STATEMENT: Supreme Court Confirmation Threatens the Health of 20 Million Americans
SCOTUS to hear arguments on the future of the Affordable Care Act
While the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments on the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Legal Council for Health Justice expresses our grave concern for the future of affordable, quality health coverage. As leaders in the fight for health justice, Legal Council strongly condemns any threats to meaningful health care access for all.
Tomorrow, the Supreme Court begins hearing oral arguments on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in California v. Texas. In a despicable display of power and misplaced priorities, the federal Administration prioritized Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s expeditious appointment and confirmation to the Supreme Court before the hearings of this lawsuit begin, instead of supporting the needs of millions of Americans through an additional congressional COVID relief package.
This lawsuit, paired with the recent confirmation of Judge Barrett, puts at risk the high-quality, affordable coverage of more than 20 million individuals, including 800,000 Illinoisans, and the more than 135 million people with pre-existing conditions—including anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
“This lawsuit is yet another inhumane attempt to strip Americans of access to affordable, comprehensive health care.” said Tom Yates, Executive Director at Legal Council for Health Justice. “The fact that this is happening in the middle of a widespread, uncontrolled pandemic—where more than 200,000 Americans have died—is even more cruel.”
Losing the ACA would mean losing even more lives. Not only has this law allowed tens of millions of people to receive comprehensive health care for the first time, but it also led to historic reductions for racial disparities in health coverage. The ACA significantly reduced uninsured rates across populations, and contributed to increased rates of access to health care for people of color, who were significantly more likely to be uninsured than white people pre-ACA. The loss of the ACA would erase progress made towards dismantling barriers to care for communities of color—the very same communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
The ACA also established health coverage discrimination protections for the LGBTQ community, women, people living with HIV, and seniors. Repealing the ACA would eliminate these vital protections and many more, including guaranteed access to affordable health care for low-income adults and premium payment assistance. This lawsuit threatens to drag us back to the dark ages of unaffordable, restricted care, potentially locking individuals and families out of life-saving coverage during the worst public health crisis in modern history.
Legal Council vehemently opposes any effort to undermine meaningful access to 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.
Legal Council for Health Justice uses the power of the law to secure dignity, opportunity, and well-being for people facing barriers to reaching their full potential due to illness and disability. For more information, visit legalcouncil.org.
Legal Council is a leading agency in the Protect Our Care Illinois coalition.