States prepare for the ACA to be invalidated

While a panel of federal judges deliberates on the constitutionality of the ACA, many states are bracing themselves for the fallout if the healthcare law is overturned, The Wall Street Journal reports. 

A panel of three judges in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the case July 9. A decision is expected as soon as this month. If the judges rule the law unconstitutional, the Trump administration has indicated it will seek a stay of enforcement, temporarily delaying potential changes. In this case, the decision will likely be appealed and sent to the Supreme Court, pushing any potential changes into 2020. HHS Secretary Alex Azar confirmed that a ruling would be stayed with The Wall Street Journal. "Our message is to keep calm and carry on," he said, according to the report.

Nonetheless, due to legislative timelines, many states are already lining up contingency plans, according to the report. At least 11 states, including Louisiana, Indiana and Texas, have already passed laws to improve protections for people with preexisting conditions, The Wall Street Journal reports. This includes mandates for coverage and high-risk pools, which pay insurers subsidies for covering people with costly medical conditions.

Colorado is creating a state-based public option for people who currently buy individual plans on the ACA's exchanges. And Nevada is planning a patient-protection commission, which would advise the state on how to protect coverage if needed, according to the report.

Read the full story here

 

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