State Legislators Line Up to Support the Affordable Care Act

New York Legislators Join Over 450 across the Country in Court Brief to Support Federal Health Reform Law
January 11, 2012

Over 450 legislators from all 50 states and the District of Columbia will today announce their joint filing of an amicus (friend of the court) brief with the U.S. Supreme Court supporting the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, the 2010 federal health care reform law. Representing New York in the brief are Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried, State Senator Gustavo Rivera, and 23 other New York State legislators.

“The challenge to the Affordable Care Act now before the Supreme Court has a lot more to do with politics than with the Constitution,” said Assembly Member Gottfried. “The Affordable Care Act has been upheld by judges from across the ideological spectrum, and it is working for families across the country.”

Leaders from the Working Group of State Legislators for Health Reform, Progressive States Network, and the Constitutional Accountability Center will hold a nationwide press event in support of the law today, January 11, at 3pm EST. Information for joining the conference call is at the end of this release.

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the number of young adults who are uninsured has dropped by 2.5 million since September 2010, when the Affordable Care Act began allowing children up to age 26 to remain under a parents’ insurance coverage. More than 150,000 of those young adults are New York residents.

The 23 New York State legislators joining Assembly Member Richard Gottfried and State Senator Gustavo Rivera in signing on to the Supreme Court brief are: Assembly Members Thomas Abinanti, Michael Benedetto, James Brennan, Kevin Cahill, Jeffrey Dinowitz, Sandra Galef, Vanessa Gibson, Deborah Glick, Rhoda Jacobs, Ellen Jaffee, Charles Lavine, Barbara Lifton, Alan Maisel, Joan L. Millman, Felix Ortiz, Crystal Peoples-Stokes, Nick Perry, Peter Rivera, Robert Rodriguez, Linda Rosenthal, Michelle Schimel, Eric Stevenson, and David Weprin.

“The ACA has helped over four million seniors with the cost of prescription drugs, and insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions, drop your coverage because you get sick, or limit the amount of coverage you can receive in a lifetime,” said Gottfried.

“While New York had enacted protections for young adults and those with pre-existing conditions prior to the Affordable Care Act, the federal legislation will provide additional benefits for more New Yorkers. That’s why 24 of my colleagues and I are defending the Affordable Care Act by signing this brief, and why we will continue to work in the coming weeks, months, and years to implement the law in the most effective way for our state,” Gottfried said.

The show of support for the Affordable Care Act in New York was part of a larger demonstration of support for the law across the nation this week, as over 450 state legislators representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia signed on to the Amicus Brief defending the law. The brief will be filed Friday, January 13 and was prepared in conjunction with the Working Group of State Legislators for Health Reform (a national group of state legislators working to advance health reform and implement the Affordable Care Act), Progressive States Network, and the Constitutional Accountability Center.


WHEN: 3pm EST, Wednesday, January 11

DIAL-IN NUMBER: 1-800-391-1709


The Working Group of State Legislators for Health Reform is a national group of state legislators focused on advancing health reform at the state level including the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

The Progressive States Network is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that supports the work of progressive state legislators around the country and works to advance state policies that deliver on the issues that matter to working families.

The Constitutional Accountability Center is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution's text and history.