Statement: Court of Appeal Ruling on Affordable Care Act Will Cause Tremendous Harm

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Yesterday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision, partially affirmed a ruling from a lower court that declared the Affordable Care Act (ACA) unconstitutional. This ruling, which will no doubt be appealed to the Supreme Court, continues the governments’ siege on healthcare for people with low incomes. If this decision is ultimately upheld, the effects of this attack will extend to every aspect of the system of care in our country. It would have a direct, immediate impact on those with pre-existing conditions and countless others in the form of shuttering rural hospitals, skyrocketing costs and other unpredictable outcomes.

The ACA has been in place for almost a decade, and it is now the bedrock of our healthcare system. Repealing it will cause tremendous harm. Through numerous legal challenges in the past, the Supreme Court has allowed the ACA to remain in effect, and until this current challenge is decided, it remains the law of the land. For now, nothing changes for those who have gained coverage through Health Insurance Marketplaces, Medicaid or CHIP, employment sponsored insurance, through a parent’s coverage, and beyond. Families should continue getting and using their coverage without concern.

South Carolina Appleseed will remain focused on doing our part to improving the healthcare system for everyone in our state. We will continue to oppose all efforts which threaten to reduce access to quality, affordable healthcare, whether it be the threat of ACA repeal at the national level or the harmful work requirements announced in-state by Governor McMaster earlier this month.

Instead of repealing the ACA or putting work requirements on Medicaid recipients, we must move forward in solving the real healthcare problems in the state by expanding Medicaid and finding other creative ways to expand coverage. Medicaid Expansion will bring our healthcare system much-needed federal tax dollars, which will ultimately keep costs down for everyone. Our system will remain unstable, inefficient and expensive until our leaders adopt a mindset that everyone should have access to affordable and quality healthcare. We must stop these senseless attacks on the ACA.