House formally moves to intervene in ObamaCare lawsuit

Greg Nash

House Democrats have officially filed a motion to intervene in defense of ObamaCare in court against a Republican-led lawsuit.

The motion, filed Thursday, asks the court to allow the House to intervene as a defendant, alongside a group of Democratic states, since the Trump administration has declined to defend the law.

The filing notes the House “has a unique institutional interest in participating in this litigation to defend the [Affordable Care Act] against the remaining challenges, and intervention should be granted.”

{mosads}The motion comes a day after Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) promised two votes on intervening in the case; one vote as part of a larger package of rules for the new session of Congress, and another standalone vote.

The votes are a formality and are meant to put Republican lawmakers on record, highlighting the political pressure that Democrats hope to put on GOP lawmakers who campaigned last year pledging to support protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

The lawsuit in question was filed last year by 20 GOP-led states, seeking to overturn the Affordable Care Act. A federal judge in Texas last month ruled in the states’ favor, saying ObamaCare is invalid. The ruling, though, will not take effect while it is appealed.

The filing notes that since the attorney general is declining the defend an act of Congress, the House has a duty to intervene.

“The House disagrees with the Attorney General’s position, which (if enforced) would erase in significant part the statute that Congress enacted, and the House is prepared to argue against this position in any relevant additional proceedings in this Court and on appeal,” the filing states.

A coalition of Democratic states defending ObamaCare on Thursday began the appeals process by filing a formal notice to appeal.

The House notes that it plans simultaneously to seek to intervene in the 5th Circuit appeal and will file a motion to intervene in that appeal as soon as possible.

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