Payer Roundup—Vermont likely to approve its own individual mandate; Democrats to defend ACA in lawsuit

lawsuit and book
A federal court is allowing state Democratic leaders to defend the ACA in a lawsuit filed by their GOP counterparts. (Getty/eccolo74)

Court: Democrats can intervene in ACA lawsuit

A federal judge is allowing blue state prosecutors to defend the Affordable Care Act in a lawsuit filed in Texas. 

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and 16 other Democratic state attorneys general have been granted the ability to intervene in a lawsuit filed by 20 states earlier this year that attempts to dismantle the 2010 law. Becerra has defended the 2010 law, saying the public's health is at stake.

“The goal of Texas’ lawsuit is to leave Americans without health insurance, forcing them to choose between their health and other needs,” Becerra said in a statement. “Today’s ruling allows us to protect the health and wellbeing of these Americans by defending affordable access to healthcare. (Statement)

Further Medicaid expansion would benefit 4.5 million

If the 19 remaining nonexpansion states did so, 4.5 million more people would have health insurance next year, according to a new report.

The report from the Urban Institute also found that the uninsured rate in those states would fall from 16.9% to 12.6% if expansion was initiated. Additionally, uncompensated care would decline by $8 billion. 

However, such a move would also increase the states' budgets by $2.6 billion and the federal budget by $34.4 billion. The study comes as several states are currently debating whether to expand their Medicaid programs. (Report)

Vermont prepping for individual mandate

Vermont is likely to become the next state to implement its own individual mandate, following a national repeal last year. 

State lawmakers have agreed on a bill that mandates all residents to obtain health insurance starting in 2020, according to The Bennington Banner. The state's Republican governor, Phil Scott, has previously endorsed a similar plan, making signage likely. 

New Jersey passed its own individual mandate legislation earlier this year. (The Bennington Banner)