ACA: A hidden healthcare hero of the Covid-19 crisis

May 5, 2020

Today, May 6th, 2020, Democratic attorneys-general and the House of Representatives will present arguments defending the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) against a lawsuit brought by the Trump administration and Republicans in 2018 to overturn the ACA and declare it unconstitutional.

If the ACA were overturned, 20 million Americans would lose health coverage and 135 million people with pre-existing conditions would lose protections guaranteed to them by the law.  The frightening impact of these numbers is becoming very real as the Covid crisis continues.

As the Covid-19 crisis continues, let’s remember a few plain facts:

  • The ACA protects people with pre-existing conditions.  They cannot be denied coverage.  Without the ACA millions would have gone into this crisis without any healthcare coverage. And those who have had Covid and recovered cannot be refused health insurance or be charged higher premiums.
  • Preventive care and other essential protections are covered under the ACA, especially for those with chronic conditions like diabetes and heart illnesses. People have therefore been able to take care of their health better, making them better able to survive the Covid crisis.
  • The ACA offers mental health benefits as one of its Essential Benefits, so crucial during the Covid crisis.
  • 95% of New Yorkers are covered by health insurance. Under the ACA, New York State has expanded Medicaid, offers subsidized health insurance in the state health marketplace (New York State of Health) and allows young people under 26 to remain on their parents’ health plans. This means 95% of the state is protected during a public health emergency.

The ACA has saved tens of thousands of lives before the Covid pandemic.  It has especially done so during the pandemic, and will continue to protect us after. The current lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act is a strike against the well-being of all Americans. There could not be a worse time to end comprehensive coverage and healthcare protections for Americans.

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