ORLANDO, Fla. -- A lawsuit filed by 20 states, including Florida, could change how the health care law is enforced.

  • 20 states, including Florida, involved in 'Obamacare' lawsuit
  • Lawsuit filed in February didn't gain much traction at the time
  • It would take away coverage for people with pre-existing conditions
  • Sen. Bill Nelson wants Gov. Rick Scott to withdraw Florida from suit 

If the lawsuit against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is successful, it would, in effect, gut the nation's health care law and take the guarantee of coverage away from people with pre-existing conditions.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson was in Orlando on Monday and met with people with pre-existing conditions and discuss the impacts of the lawsuit.

When the 20-state lawsuit was first filed in February, it was seen as far-fetched by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. The states, including Florida, wanted a judge to issue an order blocking the enforcement of the health care law, or "Obamacare" as it is also known as, as a whole.

It didn't get much attention at the time. But the lawsuit gained steam when the Trump administration said it supported a portion of the lawsuit.

The lawsuit, filed by Republican-led states, argued that the 2017 tax bill made the ACA's individual mandate unconstitutional, when it lowered the tax penalty to zero that a person must pay if he or she is not covered.

The Department of Justice responded to the suit, stating it agreed with Texas that the 2017 tax bill made the individual mandate unconstitutional, but the DOJ did not agree with dismantling the program altogether.

Instead, the DOJ said it only affects the ban on insurance companies denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions and said it should be struck down.  

Nelson sent a letter to Republican Gov. Rick Scott, asking him to withdraw Florida from the lawsuit. Nelson is running against Scott in his bid for Senate.

Florida is the top state when it comes to enrollment numbers with the Affordable Care Act. 

If the lawsuit does go through, it would affect nearly 8 million Floridians with pre-existing conditions.