To the Editor:
As a healthcare advocate in the Syracuse region, I work every day with members of my community who would have not had healthcare coverage without the ACA. Like Marilyn, a mother of two, who affords her insulin shots only because she is covered by Medicaid. Or Joseph, a low-wage full-time employee whose son is covered by his insurance thanks to the ACA.
Today’s ACA ruling by a federal court striking down the individual mandate, is a blow directly against millions of Americans like these. Two judges on the 5th Circuit have struck down a pillar of the ACA, the individual mandate. They have now put the fate of the entire American health care system back into the hands of the same judge who is of the opinion that the entire law should be struck down.
This terrible decision moves us closer to increased health disparities and mortality rates in our communities. The ACA has protected many lives of those that I know, both personally and professionally. I have seen first-hand how the healthcare system failed to deliver for individuals and families with pre-existing conditions, with unaffordable subsidies, and more, until the ACA and its protections were put in place.
The Trump administration should be strengthening the ACA instead of taking it apart and causing untold harm to millions.
I hope that the Trump administration and Republican’s in Congress understand that with their continued efforts to destroy the ACA they are putting countless lives at stake. The Trump-Texas health care repeal lawsuit is another step closer to destroying the ACA and taking away coverage from tens of millions of Americans. While the ultimate decision is likely to come after the 2020 election, the stakes remain higher than ever.
On Wednesday, a federal court struck down a component of the law requiring people to have health coverage, ruling that the individual mandate is unconstitutional. Two judges on the 5th Circuit bought into the legal theory advanced by Trump and his allies that because of this ruling on the individual mandate, the entire ACA should be invalid. They have now put the fate of the entire American health care system back into the hands of the same judge who has sided with the position that the entire law should be struck down.
A repeat of his original decision will send the entire health care system into a meltdown, leading to chaos for the tens of millions of Americans who will directly lose coverage, possibly overnight, as well as everyone else who will lose vital protections for preexisting conditions and other benefits and protections enshrined into law by the
This bad decision moves us closer to increased health disparities and mortality rates in our communities. The Affordable Care Act has saved countless lives and continues to do so. 130 million Americans have pre-existing conditions, which is protected under the ACA. This includes 44 million Americans who have high blood pressure and 45 million Americans who have behavioral health disorders. These are top health concerns in many of our communities. We can not allow the current administration to continue the war against healthcare. Just like your loved ones the ACA has protected many lives of those that I know. It is our responsibility to ensure health care for all Americans. By allowing this lawsuit to proceed, the Department of Justice and the Trump Administration are ignoring the critical obligation. In a country as prosperous as America, it is inexcusable to willfully make Americans less healthy and to erect barriers to making getting healthcare harder. Instead, we must work to provide even more access to healthcare, so that ultimately every American can afford the care they need. The ACA showed that this goal, while not yet achieved is certainly attainable. Protect your friends and family and tell this administration to keep their hands off of healthcare!
Regional Healthcare Advocate