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Delaware's budget could be hit by ACA lawsuit ruling

Department of Health and Human Services

A lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act could have big consequences for people in Delaware.

A three-judge panel heard arguments this week on why the ACA is not unconstitutional after Republicans in Congress eliminated the individual mandate in 2017.

A Texas judge ruled in December the law was unconstitutional without the mandate.

The lawsuit was filed by 18 Republican-led states and supported by the Trump Administration. Delaware is one of the states defending the healthcare law.

Delaware is among the states fighting the lawsuit. If the ACA is invalidated, hundreds of thousands of people in the First State could be affected. Gov. John Carney said that would be a major financial hit because of the loss of federal funding.

“In order to keep those people covered and getting the health care services that they need, it would be a huge impact on our budget. I’m talking about you know over $100-$200 million.”

“And so it would be extremely disruptive for the court to step in and declare some of that unconstitutional or strike down any part of that.”

State Medicaid Director Steven Groff says it would impact about 60,000 people who benefited from the Medicaid expansion and around 20,000 more who buy insurance on the federal exchange. But it would also affect around 300,000 people with pre-existing conditions. And stop young adults from staying on their parent’s insurance until they are 26 years old.

The judges are expected to rule on the case in the next couple of months. But any decision is likely to be appealed and could go to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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