Murphy, Herring say voters will remember GOP's 'reckless' ACA lawsuit

Democrats are calling out the DOJ's decision to not defend the ACA in a lawsuit, and warn that voters will remember that decision come November. (Flickr/Gage Skidmore )

National and state Democrats are fiercely hitting back against the Trump administration's decision not to defend the Affordable Care Act with a warning that voters will remember that decision in November.

In a press call Tuesday, Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and Virginia state Attorney General Mark Herring said the lawsuit, filed by 20 Republican state leaders, is "lawless" and responsible for "panic" within their states. The Department of Justice last week agreed with the lawsuit, and said the individual mandate, and protections for people with pre-existing conditions, are unconstitutional since the GOP repealed the mandate's penalty last year.   

"Trump is upset the country would not support repeal of the ACA in whole, and this is how he is taking out his anger," Murphy said. "There are hundreds of thousands of people with pre-existing conditions in my state who are freaking out that the administration is saying they can't defend them."

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Murphy is one of the party's most healthcare-centered lawmakers. In April he introduced a Medicare buy-in bill for employers and individuals on the ACA marketplace and last year strongly opposed any Republican-led overhauls or repeals of the 2010 law.

Murphy also mentioned that ACA insurers responded to the mandate repeal by raising 2019 rates and that the lawsuit, regardless of the outcome, will lead to the same.

Herring also warned of consequences of the suit, which he called "reckless" and "cruel."

"If this lawsuit is successful, we will snap back to the pre-ACA era, which includes rolling back Medicaid expansion," he continued. Herring's own state of Virginia expanded Medicaid only last week.

RELATED: Trump administration wants to gut pre-existing condition protections, putting GOP candidates in a bad spot

"The administration is more committed to hurting Obama's legacy than to protecting the welfare of Americans," he added. Herring is one of 17 Democratic attorneys general defending the ACA in the federal lawsuit.

Herring added that voters will remember DOJ's decision at the ballot box this November.

"As a matter of law, this lawsuit must fail; and as a matter of morals, this lawsuit must fail," he said.

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