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RELEASE: 2012 Kicks Off With Massive Show of Support for Affordable Care Act in the States

01/11/2012

(Updated Thursday, January 12, 2012)

 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 11, 2012

CONTACT: Charles Monaco, Director of Communications and New Media, Progressive States Network, cmonaco@progressivestates.org

2012 Kicks Off With Massive Show of Support for Affordable Care Act in the States

Over 500 lawmakers representing all 50 states announce they will join Amicus Brief supporting constitutionality of health law in states, agreeing with judges across ideological spectrum.

New York, NY – Today, a national group of state legislative leaders announced that over 500 state legislators representing all 50 states will file a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court tomorrow supporting the constitutionality of the health law, arguing that “the minimum coverage provision of the Affordable Care Act is a valid exercise of Congress’s Commerce Clause and Necessary and Proper Clause powers.”

In an announcement today, the Working Group of State Legislators for Health Reform, a national group of state legislators focused on advancing health reform at the state level that works closely with Progressive States Network, said that over 500 state legislators representing all fifty states have signed on to an Amicus Brief strongly defending the Affordable Care Act in the challenge currently before the Supreme Court. The brief will be filed this Friday and was prepared and filed in conjunction with the Constitutional Accountability Center.

"The idea that the federal government does not have the power to address a national problem such as the health care crisis has no basis in the Constitution’s text and history," argue the legislators in the text of the brief.

At a press briefing today, state legislators from around the nation who have signed on to the brief discussed their support for the law and highlighted the positive momentum behind the implementation of the law in their states.

“State legislators must continue their work to meet the growing need for high-quality, affordable health care with confidence, knowing that their implementation efforts will not be delayed or derailed by groundless constitutional challenges,” said Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Washington, Chair of the Working Group of State Legislators for Health Reform.

CAC Chief Counsel Elizabeth Wydra said, “Because the Affordable Care Act is supported by the Constitution’s text and history – as well as Supreme Court precedent going back to the Founding era – challenges to health care reform to have a lot more to do with politics than they do the Constitution. After losing in Congress, conservatives are simply looking for courts to give them a judicial do-over. Fortunately, judges across the ideological spectrum – including those appointed by Presidents George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan – have upheld the Act as constitutional, and we are confident the Supreme Court will agree.”

“Almost two years after the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, and as a pivotal year kicks off, this brief is an incredible statement of support for health law from the states,” added Progressive States Network Executive Director Ann Pratt. “It’s also a sign of how responsible state lawmakers all across the nation are coming together in 2012 to turn the tide from political gamesmanship and attacks to working to protect the gains already made for the health security of families under the Affordable Care Act: one million young adults now newly covered, four million seniors who have received help affording prescription drugs, and a patients’ bill of rights that puts an end to many insurance industry abuses.”

This show of support for the Affordable Care Act is part of a larger demonstration of support for the law taking place across the nation this week, as legislators affiliated with the Working Group announced plans for local events in eight states in the coming days that will highlight the benefits the Affordable Care Act has brought their constituents.

A summary of the Amicus Brief text is available at:

http://www.progressivestates.org/ACAamicus

The full text, accompanied by a full list of signers is available here:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/78061445 .

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Progressive States Network (http://www.progressivestates.org) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the work of progressive state legislators around the country and to the passage of state legislation that delivers on issues the issues that matter to working families: strong wage standards and workplace freedom, balancing work and family responsibilities, health care for all, smart growth and clean energy, tax and budget reform, clean and fair elections, and technology investments to bridge the digital divide.

Constitutional Accountability Center (http://www.theusconstitution.org) is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution's text and history.

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