House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), along with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and other Democrats spoke on the steps of the Capitol Building on Thursday about the GOP’s latest efforts to take healthcare away from millions of people who are covered due to the policies of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). They appeared alongside dozens of people holding photos of the people, including children, who rely on the ACA for life-saving medical coverage.
In red states, particularly in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) home state of Kentucky, the ACA has been effective and incredibly successful in increasing the percentage of Americans covered by an insurance plan and lowering healthcare costs. However, Republican efforts to destroy the plan have not slowed, but ramped up. The 2018 midterm elections were the first time that Republicans felt the consequences of their efforts to take healthcare and patient protections from their constituents, so now, they’re using the courts to do it for them.
According to USA Today:
‘Medicaid expansion, subsidies that help workers buy coverage, protections for Americans with preexisting conditions, closing the Medicare Part D “donut hole” for prescription medication, zero-copay coverage for preventive care, the end of limits on out-of-pocket payments. … All of this and more could be gone if the two Republican-appointed judges on the panel decide to uphold some or all of a lower court ruling that guts the entire ACA.’
Mitch McConnell has spent the last nine years doing everything in his power to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Forgive me for thinking that his sudden display of concern for people with pre-existing conditions seems a bit insincere. https://t.co/YNK3Z4ZOat
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) July 10, 2019
Current efforts in the judicial system to end the ACA are based on the “unconstitutionality” of the individual mandate, which Trump already ended as part of his tax cuts for the wealthy. Despite the fact that no one is now required to pay into the healthcare system, and despite the fact that the ACA was voted in by a democratically-elected Congress who has the ability to levy taxes, the courts are hearing a case that insists that levying the individual mandate as a tax is a violation of constitutional law.
Nicholas Bagley, who works as a law professor at the University of Michigan and is a former Justice Department attorney, says:
‘The case should never have been taken seriously. The red states that brought the suit don’t have standing to bring it; Congress introduced no constitutional defect into the Act by zeroing out the mandate penalty; and the proper remedy for any constitutional defect is to sever the mandate, not invalidate the whole ACA.’
The Affordable Care Act helped millions get access to quality health care without being denied coverage b/c of a pre-existing condition.
— Rep. Colin Allred (@RepColinAllred) July 11, 2019
Although the Supreme Court has already upheld the constitutionality of the ACA even with the individual mandate, the newly-formed and more conservative SCOTUS, which could become even more conservative by 2020 should Trump be reelected, would be the next step in an appeals process should the lower court’s ruling stand. More than ever, Democrats will have to dig in to protect healthcare for the American people.
‘The November elections, when Democrats won the House by the largest popular-vote margin in the history of American midterms, marked the first time Republicans paid a real cost for their efforts to suffocate the ACA. And while Democrats are united in defense of the law, they’ve never been as ruthless in the pursuit of covering Americans as Republicans are in their lust to uninsure them.’
"The point has always been to deny Americans the health insurance that was secured for them when the ACA was signed into law in 2010. And Republicans have been remarkably successful at this." –@LOLGOP
— Elena Hung (@ElenaHung202) July 10, 2019
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