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18 states, including Mass., file motion challenging ruling striking down Affordable Care Act

Attorney General Maura Healey earlier this year.
Attorney General Maura Healey earlier this year.(Lane Turner/Globe Staff/File)

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and her counterparts in 17 other states filed a motion Monday challenging a Texas federal judge’s ruling last week that struck down the Affordable Care Act.

The motion, filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas, asks the court to clarify the impact of the ruling and confirm that the ACA “is still the law of the land,” Healey’s office said in a statement.

Judge Reed O’Connor of the US District Court in Fort Worth struck down the law on Friday, ruling that its mandate requiring people to buy health insurance is unconstitutional. He also ruled the law’s other provisions, including protections for patients with preexisting conditions, are invalid, according to a New York Times report. The ruling is expected to be appealed to the Supreme Court.

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“Millions of Americans who rely on the protections of the Affordable Care Act have been left confused and uncertain about the future of their health care coverage,” Healey said. “We are urging the court to clarify its ruling to avoid massive disruption in the healthcare market.”

The original lawsuit in the case, Texas v. HHS, asked the courts to stop Medicaid expansion, end tax credits that help people afford health insurance, and allow insurers to deny coverage to people with preexisting conditions, Healey said.

The motion is being led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. The other states that are involved are Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, as well as Washington, D.C.


Jackson Cote can be reached at jackson.cote@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jackson_k_cote.