1. Lawmakers walk down Capitol steps with placards of healthcare recipients (PARTIALLY COVERS UPCOMING SOUNDBITE)
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Sen. Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader:
"Today in New Orleans Republican attorneys generals supported by President Trump and his Department of Justice will argue in court that millions of Americans should lose their health care and all of the protections included in the ACA. The stakes cannot be higher. Imagine you're a parent and your child has cancer... a deadly form. There's a treatment available but the insurance company says no you can't have that treatment or we're cutting you off. What is Donald Trump, what are our Republican friends telling that family? That you can't get health care, and we have nothing to put in its place? Shame on them. Shame on them. The stakes can't be higher. The faces you see behind us are faces of Americans, millions of Americans who will suffer if Republicans succeed in dismantling our health care law. Millions of people's lives, nothing less, are on the line. If the right-wing wins the lawsuit families from one end of America to the other will lose, lose their healthcare."
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House:
"Today House and Senate Democrats are here to show the human stakes of the GOP's relentless assault on health care. As oral arguments being heard today GOP's Texas versus U.S. lawsuit. We gather to give voice to the hardworking Americans whose health and economic security are in jeopardy. Today the Trump administration is demanding that the court strike down every last provision of the ACA."
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi came to the Capitol steps to show the faces of Americans who would be hurt if the Trump administration and Republicans succeed in efforts to overturn the Affordable Health Care Act.
An appeals court will hear arguments Tuesday on whether Congress effectively invalidated former President Barack Obama's entire signature health care law when it zeroed out the tax imposed on those who chose not to buy insurance.
Sen. Schumer and other Democratic lawmakers displayed placards of the faces of constituents who would lose healthcare if the ACA is dismantled.
The minority leader said "The stakes can't be higher. The faces you see behind us are faces of Americans millions of Americans who will suffer if Republicans succeed in dismantling our health care law. Millions of people's lives nothing less are on the line. If the right-wing wins the lawsuit families from one end of America to the other will lose. Lose their healthcare."
It's unclear when the three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel will rule in a case that appears destined for the Supreme Court, which has reviewed the law, and its coverage and insurance protections for millions of Americans, before. The ultimate outcome will affect protections for people with pre-existing conditions, Medicaid expansions covering roughly 12 million people, and subsidies that help about 10 million others afford health insurance.
Tuesday's arguments are the latest in a lawsuit filed by Republican officials in 18 states, led by the Texas Attorney General's Office. It was filed after Congress — which didn't repeal the law, despite pressure from President Donald Trump — reduced to zero the unpopular tax imposed on those without insurance.
In challenging the law anew, "Obamacare" opponents noted the 2012 ruling of a divided Supreme Court that upheld the law. Conservative justices had rejected the argument that Congress could require everyone to buy insurance under the Constitution's interstate commerce clause.
But Chief Justice John Roberts, joining four liberal justices, said Congress did have the power to impose a tax on those without insurance.
With no tax penalty now in effect, the Texas lawsuit argues, the individual mandate is unconstitutional and the entire law must fall without it. Texas-based U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor agreed in a December ruling. The law's supporters appealed.
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Charles Schumer , Nancy Pelosi , Donald Trump , Barack Obama , John Roberts
U.S. Republican Party, United States Congress, United States government, U.S. Democratic Party, United States Senate