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Fort Worth is ground zero in states’ lawsuit that targets Obamacare protections

Fort Worth resident worries about repeal of Obamacare

Fort Worth resident Terri Mason worries about what the future holds as Congress looks to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
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Fort Worth resident Terri Mason worries about what the future holds as Congress looks to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Obamacare is headed back to court.

On Wednesday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act is scheduled for a 9:30 a.m. hearing before U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor.

Paxton is leading the charge in this case for 20 states, including Alabama, Florida, North Dakota and South Carolina, to end the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

“Obamacare is unconstitutional, plain and simple,” Paxton said recently.

This week, the issue is their request to stop enforcement of the Affordable Care Act. Ending the act would eliminate current protections for those with pre-existing conditions, such as pregnancy, arthritis and diabetes.

Attorneys from 20 states involved in this lawsuit maintain that Obamacare has been unconstitutional since last year, when the new tax bill eliminated the penalty for people who don’t have health insurance.

Democratic attorneys general from several states are expected to defend the health care law.

Paxton’s Democratic challenger, Justin Nelson, will rally in nearby Burnett Park as legal arguments go on inside the courthouse. Nelson’s goal, he said, is to give “everyday Americans a voice in the fight against Ken Paxton and his ... heartless lawsuit aimed at stripping affordable healthcare coverage from folks with pre-existing health conditions.”

This lawsuit could impact health coverage for millions of Americans.

In Texas alone, there are more than 4.5 million “nonelderly adults” with pre-existing conditions that could make it hard for them to get health insurance if Obamacare went away, statistics show.

Nelson and others argue that if protections are stripped from the ACA, Texans with any pre-existing condition could see the cost of their health care quickly rise.

Earlier this year, Paxton announced he was working with other states to overturn the entire health care program and he questioned whether the law is constitutional.

He asked for the courts to block the law, using a preliminary injunction, by January.

Anna Tinsley: 817-390-7610, @annatinsley

Fort Worth parents Robert and Amy Dean went to the White House last month and met with Vice President Mike Pence to share their thoughts on healthcare reform.

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