Filed: April 1, 2019
Court: U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Overview: The brief supports the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and asks the Fifth Circuit to reverse a lower court ruling from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas finding the law unconstitutional. The brief outlines how the ACA has been essential to overcoming the disproportionate impact that America’s health care crisis has had on people with disabilities, and how it is uniquely difficult for people with disabilities to obtain affordable and adequate health insurance coverage despite depending on health care services more than those without disabilities.
Excerpt: “…declaring the ACA unconstitutional in its entirety will uniquely and extensively harm [the disability] community…Congress could not have intended to inflict such harm upon people with disabilities when it removed the financial penalty associated with the ACA’s individual mandate but left the provisions above intact. And it is even more unlikely that it intended to do so without otherwise protecting disabled people who would shoulder much of the burden of invalidating the entire ACA. This Court should not ascribe such an intent to Congress and should reverse the district court’s decision which strips away the significant gains that people with disabilities have made since the ACA’s passage.”
Status: The Fifth Circuit issued a decision in December 2019, holding that the individual mandate was unconstitutional and remanding to the district court for further proceedings.
Press Release: “The Arc The Arc Deeply Troubled by Affordable Care Act Ruling“