Today, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed two challenges to the Affordable Care Act. This decision is another victory for the Affordable Care Act and the tens of millions of Americans already benefiting from this landmark law, including parents with a child with a preexisting condition, women getting mammograms with no out of pocket cost, seniors saving thousands of dollars on their prescription drugs and young adults now getting covered on their parent’s plan. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, when fully implemented, insurance companies will never be able to deny millions of Americans coverage for a pre-existing condition, never drop them if they get sick, and never bill them into bankruptcy because of an illness or injury.
Today’s decision marks the second victory for health reform in a federal appeals court. Previously, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals found the Affordable Care Act constitutional.
In today’s ruling, the 4th Circuit determined that lawsuits filed by Liberty University and the Virginia Attorney General must be dismissed for jurisdictional reasons. Importantly, two judges -- Judge Davis and Judge Wynn – wrote that if the lawsuits were not dismissed, they would rule in favor of the Affordable Care Act. Judge Wynn wrote:
...I would uphold the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act…
And Judge Davis wrote:
Reaching the merits, I would hold that the challenged provisions of the Act are a proper exercise of Congress’s authority under the Commerce Clause to regulate the interstate markets for health services and health insurance.
In the weeks ahead, the legal process regarding the Affordable Care Act will continue. When it ends, we are confident we will prevail.
Stephanie Cutter is Assistant to the President and Deputy Senior Advisor