Protect Our Care Illinois denounces the decision of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Texas vs. US, which lays the foundation for the overturn of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and risks the health and well-being of millions of lives. The two Republican-appointed judges sided with President Trump and Republicans to declare a portion of the law unconstitutional and sent the rest back to the same handpicked lower court judge who has already ruled the entire law unconstitutional.
Despite this ruling, health insurance purchased on the Illinois Marketplace for 2020 coverage is still valid and protections for people with pre-existing conditions are still intact, for now.
Health care is a top priority for Illinoisans; and yesterday’s ruling represents a major blow in the fight for access to comprehensive care that meets the needs and the budgets of everyday people. Now, at least 605,000 Illinoisans are at risk of losing their health coverage. Make no mistake – this politicized decision jeopardizes the health care coverage and peace of mind for the over 5 million people in Illinois who have pre-existing conditions.
Under the ACA, twenty million individuals have gained health care coverage nationwide – bringing uninsured rates to an all-time low. Moreover, the ACA established historic consumer guarantees and meaningful coverage of core health services, including:
- Protections for people with pre-existing conditions
- Ban on annual and lifetime coverage caps for people who are chronically ill
- No discrimination against women and seniors in insurance pricing
- Ability for parents to keep their children up to age 26 on their insurance plan
- Required coverage of ten essential health benefits, including: mental health and substance use treatment, contraceptive coverage, maternity care, and prescription drugs
This health care repeal lawsuit represents the latest in a string of attacks on the ACA that jeopardize access to the high-quality care provided for by the Act’s provisions. Republican members of Congress have voted to repeal the ACA more than 50 times since it was enacted in 2010. Following multiple failed attempts to repeal, the Trump Administration began allowing insurance companies to expand the sale of short-term plans that fall short of meeting the quality standards required by the ACA. Additionally, the Administration has pursued actions that weaken the program, including shortening open enrollment, scheduling website maintenance during peak hours, and slashing funds for community assisters and marketing.
Tragically, yesterday’s decision represents a turning back of the clock on the fight to expand health coverage, access to comprehensive care, and consumer protections. In the face of ongoing sabotage, Protect our Care Illinois will remain vigilant in defending the historic progress made possible because of the ACA. We are proud to support Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s defense of the ACA, and we are committed to standing with health care consumers, providers, and advocates across Illinois in support of accessible, comprehensive health care for all Illinoisans because safe, healthy individuals and families are the heart of vibrant, prosperous communities.