The U.S. Supreme Court appears likely to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA), leaving the central aspects of the law in place. It’s a good move, not only for Americans’ health, but also for the economy.
The ACA has been law for a decade now and provides affordable, government-subsidized health insurance to tens of millions of lower-income and out-of-work Americans. Over this time, it has grown into a very popular program as it also provides expanded Medicaid coverage in the states and pre-existing condition protections for all Americans. The legal arguments before the Supreme Court are not only considered fundamentally shaky, but also are very poorly timed with the current state of the coronavirus pandemic throwing millions more Americans out of work and into a vulnerable position for their health-care needs. If this suit were to be successful, millions of Americans would lose their health-insurance coverage almost instantly. Also, states would lose about 10 percent of their annual state budgets in the form of revoked Medicaid payments and millions more Americans would lose critical protections against pre-existing health exclusions, lifetime-coverage caps, and essential health coverage such as maternity care.
Chris Orestis (www.retirementgenius.com) is president of LifeCare Xchange and a nationally recognized health-care expert and senior advocate. Known as a political insider, Orestis is a former Washington, D.C. lobbyist, who has worked in both the White House and for the Senate majority leader on Capitol Hill. He is author of the books “Help on the Way” and “A Survival Guide to Aging.” This op-ed is drawn from a statement Orestis issued on Nov. 10.