California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, the lawyer leading the charge to defend the Affordable Care Act against a challenge by the Trump administration and a group of GOP states, said on Thursday that proponents of the landmark law should not yet begin panicking about its fate.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday announced that it denied a petition by a coalition of Democratic attorneys general to fast-track consideration of the case.
"I just want to just assure you that it's not time to panic yet. Don't worry. We're not done, we will get before the Supreme Court," Becerra told an audience of consumer advocates at the Families USA Health Action Conference in Washington, D.C. "We will not accept anything less than victory."
The likely delayed timeline for consideration before the Supreme Court means Republicans will likely be able to avoid the potential of an explosive decision before the 2020 election.
The Trump administration has not offered a substantive policy alternative to the Affordable Care Act if the law is struck down in the courts, despite promises to do so. HHS Secretary Alex Azar on Tuesday said there isn't any urgency to present a plan until the Supreme Court eventually hears and decides the case.
"There's really not a need for a replacement of the Affordable Care Act unless and until there's a final Supreme Court decision," Azar said on the "Kevin Wall Radio Show."
The Supreme Court has not yet decided whether to take up the case prior to a final lower court ruling.