NWLC responds to Supreme Court’s ACA oral arguments

(Washington, D.C.) Today, the newly comprised U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments to decide whether or not the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is constitutional, the first with Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who was confirmed just a week before the election.

Invalidation of the ACA will force at least 20 million people to immediately lose health care, in addition to critical reforms and protections that ended discriminatory and harmful insurance industry practices that disproportionately impacted women as highlighted in our amicus brief.

Because of the ACA:

  • Insurance companies are prohibited from denying coverage based upon pre-existing conditions, and 68 million women with pre-existing conditions have access to health coverage.
  • The practice of charging women significantly more than men for the same health insurance is banned, saving them approximately $1 billion a year.
  • Expanded Medicaid eligibility covers 18% of women across the country, including 27 percent of Latinas and 31 percent of Black women ages 15-44.
  • There is a broad federal protection against discrimination in health care based on race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex, including gender identity, sex stereotyping, pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.
  • Plans must cover women’s preventive services without out-of-pocket costs, including breast and cervical cancer screenings; comprehensive breastfeeding support services; and the full range of FDA-approved methods of contraception for women and related education and counseling. Over 64 million women now have coverage of preventive services without cost-sharing.
  • Plans must cover a baseline of essential health benefits for individual and small group insurance, including maternity and newborn care, preventative services, mental health and substance use disorder services, and prescription drugs.
  • Insurance companies are prohibited from setting lifetime limits on coverage.
  • Young adults can stay on their parents’ health insurance plan until they turn 26.

The following statement is from Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC):

“It’s deeply disturbing that this politically motivated effort to take health coverage away is at the Court for a third time, while COVID-19 cases continue to skyrocket. The Court should see this for what it is: Trump’s agenda to destroy the ACA, without a legal basis. People across the country know what’s at stake, and a decisive majority just voted for progress. People need and deserve expanded access to health care, especially during a pandemic. We will fight to make this a reality, no matter the decision of the Court.”