House First Order of Business: Defend ACA

The new Democratic House was expected to pass a rules package that includes a provision allowing it to intervene in a federal lawsuit that is challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.

In mid-December a U.S. District Court Judge in Texas ruled the ACA unconstitutional, triggering an immediate response by a group of Democratic state Attorneys General, including Mass. AG Maura Healey, which filed a brief against the ruling. On December 30, the judge ruled that the ACA can stand while his original ruling is being appealed. Last Thursday, the group of AGs filed that appeal.

The House rule directs the House’s Office of General Counsel to represent lawmakers in any court action defending the ACA and allows the hiring of outside counsel.