Today, as oral arguments will be held in the case Texas, et al. vs. United States, et al., a lawsuit that not only threatens protections for people with pre-existing conditions, but a whole host of provisions that tens of millions of Americans rely upon for their care and coverage, health care advocates around the country are uniting once again to demand that their Republican attorneys general and governors drop this dangerous lawsuit. At the same time, health care advocates living with pre-existing conditions have traveled to Washington, DC to urge Senators to reject Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. If the courts ultimately rule in favor of the Republican states and the Trump administration, critical health care protections would vanish overnight, unleashing chaos in our entire health care system.
“The court must uphold the law and protect our healthcare — and Republicans must end their dangerous political games with Americans’ health care. President Trump and the Republican attorneys general and governors pushing this lawsuit could bring us all back to a time when insures frequently denied the millions of Americans living with pre-existing conditions coverage or jacked up their premiums, making life-saving health care unaffordable for those who need it most,” said Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care.
The American people have made it clear time and again that they do not support repeal, and pollafter poll after poll shows Americans do not support rolling back critical coverage that would eliminate protections for pre-existing conditions that exist in the ACA. Today, Protect Our Care coalitions in Arizona, Indiana, Maine, Tennessee, Missouri, Montana, Florida, North Dakota, Wisconsin, and West Virginia are holding actions once more to ask their Republican attorneys general or governors to drop their lawsuit to overturn protections for people with pre-existing conditions in the Affordable Care Act.
While advocates with Protect Our Care coalitions stand up against the Trump-GOP lawsuit in states across the country, patients with pre-existing conditions are in Washington D.C. asking Senators to vote no on Kavanaugh’s nomination. “If confirmed, this judge will have the ability to overturn the Affordable Care Act and the power to dismantle the programs we now have,” said Kelly Gregory, an Air Force veteran from Nashville, Tennessee currently battling stage four breast cancer who sat in the hearing yesterday and was referenced by Senators Feinstein and Kloubuchar. “I’m here to fight for those people who will be in my shoes now and in the future,” saidJeff Jeans, a cancer survivor from Sedona, Arizona who switched political parties during cancer treatment when he realized he wouldn’t be alive if not for the Affordable Care Act. “This is my voice,” said Joseph Merlino, a survivor of cancer in his larynx, who met with Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto yesterday. “And I’m using it to make sure that my Senators know that as I fought a rare throat cancer, I relied on coverage that I got through the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid. If it weren’t for that, I surely wouldn’t be here right now.”
Texas, et al. v. United States, et al. puts into sharp view just what is at stake for health care with Kavanaugh’s nomination. If the district court in Texas rules in favor of the Republicans and blocks the law — and Trump successfully installs Kavanaugh as his anti-health care ‘rubber stamp’ on the Supreme Court, it will have a devastating impact on health care. Here is what could be eliminated:
- Seventeen million more people could lose their coverage in a single year, leading to a 50 percent increase in the uninsured rate
- Protections for 130 million people with pre-existing conditions, if they buy coverage on their own
- Improvements to Medicare, including reduced costs for prescription drugs
- Allowing kids to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26
- Ban on annual and lifetime limits
- Ban on insurance discrimination against women
- Limit on out-of-pocket costs
- Medicaid expansion currently covering 15 million people
- Small business tax credits
- Marketplace tax credits for up to 9 million people
For more information on the case, read Protect Our Care’s new report “The Relentless Republican War On People with Pre-existing Conditions: The Lone Star Edition.” You can also see what health care experts have to say by reading, “Those Who Know Health Care The Best Say The Texas Lawsuit Is The Worst.”