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Explaining Texas v. U.S.: A Guide to the 5th Circuit Appeal in the Lawsuit Challenging the Affordable Care Act 

The outcome of the Texas v. U.S. legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could have far-reaching consequences for the nation’s health system, from rolling back the expansion of Medicaid to removing protections for people with pre-existing conditions and revoking the ability of adult children to stay on their parents’ insurance plans up to age 26.

In December, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor invalidated the entire ACA after finding the individual mandate unconstitutional. Today, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit prepares to hear oral arguments July 9, KFF has released a guide that explains the key arguments in the lawsuit, the various parties involved and the main issues the three-judge panel will consider. The key questions the guide answers include:

  • Who is challenging the ACA?
  • What is the federal government’s position, and how has it changed over time?
  • Who is defending the law?
  • What issues will the 5th Circuit consider?

An earlier analysis looked at the key provisions of the ACA and the number of people affected by them, as well as relevant KFF public opinion polling, to help illustrate the potential impact on Americans and the U.S. health care system if the trial court ruling striking down the law were ultimately upheld.