No matter where we come from, or what our color, all of us should be able to access health care when we get sick. Now more than ever, the COVID-19 crisis has shown us that our health depends on the person next to us, and the person next to them. Ensuring that we all can access health care is how we take care of ourselves.
That's why it’s unconscionable to think that at any time—but especially in the midst of a pandemic—the President of the United States would be supporting a lawsuit that will rip health care coverage away from at least 20 million people, but that is exactly what is happening.
What’s going on? Just last week, President Donald Trump told reporters that he wants to “terminate” the ACA—a law that has brought the uninsured rate to an historic low. He is currently supporting a coalition of 18 Republican state attorneys general arguing in court that the entirety of the law—including protections for 130 million people with pre-existing conditions—should be struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court. Even Trump’s own Attorney General and Health and Human Services Secretary have unsuccessfully urged him to modify the Administration’s position that the entire law should be struck down.
If Trump and the 18 Republican state attorneys general succeed, it would affect nearly every American in some way:
- 20 million more people would become uninsured.
- 130 million people with pre-existing conditions would lose protections.
- Insurers could once again put annual and lifetime limits on coverage (including employer plans).
- Young adults would no longer be able to stay on their parents’ plan until age 26.
- Cost-sharing for preventive services (like annual physicals and birth control) could return.
- Essential coverages (like maternity, prescription, and mental health care) could be eliminated from some plans.
As the COVID-19 crisis disrupts our daily lives, with so many losing their jobs, ability to pay for housing, food, and child care, we should be reinforcing and strengthening public investments that help people get health insurance like the ACA—not tearing them down. If Trump succeeds in having the ACA struck down while so many are suffering, it would cut taxes for those who are the most well-off. For example, households with incomes over $1 million would receive a tax cut of about $46,000 a piece.