Julia Shenkar,, 202-317-0540

Issued December 18, 2019

Texas v. Azar: Lives hang in the balance as court refers ACA case for review, millions of people with pre-existing conditions still at risk

SEIU healthcare workers will hold Republicans accountable for recklessly playing politics with people’s healthcare

WASHINGTON, D.C. – By ruling the individual mandate unconstitutional, today the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals moves the U.S. closer to a healthcare disaster. The Court also leaves it open to the trial court judge, who has already proven to be a Republican ally, to invalidate many other parts of the Affordable Care Act, including protections for the 130 million people with pre-existing conditions, 17 million people covered under Medicaid expansion and 10 million people covered through the ACA marketplace. Millions more of our family members, friends and neighbors would be subject to higher costs and worse coverage.

“President Trump and Republicans in Congress are moving our country closer to a healthcare disaster and SEIU members will not forget how they played politics with working people’s lives,” said Mary Kay Henry, SEIU’s International President. “Working people will push back this election by telling their communities how Republicans in Congress are increasing their healthcare costs, putting their health at risk and making their lives harder.”

“Despite having no clear plan for improving our healthcare system, the elected officials behind this lawsuit willfully intended to make people less healthy and to erect barriers to make it harder to get healthcare,” said Anna Yap, an emergency medical doctor from Los Angeles. 

The ruling means the Republican lawsuit is still threatening working families. If successful, this lawsuit would take away healthcare from 20 million Americans, rip away protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions and increase costs for millions of working people. 

“As nurses, we see the devastating impact of crushing healthcare costs daily. This lawsuit will make it even more difficult for our patients to get the care they desperately need and hurt our communities,” said Vicki Gonzalez, a registered nurse from Miami, Fla.

SEIU represents over one million physicians, nurses, hospital workers and home care workers who will continue to fight Republican attempts to sabotage healthcare and defund Medicaid and Medicare. SEIU’s two million members believe that healthcare is a human right, not a privilege, and will continue the fight for affordable healthcare for all —including long term care. 


The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) unites 2 million diverse members in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. SEIU members working in the healthcare industry, in the public sector and in property services believe in the power of joining together on the job to win higher wages and benefits and to create better communities while fighting for a more just society and an economy that works for all of us, not just corporations and the wealthy.