017 tax reform law was to remove this mandate. The ruling is causing confusion around the country about whether the law will continue to be enforceable next year.

Meanwhile, millions have signed up for health insurance through state and federal exchanges. The filing by Stein and others says eliminating the ACA would cause a big increase in the uninsured population.

“Thousands of North Carolinians rely on the Affordable Care Act for their health insurance,” Stein said. “Threats to this life-saving law put their health at risk. I will continue this fight in the courts for North Carolinians' access to healthcare.”

That could mean increasing the cost of care people can’t pay for by $1 trillion over the next decade. The filing says it would cause huge stress on government budgets, financial markets, doctors and consumers.

The attorneys general’s motion asks the court to “confirm that [its decision] does not change the status quo.” They’re asking the court to grant a stay that requires all governmental entities to continue implementing the ACA or to certify the judge’s decision so it can be appealed immediately.