We have reached a critical point for the future of American health care and the fate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). On June 25th, Trump’s Department of Justice (DOJ) and Republican-led states submitted their briefs in support of California v. Texas, the lawsuit seeking to strike down the ACA. If President Trump and Republicans have their way, more than 20 million Americans will lose their insurance coverage, 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions will be stripped of their protections, and costs will go up for millions. The consequences of the lawsuit for America’s health care are particularly devastating at a time the country is gripped by the coronavirus crisis which threatens the health and safety of the entire nation.
No action would be more damaging to Americans’ health and safety than if the Trump administration achieves their desired goal of overturning the ACA in its entirety during this crisis. When the court hears this case, there will likely be no vaccine and no viable treatment for the virus. When millions of Americans have already lost health insurance due to the pandemic, it’s absurd that President Trump is arguing in court that 20 million more Americans should lose their health care. And when millions of Americans who contract the coronavirus join the 135 million Americans with a pre-existing condition, President Trump will also be arguing in court to allow insurance companies to deny them coverage or charge them more. The submission of these briefs from Republican states will put the Trump administration’s politically-motivated lawsuit on full display for the American people in front of the highest court.
Days of Action: Day 11 of 12 focuses on individual marketplace coverage and financial assistance for families. To learn more about our Days of Action, visit our website.
What’s At Stake: Marketplace Signups & Financial Assistance
At a time when millions of people are facing the possibility of coronavirus and devastating health care bills, protecting coverage under the ACA is more important than ever. Before the ACA, individual market insurance was out of reach for millions due to pre-existing condition exclusions, coverage loopholes, and skyrocketing premiums. Now, 9 million people benefit from premium tax credits to help lower their health care costs, and everyone purchasing insurance through the marketplaces can have peace of mind knowing they have comprehensive coverage.
Thanks To The ACA:
- GAINED: Protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions.
- GAINED: Medicaid expansion, which covers 16 million people.
- GAINED: Nearly 12 million seniors pay less for prescription drugs.
- GAINED: 2.3 million adult children are able to stay on their parents’ insurance.
- GAINED: Three million children nationwide gained coverage.
- GAINED: Insurance companies are banned from charging women 50 percent more than men.
- GAINED: Financial assistance that helps 9 million people purchase health care in the marketplace.
- GAINED: Key support for rural hospitals.
- GAINED: Ban on insurance companies having lifetime caps on coverage.
- GAINED: Requirements that insurance companies cover prescription drugs and maternity care.
The ACA’s marketplaces are already serving as an important safety net as the country continues to battle the pandemic: CMS data revealed nearly half a million people enrolled in ACA coverage by May, representing a 46 percent increase in enrollment from the same period last year. Per a brief recently filed in support of the ACA by 220 public health experts, the American Public Health Association, and the American Academy of Nursing: “COVID-19 has made clear that a population-wide means of delivering preventive and diagnostic medical treatment is essential to the health of Americans—and to the health of the American economy. The ACA is the only legislation that fills that important void right now, and it cannot lightly be discarded.”
If The Texas Lawsuit Succeeds, The Individual Marketplace And Financial Assistance That Helps Individuals Purchase Health Insurance Will Be Eliminated:
- 11 million people with comprehensive insurance through the ACA marketplace could lose their coverage. Without the ACA, more than 11 million people nationwide enrolled in the individual marketplace could lose coverage.
- Nine million people in the marketplaces would pay more for coverage. Nearly 9 million people would lose financial assistance that helps them purchase health care in the marketplace. In 2019, the average monthly premium tax credit was $514.
Thanks To The Republican Lawsuit, 23 Million People Could Lose Their Coverage:
Before the pandemic, the Urban Institute estimated 19.9 million people could lose coverage by repealing the Affordable Care Act, meaning the number of uninsured Americans would increase from 30.4 million to 50.3 million, representing a leading to a 65 percent increase in the uninsured rate. As the uninsured rate swells, so will the amount of uncompensated care, which Urban predicts will grow by at least 82 percent.
Now, in light of the devastating impact of the coronavirus crisis, the Center for American Progress estimates that at least 3 million additional people could lose coverage. CAP estimates that 23 million people stand to lose coverage if the ACA is overturned in court.
Millions of children could lose their coverage. Almost three million children nationwide gained coverage thanks to the ACA. If the law is overturned, many of these children will lose their insurance.
The Black uninsured rate would nearly double. If the ACA is overturned, the uninsured rate among Black Americans would spike from 11 percent to 20 percent.
More than 5 million Latinos would lose coverage. The percentage of people gaining health insurance under the ACA was higher for Latinos than for any other racial or ethnic group in the country. According to Families USA, 5.4 million Latinos would lose coverage if the lawsuit succeeds in overturning the ACA.