Today, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for King v. Burwell, the latest Supreme Court case aimed at dismantling the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). This particular case calls into question one very specific phrase in the legislation, which, until very recently, was not a site of contention for either political party. Ultimately, this case will determine whether or not the language in the ACA allows the federal government to provide subsidized coverage for individuals whose states chose not to establish their own exchange.
If SCOTUS were to rule in favor of the plaintiffs, 8.6 million people who enrolled through the federal exchange would lose their coverage.
The impact on women specifically would be harsh:
- According to the National Women’s Law Center, over nine million women nationwide are eligible for premium subsidies, but nearly seven million of them live in states with federally-facilitated marketplaces.
- And, of those seven million women who could lose their subsidies, nearly half (3.4 million) are women of color.
Without those subsidies, millions of women would lose access to essential health services including preventive care like birth control, prenatal care, mammograms and cervical cancer screenings, and medical treatment when they become ill.
I personally question whether or not the plaintiffs truly desire lawfulness, or if they want to promote their deranged hatred for President Obama and his policies. I would argue the latter.
In an interview by Mother Jones, frontman David King “said he doesn’t care if millions of Americans lose their health coverage, because ‘they’re probably not paying for it anyway.’” Another plaintiff, Brenda Levy, was asked how she felt about 8.6 million people losing their coverage. Her response was mind-boggling and quite honestly, invalidates the legal standing of the plaintiffs: “‘I don’t want things to be more difficult for people … I don’t like the idea of throwing people off their health insurance.’” When Mother Jones researched the petitioners, some problematic information was found on Rose Luck’s Facebook page. She described President Obama as the “‘anti-Christ’” who was elected because “‘he got his Muslim people to vote for him.””
Fanaticism, bigotry, and unadulterated hate are not reasonable grounds for millions to lose their health care.
Losing health insurance coverage under the ACA would have a devastating impact on millions of low and moderate-income women and their families, both in terms of their health and well-being as well as their financial security. NOW supports federally-facilitated Exchanges and hopes that in the case of King v. Burwell, the Court will agree.