Washington, D.C. – Tonight, after District Judge Reed O’Connor ruled the entire Affordable Care Act unconstitutional, President Donald Trump tweeted that this was, “Great news for America!” Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, released the following statement in response:
“The Grinch might be playing in theaters, but America’s foremost grinch lives in the White House. This decision by a conservative judge represents an absolute disaster – it would end protections for people with pre-existing conditions, re-institute lifetime limits on coverage, implement an age tax on older Americans, and take away coverage from 26 million Americans while raising costs for millions more. And yet Donald Trump sees these results as a cause for celebration. Americans from coast to coast will go to bed tonight in fear of losing their health care, and Donald Trump and Republicans owns this entirely. If this stands, 2020 will make the health care-fueled Democratic wave of 2018 look like child’s play.”
Under this ruling:
- Seventeen million more people could lose their coverage in a single year, leading to a 50 percent increase in the uninsured rate
- Protections for 130 million people with pre-existing conditions would be removed
- Annual and lifetime limits would once again be legal
- Children would no longer be allowed to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26
- Medicaid expansion, currently covering 15 million people, would end
- Improvements to Medicare, including reduced costs for prescription drugs, would be eliminated
- Insurance discrimination against women and people over age 50 would once again be allowed
- Limits on out-of-pocket costs would be eliminated
- Small business tax credits would no longer exist
- Marketplace tax credits for up to 9 million people would end
Republicans at all levels own the consequences of this decision on the American people.
- The Republican attorneys general and governors who brought this case have been hellbent on restricting people’s access to health care. Many of those involved in this lawsuit have been involved in prior efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, block the Medicaid expansion and restrict women’s health.
- The Trump Administration took the shocking step of abandoning its legal and constitutional responsibilities to defend the law of the land, instead prioritizing its no-holds-barred war on American health care by siding with the Republican states in this case.
- Republicans in Congress voted for the tax scam that opened the door for this lawsuit in the first place.
- Republicans in Congress refused to join Democratic efforts in the Senate and House to intervene in this lawsuit to protect health care.
- Republican governors who want to distance themselves from this lawsuit could have directed their attorneys general to withdraw from this case, or urged them to drop it altogether, but they refused to do so.
The medical community has spoken loudly and clearly about the harms this ruling would cause people around the country.
- American Cancer Society-Cancer Action Network, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, and National Multiple Sclerosis Society: “Striking down these provisions would be catastrophic and have dire consequences for many patients with serious illnesses.”
- American Medical Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: “Invalidating the guaranteed-issue and community rating provisions — or the entire ACA — would have a devastating impact on doctors, patients, and the American health care system as a whole.”
- American Hospital Association, Federation of American Hospitals, the Catholic Health Association of the United States, and Association of American Medical Colleges: “A judicial repeal would have severe consequences for America’s hospitals, which would be forced to shoulder the greater uncompensated-care burden that the ACA’s repeal would create.”
- AARP: Before ACA’s protections, discrimination against those with pre-existing conditions, age rating, and annual and lifetime caps made accessing health care out of reach for older adults.