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Attorney General Beshear says Texas judge’s ruling on ACA stayed until appeal is heard

Attorney General Andy Beshear announced Monday that the U.S. District Judge in Texas who declared the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional has stayed his order, pending an appeal of the ruling to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

When the judge announced his ruling earlier this month, Beshear said Kentuckians would be harmed by the decision in 10 ways:

Andy Beshear

– No mandatory coverage for preexisting conditions, which Beshear says would affect about half of Kentuckians under the age of 65.

– The ruling would wipe out Medicaid expansion entirely, which has provided coverage to more than 500,000 Kentuckians.

— Children under the age of 26 would not be able to remain on their parents’ insurance plans. 

– Seniors would have to pay more for prescription drugs. The ACA closed the so-called “donut hole” or coverage gap in Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage over time.

– Women would once again be charged more than men. The ACA eliminated gender discrimination in health care.

– Guaranteed pregnancy coverage would be eliminated.

– Substance Use Disorder Treatment would no longer be a required benefit.

– Rural hospitals would suffer. Studies have repeatedly shown that rural hospitals are more likely to close in states that have not expanded Medicaid.

– Children would lose access to no-cost immunizations and well-child visits. 

– Older Kentuckians would be charged vastly more than younger ones. The ACA guarantees that older Kentuckians can never be charged more than three times as much as younger ones for health insurance.

Following the judge’s original ruling, Beshear told reporters, “Because of the harms, we must challenge, we must fight the ruling. Lives hang in the balance.”

Reacting to the judge halting implementation of his earlier ruling pending the appeal, Beshear said, “We were able to secure a stay on the Texas ruling that threatens the health coverage of over 1.3 million Kentuckians. This is an important win that means our families can continue getting vital medical care while we work to overturn the Texas ruling.”

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court Appeals is the next step on decisions made by federal district judges in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Kentucky Today

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