Cartwright Statement as DOJ, Republican State AGs Ask Supreme Court to Strike Down ACA During Pandemic
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright (PA-08) today issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and several Republican attorneys general filed briefs in California v. Texas before the Supreme Court, asking that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) be struck down in its entirety as the U.S. continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.
A new report shows that the number of Americans at risk of losing health insurance has risen to more than 23 million amid the coronavirus pandemic, including 996,000 Pennsylvanians.
“Thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Americans can get health coverage even if they have lost their jobs. Local community health centers have federal funding, helping them serve the uninsured. Seniors save money on prescription drugs. And people with pre-existing conditions are protected, the very same people who are most vulnerable to COVID-19,” Cartwright said. “But that could all go away if this lawsuit is successful. I’ll keep fighting hard to defend these protections, lower health care costs and expand access to care.”
These filings comes after Cartwright and House Democrats Wednesday unveiled the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act, which would:
- Significantly increase the ACA’s affordability subsidies to be more generous and cover more middle-class families. For the first time, no person would have to pay more than 8.5 percent of their income for a benchmark silver plan in the ACA marketplaces, and many Americans will see their premiums cut in half or more.
- Empower Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries and Americans with private insurance.
- Incentivize hold-out states to expand Medicaid.
- Fight the maternal mortality epidemic by requiring states to extend Medicaid or CHIP coverage to new mothers for a full year post-partum.
- Crack down on junk plans and strengthen protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
In addition to jeopardizing the health coverage of nearly 1 million Pennsylvanians, an end to the ACA would also eliminate protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions, and the Medicaid expansion, which covers over 15 million people. Additionally, 12 million seniors will have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare ‘donut hole’ will be reopened.
Cartwright continues to work in Congress to protect people with pre-existing conditions and lower health care costs. For instance, Cartwright voted last year to pass H.R. 987, the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act. Cartwright also helped pass H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which would give Medicare the power to negotiate with drug companies to secure lower prices for Medicare beneficiaries and Americans with private insurance. Unfortunately, both bills remain stalled in the U.S. Senate, despite having support from both Democrats and Republicans.