December 18, 2019 

CONTACT: Kathy Melley, Community Catalyst, (617) 791-0708,  

(BOSTON, MA)  Statement of Emily Stewart, executive director of Community Catalyst, regarding today’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. 

“We strongly condemn today’s 5th U.S. Circuit Court ruling declaring the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate unconstitutional and remanding the law back to District Court Judge Reed O’Connor, who has already ruled in favor of striking down the entire ACA. This politically-motivated ruling puts the health and health care of people across the country in jeopardy and flies in the face of common sense and settled law. 

There is no reason to believe Judge O’Connor will do anything different this time around. If his ruling is ultimately upheldtens of millions of people could lose health coverage, protections for pre-existing health conditions like cancer and diabetes, and crucial benefits including treatment for substance use disorders and mental health, maternal care, and more. One of the cruelest, most harmful results would be that it could take away coverage from the more than 20 million people who gained it following the expansion of Medicaid in 35 statesThese coverage and consumer protection losses would disproportionately affect people of color who already face unfair and discriminatory barriers to care. 

This case has been part of the Trump administration and its allies’ highly partisan, broad scale attack on the ACA through legislation, litigation, executive action and regulatory changes.  

We appreciate the tireless efforts of the 21 attorneys general, led by Xavier Becerra of California, to protect people’s access to quality, affordable health care by defending the ACA in court 

The Trump administration and the attorneys general pursuing this lawsuit should listen to the American people, the majority of whom support the ACA and the protections it provides. The unrelenting attacks on the ACA have caused tremendous harm and anxiety for people across the country. They are calling on elected officials and policymakers to turn their attention where it belongs — working toward high quality, affordable coverage for all.” 


About Community Catalyst 
Community Catalyst is a national, non-profit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1998 with the belief that affordable quality health care should be accessible to everyone. We work in partnership with national, state and local organizations, policymakers and philanthropic foundations to ensure consumer interests are represented wherever important decisions about health and the health system are made: in communities, statehouses and on Capitol Hill. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter @HealthPolicyHub.