CINCINNATI – The Center for Closing the Health Gap stands with the National Medical Association supporting the legal challenges filed against the Texas-based federal district court ruling that declared the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. On Dec. 14, 2018, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor ruled that the ACA is unconstitutional due to the recent changes in the federal tax code. The change was the removal of the “tax” on individuals who do not participate in the plan.
The ACA did more than offer affordable health insurance to many Americans, it helped the country take a step forward in eliminating health disparities and improve health equity. The ACA contains provisions specific to race, ethnicity and language, which work to eliminate health disparities. Many of the ACA’s general provisions will also help benefit low income and racially/ethnically diverse communities, said Renee Mahaffey Harris, President & CEO of the Health Gap.
According to the Cincinnati Medical Association, the ACA has made it easier for individuals to obtain health insurance, and eliminated the insurance companies’ ability to implement price discrimination because of age or gender. It has also allowed for adult children under the age of 25 to be covered by their parents insurance. In Ohio, over 230,127 residents use the federally operated ACA exchange annually. In addition, this ruling flies in the face of the will of the people, who desire and deserve affordable, accessible healthcare for all Americans.
A reversal of the progress made by the ACA will not only create an undue financial burden on a vast majority of the American population, but it will remove the security of long-worked for benefits of those covered by Medicare, remove any hope of access to coverage by the poor and increase the financial burden of parents of college-age dependents. This callous ruling could disproportionately affect our country’s most vulnerable citizens – the elderly, the poor and our children, the NMA stated.