Legal Council Condemns Fifth Circuit Court’s Decision in Health Care Repeal Lawsuit

5th Circuit Court of Appeals ACA Decision Statement

December 19, 2019

CONTACT: Dani Hunter, dhunter@legalcouncil.org

Legal Council Strongly Condemns Fifth Circuit Court’s Decision in Health Care Repeal Lawsuit

Legal Council for Health Justice denounces the decision of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Texas vs. US, which risks the health and well-being of millions of lives. This poorly reasoned ruling threatens the health and stability of generations, locking them out of affordable health coverage, forcing us all back into the dark ages of unaffordable premiums, skimpy coverage, and outright denials due to pre-existing health conditions such as chronic illness.

If the ACA were invalidated more than 605,000 Illinoisans, including 77,000 children and 356,000 women would likely lose their health coverage and their access to meaningful and affordable healthcare.

Despite this ruling, the health insurance purchased on the Illinois Marketplace for 2020 coverage is still valid and pre-existing protections are still intact, for now. 

Healthcare is critical to our mission of maximizing access to care in order for our clients to live healthy, dignified lives. Yesterday’s ruling is a major blow to the fight for comprehensive care that meets the needs and the budgets of everyday people in every state of the United States.

“This decision is the result of another callous attempt to strip Americans of the healthcare coverage and protections provided by the ACA’s provisions,” said Executive Director Tom Yates.

However, “as advocates who have worked towards health justice for more than 30 years, we will never waiver from the truth that health care is a human right and we will never tire,” said Carrie Chapman, Senior Director of Litigation and Advocacy.

The ACA has provided nearly 6 million Illinoisans with free preventative care, establishing historic consumer guarantees and meaningful coverage of crucial health services, such as:

  • Protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
  • Ban on annual and lifetime coverage caps for people who are chronically ill.
  • Financial protections for women and seniors.
  • Ability for parents to keep their children up to age 26 on their insurance plan.
  • Required coverage of ten essential health benefits, including: mental health and substance use treatment, contraceptive coverage, maternity care, and prescription drugs.

Make no mistake – this politicized decision jeopardizes the coverage and peace of mind for the more than 5 million people in Illinois who have pre-existing conditions.

Legal Council is committed to defending against any attempt to disparage access to high quality, comprehensive health care. Accessible and affordable care is essential in allowing Illinoisans to lead a life of dignity and opportunity. We are proud to stand with health care consumers, providers, and advocates across Illinois in this fight for health justice.

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