Court Ruling Striking Down the Affordable Care Act is Misguided and Cruel – But Doesn’t Change Open Enrollment 2019

US District Court Judge Reed O’Connor made a decision on Friday to strike down the entirety of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the case Texas v. United States. This lawsuit threatens access to healthcare, quality of coverage, and financial protections for millions of people and their families.

This ruling is an assault on 133 million Americans with preexisting conditions, on the 20 million Americans who rely on the ACA for healthcare, and on America’s faithful progress toward affordable healthcare for all Americans. The ACA has already survived more than 70 unsuccessful repeal attempts and withstood scrutiny in the Supreme Court. During the midterm elections, the American people forcefully rejected efforts to repeal and undermine the Affordable Care Act. Yet, the Trump Administration has made it clear that their priority is attacking access to critically-needed health care, protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and insurance for young people. Now, conservative courts are cowardly following suit.

While Protect Our Care Illinois is deeply disappointed in yesterday’s cruel and poorly reasoned decision by a judge in Texas, we want to share a few important points about its real impact:

  1. The ACA is still the law of land. Medicaid expansion, protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and the Health Insurance Marketplace remain intact. 
  2. This ruling does not take effect immediately and is being appealed. This is a lower court decision and national and state advocates are ready to appeal. 
  3. This decision does not impact the open enrollment period happening right now. As the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services stated today “the recent federal court decision is still moving through the courts, and the exchanges are still open for business and we will continue with open enrollment. There is no impact to current coverage or coverage in a 2019 plan.”

This means that your healthcare coverage and financial protections are not currently affected. So, you should continue to see your doctor when you need to. Those who haven’t done so already can enroll in a marketplace health plan today, December 15th, the last day of open enrollment.

Friday’s misguided ruling will not deter us: we will continue to fight in court for the health and well-being of Illinoisans and all Americans. Protect Our Care Illinois urges Texas and the coalition of challengers to work to reduce the number of uninsured families across our country instead of playing politics and trying to dismantle existing funding that makes coverage affordable and overturning critical consumer protections.

From the start, legal experts, across the political spectrum have questioned the merits of this case, and we firmly believe the appeals court will agree and reverse this decision based on weak legal arguments and the devastating impact it will have on the 20 million Americans benefiting from the ACA, including those in Illinois. We encourage you to resist this latest sabotage attempt and enroll in a comprehensive ACA insurance plan today.