Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has joined attorneys general in 17 other states in filing a motion to ensure the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, remains in place, despite a recent federal court ruling striking it down.
Herring and his Democratic colleagues asked the Texas court to stay the ruling until it can be appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and to clarify that Obamacare remains the law of the land, until a court expressly states otherwise.
“This is an issue that we’re going to continue to fight, and we are not going to give up, because so much is at stake,” Herring said.
Herring said if the ruling takes effect, millions of Virginians and Americans with preexisting health conditions will lose critical protections, Medicaid expansion, which Virginia approved this year, will be under threat, and millions of Americans will suffer from reduced access to health care at higher costs.
United States District Judge Reed O’Connor invalidated the whole law when he ruled Friday that the part which mandates Americans have healthcare is unconstitutional. O’Connor, however, did not issue an injunction to immediately stop federal officials from enforcing the law.
But attorneys general, who were included in the motion, said they understand the ruling doesn’t have any immediate impact on the status of the law.
“Without, however some definite indication of this court’s intention in issuing its order, the immediate effect of such a declaratory order is unclear,” the motion said.