CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (April 1, 2019) — In defense of significant coverage gains and key patient protection provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the American Medical Association (AMA) and other leading physician organizations today filed an amicus brief in the case of Texas v United States. Additional organizations joining the AMA include the American College of Physicians (ACP), American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Download or view the amicus brief.

 “The district court ruling that the individual mandate is unconstitutional and inseverable from the remainder of the ACA would wreak havoc on the entire health care system, destabilize health insurance coverage, and roll back federal health policy to 2009,” said AMA President Barbara L McAneny MD. “The ACA has dramatically boosted insurance coverage, and key provisions of the law enjoy widespread public support. The district court’s decision to invalidate the entire ACA should be reversed.”

If the district court ruling is upheld, it would adversely impact every single American, rendering the following ACA provisions null and void:

  • Patients would no longer have protections for pre-existing conditions;
  • Children would no longer have coverage under their parents’ health insurance plan until age 26;
  • Insurers would no longer be held to the 85% medical loss ratio, meaning they could generate higher profits at the expense of coverage and payments for services;
  • 100 percent coverage for certain preventive services would cease;
  • Individual marketplace and subsidies based on income would be eliminated;
  • Federal funding for Medicaid expansion would end, as would Medicaid eligibility expansion; and
  • Annual and life-time dollar limits could be reinstated, leading to more bankruptcies due to health-care costs.

For more than a decade, the AMA has advocated for expanded coverage and key health-insurance reforms that help patients. At the time of the ACA’s passage, and ever since, the AMA has acknowledged that the law has flaws and policymakers need to fix problems, gaps, and unintended consequences. The AMA’s highest priority is to ensure that the millions of Americans who have gained health care coverage because of the law maintain their coverage, in addition to their patient protections.

 

About the AMA

The American Medical Association is the powerful ally and unifying voice for America’s physicians, the patients they serve, and the promise of a healthier nation. The AMA attacks the dysfunction in health-care by removing obstacles and burdens that interfere with patient care. It reimagines medical education, training, and lifelong learning for the digital age to help physicians grow at every stage of their careers, and it improves the health of the nation by confronting the increasing chronic disease burden. For more information, visit ama-assn.org.

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