Contact: Isabelle Chaudry, [email protected]
This statement can be attributed to Sequoia Ayala and Kentina Washington-Leapheart, Acting Executive Co-Directors
Today, in a 57-page decision on the California v. Texas case, the court ruled 7 to 2 that Republican-led states and two individuals did not have standing to bring a constitutional challenge to the Affordable Care Act. The opinion, penned by Justice Stephen Breyer, was upheld by all but two justices, with conservative justices Samuel A. Alito and Neil M. Gorsuch dissenting.
The NWHN applauds the court’s decision, as we’ve said all along that this lawsuit has no merit under the current legal landscape. As Politico reported, Texas-led supporters of the challenge argued that Obamacare’s individual mandate to purchase health insurance became unconstitutional after Congress made the penalty for not having health insurance zero in 2017. They argued that the entire law should be thrown out because the mandate to obtain insurance, a mandate still technically on the books, was central to the law’s functioning. However, the states failed to show in their arguments how they were harmed by a mandate that had been rendered ineffective by the zeroing out.
Although this is a great victory for the ACA and for women’s health, the NWHN encourages the public to stay vigilant. A new and incredibly concerning lawsuit, Kelley v. Azar, is looking to end the ACA requirement that Americans must receive preventative testing and services like mammograms free of charge by challenging the ACA’s first-dollar coverage mandate for preventive services. This case is being pushed forward by U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor, the same judge who found the entire ACA unconstitutional in California v. Texas. The NWHN will be following this case closely and will continue to be on the front lines of the fight against any new ACA challenges.
To learn more about the history of the ACA, challenges it has faced so far, and challenges it is likely to face in the future, watch our policy department’s tutorial “ACA 101: How does the ACA work?”
Do you or someone you know need healthcare coverage? Open enrollment due to the COVID19 emergency is authorized through August 15. Learn more here about enrollment eligibility in your state.
The National Women’s Health Network is supported by our members and by choice we do not accept financial support from drug companies or medical device manufacturers. We bring the voices, concerns, and needs of women consumers to policy and regulatory tables.