Minnesota Hospital Association


April 01, 2019

Minnesota Hospital Association joins amicus brief in support of the Affordable Care Act

ST. PAUL – The Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) on April 1 was among 24 state hospital associations to submit an amicus brief supporting the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the appeal of a 2018 ruling that found the ACA unconstitutional because Congress repealed the tax penalty enforcing the law’s individual mandate.

“On behalf of our 141 member hospitals and health systems, we are very concerned about this case and the district court’s initial decision,” said Lawrence J. Massa, president and CEO of MHA. “While we recognize that the ACA is not perfect and can be improved upon, we supported its enactment, and experience has demonstrated its benefits. Minnesotans have benefitted from expanding access to Medicaid and additional federal funding that has supported our successful MinnesotaCare program, as well as from the ACA’s prohibition on health plans denying coverage or raising premiums due to pre-existing conditions.”   

The ACA led to increased insurance coverage in Minnesota and its federal subsidies have made health insurance premiums more affordable for residents throughout the state. In addition, the ACA has allowed Minnesotans to receive preventive services without barriers of copays and deductibles.   

In the decision being appealed, known as Texas v. United States, the district court judge ruled that because the ACA’s individual mandate was no longer in effect, the other provisions of the law were unconstitutional. The amicus brief argues that the district court ignored the ACA’s significant reforms that modernized the delivery of and payment for health care in the United States. The brief maintains that the ACA’s delivery reforms are independent of the minimum coverage provision and can be separated from the individual mandate.   

“We expect that a judicial decision overturning the law would result in returning hundreds of thousands of lower-income, working Minnesotans to the ranks of the uninsured,” said Massa. “More people would rely exclusively on the emergency department for care and lose access to prevention services, and health plans could deny coverage to those with preexisting medical conditions. We are also concerned that these attacks on the ACA – which is current law – undermine enrollment in health care coverage.”   

The Minnesota Hospital Association represents Minnesota’s hospitals and health systems, which provide quality care for their patients and meet the needs of their communities.