Several Democratic states have filed notice to appeal the recent court ruling that declared the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional, The Hill reported.
The 17 states have stepped up to defend the healthcare law after the Department of Justice declined to do so in a lawsuit launched by Republican governors to overturn Obamacare. On Dec. 17, U.S. District Court Judge Reed O'Connor found the ACA unconstitutional after Republicans stripped away the individual mandate penalty in the 2018 budget act.
If the decision stands, it would strip away numerous provisions in effect in the healthcare industry, including protections for people with pre-existing conditions––which impact more than 100 million Americans––allowing young people to stay on their parents’ insurance until they are 26, and more.
The Democratic coalition plans to appeal to the Louisiana-based 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
“In this particular case we believe the stakes are not only great, but compelling,” Democratic California Attorney General Xavier Becerra told The Hill.
In addition to the court appeal, House Democrats, who took control of the congressional chamber on Jan. 3, plan to intervene in the case.
As Democrats wound up their defense of the healthcare law, President Trump doubled down on his attacks, claiming he believed the Supreme Court would find the ACA unconstitutional if the lawsuit finds its way to the highest court.
"That case from Texas should win in the Supreme Court," Trump said Jan. 2 during a televised cabinet meeting, The Hill reported. "We should win at the Supreme Court, where this case will go. When we do, we will sit down with the Democrats and we will come up with great health care."
The ongoing clash between Republicans and Democrats over Obamacare played a role in 2018 midterm elections, with healthcare a hot topic among candidates and voters.