Blue Cross Blue Shield Weighs in on Texas Affordable Care Act Ruling

Late last year, a Texas judge ruled the Affordable Care Act to be unconstitutional, but Blue Cross Blue Shield is siding with the act.  Because the tax on the individual mandate had been removed, Texas argued that the law is an unjust use of Congressional power. The Texas judge found the individual mandate to be an essential part of the ACA, so he ruled the entire act (not just the mandate), to be unconstitutional. If it wins on appeal, the ruling would remove coverage for millions of Americans who received insurance through the Medicare expansion and private insurance subsidies.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association has filed a Friend-of-the-Court Brief for the case, Texas et. al. v. United States et. al. “Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies’ core principle is that all Americans, including those with pre-existing medical conditions, have access to quality health coverage no matter who they are or where they live,” said Blue Cross Blue Shield Association President and CEO Scott Serota via release. “Millions of Americans who obtain health care coverage through their employers and through government programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, also would be affected if the law were to be suddenly eliminated.”

The case may be appealed to the Supreme Court through the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, although a ruling in the Eleventh circuit has already ruled the individual mandate to be severable from the main act itself. If Texas wins the appeal in the circuit court, there would be a split circuit decision for the Supreme Court to make.

“Blue Cross and Blue Shield members can be assured that their current health coverage and the financial assistance they may receive to help them afford it remains in place as this case moves through the courts,” Serota said via release. “We also are continuing to work with lawmakers, on a bipartisan basis, to ensure that all Americans can access the consistent, quality health coverage they need and deserve.”

BCBSA is a federation of 36 Blue Cross Blue Shield companies that provide health coverage for one third of the country.