New Developments in the ACA repeal case before SCOTUS
The Supreme Court of the United States has set a date to hear oral arguments in California v. Texas: one week after election day, November 10, 2020. This lawsuit has the potential to overturn the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), which has been instrumental in providing comprehensive, quality health coverage to children across the country.
The lawsuit, known in the lower courts as Texas v. Azar and Texas v. US, was brought forth by Texas and 19 other states. They allege ACA is no longer valid because the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act set the tax penalty for not having health insurance to $0. Among those seeking to repeal the Affordable Care Act is Arizona’s Attorney General Mark Brnovich. Attorney General Brnovich and opponents of the ACA argue that a patchwork of state-level laws will protect patients in the same way. But, this is misleading.
For example, this year in Arizona, State Senator J.D. Mesnard passed legislation that purportedly provides protection against discrimination for people with pre-existing conditions. However, the law does not explicitly protect against price gouging for these individuals, and our state is woefully underprepared to enforce the law. The Arizona Department of Insurance and Financial Institutions, which investigates complaints against insurance companies, has just six investigators who oversee 1,600 insurers. Of the more than 3,000 complaints filed with the agency in FY2019, only 345 were investigated.
Children’s Action Alliance recently partnered with researchers at ASU’s College of Health Solutions to examine the impact of ACA repeal on Arizona’s children and families. The report examines key tenets of the ACA, including its protections for people with pre-existing conditions, Medicaid expansion, and its tremendous impact on reducing the rate of uninsured children in Arizona.
To read the full report, click here.