Efforts to eliminate the Affordable Care Act (the ACA) have been voted on and defeated in Congress ever since it was passed ten years ago, and now the federal government and some states have a lawsuit (California v. Texas) appealing to the courts to eliminate the ACA. That case will be heard before the US Supreme Court on November 10th.
Now is a good time to re-educate ourselves regarding the provisions of the ACA – and share information with others so we recognize what is at stake. This brief is an excellent source on the components of the ACA, all of which will be lost if the court decides in favor of the federal Administration and the states that are suing. Pay particular attention to the improvements in Medicare that were a result of the ACA. Those include no co-pay coverage for preventive care, closing the Part D prescription drug coverage gap, and more. Additionally, if the ACA is struck down, the NYS budget will be hard hit because federal funding for many of our health programs will disappear. That will put a heavy burden back on state taxpayers.
The last time the Supreme Court heard a case on the ACA there was a split vote, with the Chief Justice breaking the tie, resulting in the ACA being upheld. As many are aware, the passing of Justice Ginsburg has created a vacancy on the court and without her dissenting voice, the ACA may well be undone depending on the persuasiveness of the legal arguments and the deliberations of the sitting justices.
Notably, there is no federal plan to replace the ACA. In the past weeks, the White House has issued several Executive Orders that speak to some provisions, including protecting those with pre-existing conditions, but those Executive Orders do not, in fact, provide protections – they are only a statement of intent. They do not require insurance companies to comply without new legislation (which has not been drafted and introduced) passing Congress.
On Tuesday, September 29th, many advocates throughout the Country will be holding events to point out the importance of the ACA and to call upon the Supreme Court to preserve its patient protections. You can amplify those events with your own social media postings. Share the KFF brief on your facebook page, with your email lists and on your social media accounts to educate others.
For more discussion on these emerging issues, register for NY StateWide Senior Action Council’s upcoming Convention. Learn more about how to participate here.