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President-elect Joe Biden is championing the Obama administration’s signature health law as it goes before the Supreme Court in the case that could overturn it amid the greatest health criss the nation has faced in a century. Biden will deliver a speech on the Affordable Care Act and his healthcare plans later today.
Biden has pledged to build on the Affordable Care Act while championing a “public option” that would allow more people to opt into government-sponsored health insurance, even as millions of others could stick with their current, usually employer-based coverage.
Abbe R. Gluck puts into perspective what is at stake in the supreme court today, as it hears a case that might strike down the Affordable Care Act.
It is the most challenged statute in modern American history. In addition to the Supreme Court cases, there have been more than 1,700 cases in the lower courts; Republicans in Congress have tried more than 70 times to repeal it; the Trump administration has engaged in an unprecedented array of executive actions to undermine the insurance markets and financially starve the law; red states rebelled against it from the day it was passed; and state initiatives have been enacted by supporters to force states to effectuate it.
And still the Affordable Care Act, which may be the most resilient statute in American history, has done more than survive: It has transformed our health care system and the way Americans think about their right to care.
What would an adverse ruling in this case mean? We now take countless things for granted that come from the law and that so many Americans — not just those on public programs — benefit from: insurance covering childhood vaccines, colorectal cancer screenings with no co-pay, no annual caps on insurance, older people’s vastly expanded drug coverage, no denials based on pre-existing health conditions and much more. All of that and more will be gone if the court strikes down the law.
Already 133 million Americans have benefited from the ban on pre-existing conditions, and Covid-19 might now be deemed a pre-existing condition.