Sacramento, CA – The California Pan-Ethnic Health Network released the following statement in regards to the impending Supreme Court Case California v. Texas, which threatens to strike down many of the Affordable Care Act’s critical provisions.
“The Affordable Care Act is the single most important piece of law in expanding health care coverage and access to millions of Americans. The federal government’s repeated failed attempts to repeal or declare unconstitutional the ACA have only jeopardized the health and wellbeing of Americans, especially communities of color, women, Limited English Proficient (LEP) and LGBTQ+ individuals. Now, in the middle of a pandemic, the Supreme Court will rule on whether or not to overturn the ACA, putting millions at risk of losing heath care coverage when individuals and families can least afford it.
“At risk once again are health care protections for young adults and people with pre-existing conditions, Medi-Cal expansion coverage including critical access to mental and oral health care services for 3.5 million low-income working adults, and federal subsidies for nearly 90 percent of the 1.5 million Californians who buy coverage through Covered California. The state receives $20 billion in federal funding for the Medi-Cal expansion and an additional $7 billion in federal subsidies which is an essential element of making coverage affordable for consumers, without which, those who currently receive assistance are likely to be unable to pay for their coverage and health insurance companies may increase prices if the state is unable to keep them low and subsidize coverage.
“CPEHN rejects this latest attack on the ACA” says CPEHN’s executive director Kiran Savage-Sangwan. “California embraced the ACA and continues to lead in expanding access to health care coverage. We have the most to lose, with communities of color likely to face the worst losses and impacts if the ACA is repealed.” In California, the number of uninsured decreased from 6.5 million in 2012 to 3.5 million in 2017, with many of those gains by African American, Latinx, and Asian American Pacific Islander individuals. Prior to the ACA communities of color, who made up just over half of all residents, were three- quarters (74%) of California’s uninsured. The ACA significantly helped to close the coverage gap, cutting uninsurance rates by more than half for Latinx, Blacks, Asian Americans and other racial/ethnic groups including American Indian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders, between 2013 and 2018.
“We applaud California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra for leading the coalition of 20 states and the District of Columbia in defending the ACA in U.S. Supreme Court. We will fight with every tool we have available at our disposal. And in choosing Joe Biden as the next President, the American people have clearly rejected attacks on their health care and overwhelmingly voiced support for upholding the Affordable Care Act. The Supreme Court should do likewise.”
The Supreme Court is slated to hear oral arguments for California v. Texas on November 10th.