Next week, a federal court in Texas will decide if the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and all of its protections for people with pre-existing conditions should stand. This isn’t a new activity for anyone who’s paid attention to the ACA since it passed. Opponents of the law have spent years trying to drag us backwards through court cases and repeal legislation. No matter how many times they fail they still haven’t gotten the message – the ACA makes life better for people. They don’t want to lose it!
However, there’s a big difference between this court case and the many preceding it, which is that the current Administration won’t defend the law. In fact, the Trump Administration is arguing FOR the people trying to get the ACA thrown out. That’s not normally how this works – the Executive Branch’s role is to execute and defend the law. Challengers are allowed to make their case against it, and the courts decide whose arguments are better. When we get a new Administration that wants to change the law, they can try to convince Congress to repeal it or pass a new law.
If the court agrees with the challengers next week, it would have a terrible effect on people’s ability to afford health care. A lot of legal scholars think this particular lawsuit is frivolous. They don’t believe the challengers’ arguments against the ACA will stand up in court, even with the government joining their efforts. They’re more worried that this signals a change in the role of the Executive Branch.
HCFANY is joining other organizations around the state to send letters to New York’s Congressional delegation saying enough is enough. The ACA is helping millions of New Yorkers, and there’s still plenty more work we could do to make health care more accessible. We have to stop wasting time on sabotaging a law that is working pretty well and instead work on improving it wherever we can.
If you’d like to add your name to the letters, you can click on the link to your District below. If you aren’t sure which is yours, type in your zip code at this link. The letters will be delivered on September 5.