WASHINGTON, D.C. — Donald Trump packed the Supreme Court with justices he could count on to strike down the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Today, in the midst of a global pandemic when health care is needed most, we are watching to see if Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch deliver the goods to the outgoing President.
Women and the most vulnerable in our society know what’s at stake today. The repeal lawsuit, supported by the Trump administration, will be heard by the Supreme Court in California v. Texas and could end ACA as we know it.
The ACA is what allows parents to keep their children on their health insurance plans until age 26, ensures women are able to obtain preventative services such as mammograms, and helps protect access birth control. Prior to the ACA, women could be charged more for insurance and could be denied maternal coverage like pregnancy care and childbirth. Additionally, insurance companies could deny LGBTQIA+ individuals insurance coverage, services related to gender transition, or charge higher rates based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Perhaps the most alarming aspect of a ACA repeal would be the loss of the prohibition against denying coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, this could impact anywhere between 50 and 129 million individuals. And as the COVID pandemic takes an exponential toll on Americans and the nation’s mental health, if the ACA is overturned, mental illness and even COVID-19 itself may soon be the most common pre-existing condition.
The ACA’s essential health benefits ensure everyone with insurance can have comprehensive care, including mental healthcare, maternity care, and more. NOW members are monitoring today’s arguments carefully. These justices cannot allow themselves to be used as partisan pawns, intent on eviscerating our healthcare system. It is the duty of the Supreme Court to uphold the Constitution and protect our civil rights and liberties.
We refuse to go back to a dangerous time when insurance companies could deny or charge more for coverage and discriminate against the millions of people with pre-existing conditions. Repealing access to health care, with no alternative plan in sight moving forward, will only put the lives of women and families at risk.