Oral arguments begin for lawsuit to undo ACA: 5 things to know

Oral arguments begin Sept. 5 in Texas v. United States, the latest lawsuit that seeks to end the ACA.

Here are five things to know about the lawsuit.  

1. Twenty states filed the lawsuit against the federal government Feb. 26 in the U.S. District Court of Northern Texas. The lawsuit is led by Texas and Wisconsin. The other states involved are Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia.

2. The lawsuit claims the ACA became unconstitutional when President Donald Trump passed the tax law in December that eliminated the penalty for violating the ACA's individual mandate to have health insurance. In a 2012 lawsuit against the ACA, the Supreme Court ruled the individual mandate penalty was a tax. Now that the "tax" has been eliminated, but the mandate still stands, the plaintiffs argue the mandate is unconstitutional. The lawsuit also argues the mandate is not severable from the rest of the law, and therefore the entire ACA is unconstitutional.

3. The Department of Justice said in June it would not defend the ACA in court. It is unusual for the DOJ to decline defending federal law, but not unheard of: The Obama administration chose not to defend the federal ban on same-sex marriage.

4. Several medical associations have filed briefs opposing the lawsuit, noting it would "wreak havoc on American healthcare," according to a report from AJMC. The associations include the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Another brief was filed by the American Cancer Society, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, and National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

5. District Judge Reed O'Connor will hear the case. Mr. O'Connor is known for blocking an Obama-era rule allowing transgender students in public schools to use the restroom of their choice.

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