Human Rights Campaign President Reacts to Arguments at the Supreme Court to Invalidate the Affordable Care Act

by Elizabeth Bibi

Today, the Human Rights Campaign reacted to the arguments before the United States Supreme Court in California v. Texas, which will determine the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA):

Since its historic enactment 10 years ago, the Affordable Care Act has helped tens of millions of people in the United States obtain access to quality affordable health care. Among other things, the ACA has prevented health insurance companies from denying coverage based on preexisting conditions, a critical safeguard as the COVID-19 pandemic roils our country, with 10 million cases reported to date. It has been vital to countless LGBTQ individuals in the United States, who are less likely than the general population to have access to health insurance and who face entrenched discrimination in access to health care.

Now, after many years of trying, Republicans have shepherded a case with dubious legal reasoning to the Supreme Court, which could invalidate this landmark legislation, without any regard for those left without the ACA’s protections, and without a plan with which to replace it. The case the Supreme Court is hearing is flawed and the Court should, as it did in 2012 and 2015, reject requests to invalidate the law. In so doing, the Court will protect its legitimacy, honor the lives saved by the law’s protections, and demonstrate once and for all that in the richest and most powerful country in the world, access to affordable health care must be attainable for all who seek it.

Alphonso David, President, Human Rights Campaign

As part of its efforts to realize the promise of the ACA for all, HRC, alongside co-counsel BakerHostetler, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Trump-Pence administration on behalf of two transgender women of color who have experienced a lifetime of severe and pervasive discrimination from health care providers. The lawsuit challenged a regulation by the United States Department of Health and Human Services which would have illegally stripped away critical sexual orientation and gender identity nondiscrimination protections in the ACA. In August, HRC secured a preliminary injunction, preventing the rule from taking effect.

According to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s analysis of the 2018 Behavioral Risk Factor Assessment System, the nation’s premier system of health-related telephone surveys, 17% of LGBTQ adults do not have any form of health insurance coverage, compared to 12% for their non-LGBTQ counterparts. Furthermore, 23% of LGBTQ adults of color and 22% of transgender adults and 32% of transgender adults of color have no form of health insurance coverage.

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