FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 26, 2012
State Legislators From Across Nation Voice Support for Health Law as Supreme Court Arguments Begin
Group representing over 500 legislators from all 50 states defends constitutionality of Affordable Care Act in court briefs, highlights progress made by states on implementation.
Washington, D.C. – As historic oral arguments over the lawsuit seeking to overturn the Affordable Care Act opened today at the U.S. Supreme Court, a group of hundreds of state legislators representing every state in the nation continued to voice their support for the health law, underscoring that the Attorneys General bringing the lawsuit are not the only ones who speak for the states.
Maine State Representative Sharon Treat, representing a group of more than five hundred state legislators from every state in the nation who filed two Amicus Briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court supporting the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act in recent weeks, was set to attend oral arguments today on behalf of the Working Group of State Legislators for Health Reform.
"I am here to give voice to the more than five hundred state legislators who joined legal briefs to defend the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, many of whom are back in their legislatures today working hard to implement the law,” said Rep. Treat. “Rather than wasting time and money on a legal challenge that does absolutely nothing to advance the goal of access to affordable health care, responsible state legislators around the nation are choosing to implement the health exchanges and other provisions of the law which will provide affordable health care to millions of families in our states.”
“It has been heartening to see so many state legislators from across the country joining judges and constitutional scholars across the political spectrum in standing up and supporting for the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act,” said Washington State Senator Karen Keiser, Chair of the Working Group of State Legislators for Health Reform. “From the founding of our working group three years ago until now, our members have been on the front lines in our states focused on protecting the health security of the families we represent -- first by advocating for the passage of the strongest and most effective possible federal health reform law, and now by working to implement the law in the way that makes the most sense for our individual states. Unlike the Attorneys General and other partisan forces whose sole aim is to overturn this law, we don’t want to return to a time where insurance companies can deny coverage to people when they get sick, or discriminate against women by charging them more than men. We look forward to January 1, 2014 when millions of people who today are without health care will be able to purchase comprehensive coverage with deep discounts because of the tax credits made possible by the Affordable Care Act."
Three years ago, a group of 32 state leaders from across the country met in Washington, D.C. and founded the Working Group of State Legislators for National Health Reform to advocate for federal action on health reform. In the intervening time and since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the Working Group has grown to include legislators from nearly every state. The goal of the group is simple: to ensure that the largest democracy and one of the largest economies in the world does not have a broken health care system that leaves millions without access to quality and affordable health care.
"2012 Kicks Off With Massive Show of Support for Affordable Care Act in the States"  (1/11/12)
"539 Legislators from All 50 States to SCOTUS: Medicaid Expansion in ACA is Constitutional"  (2/21/12)
About the Working Group of State Legislators for Health Reform:
The Working Group of State Legislators for Health Reform is a national group of state legislators focused on advancing health reform at the state level including the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
About Progressive States Network:
Progressive States Network (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 advancement of state policies that deliver 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.