Herring and 16 other AGs appeal Texas Affordable Care Act ruling

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

Seventeen attorneys general, including Virginia’s Mark Herring, have filed a notice of appeal in an effort to reverse a Texas judge’s ruling that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.

The filing moves the case into the conservative-leaning Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, just as the newly Democrat-controlled House of Representatives plans a vote next week on intervening in the case, which was filed by 20 Republican-led states.

Most health policy experts agree, as does Gov. Ralph Northam, that the ruling is likely to be overturned. The law remains in effect as the case continues through the appeal court.

“I will not stop until I have done all I can to protect the millions of Virginians who have benefited from the ACA, which is why I intervened in this lawsuit in the first place,” Herring said in a statement. “Just the day before yesterday, hundreds of thousands of Virginians gained coverage under Medicaid and this court ruling could rip that coverage away from them.”

On Jan. 1, Virginia became the 33rd state to expand Medicaid coverage. More than 200,000 people have signed up so far, according to the state, and more are expected to enroll over the next several months.