The Center has joined a broad coalition of over 100 organizations in urging officials from 18 states and the U.S. Department of Justice to drop their Supreme Court lawsuit that seeks to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA). A letter sent by the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation of Harvard Law School, the Center for Medicare Advocacy, and other health care advocates, providers, insurers, and worker organizations, focuses on the critical role the ACA will play in the nation’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.
While the lawsuit, California v. Texas, has been cruel and ill-advised from the start, the pandemic has only worsened its potential ramifications. The ACA is already covering over 20 million people through its marketplace plans and expansion of Medicaid. It will provide health coverage to many of the millions of Americans who are now losing their employer-sponsored insurance. The law requires health insurance plans to cover federally-approved vaccines free of charge and bolsters the nation’s infectious disease and public health functions through support of the CDC. The ACA also expands access to nursing facility information and helps ensure resident safety – particularly important provisions as tragedies have occurred in long-term care facilities around the country. Finally, as the Center has repeatedly pointed out, the ACA has strengthened the Medicare program and lowered out-of-pocket costs for beneficiaries.
All of this would be lost if the lawsuit succeeds. Unfortunately, Texas and the other plaintiff states, as well as the Trump administration, continue to support of a full strike-down of the ACA, even during the COVID-19 crisis. The Center urges that this misguided lawsuit be dropped.
May 7, 2020 – A. Bers