FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Megan Lowry, 202-777-3913
Washington, D.C., September 5, 2018 – As oral arguments begin today in Texas v. United States, the American Public Health Association reiterated its strong support for the Affordable Care Act and urged the court to maintain the law.
"The Affordable Care Act has become a cornerstone of the U.S. public health system, greatly improving access to health care and maintaining funding for prevention and public health programs through the Prevention and Public Health Fund," said Georges Benjamin, MD, executive director of APHA. "If the ACA is overturned or weakened, it will have devastating consequences for the health of our nation. Millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions could lose their insurance, and the progress made to shift the emphasis of our health care system toward prevention and away from treatment would be lost."
On June 14, APHA and deans, chairs and faculty of leading schools of public health submitted a friend of the court brief urging the court to maintain the ACA, highlighting the law’s many public health benefits.<
The pending lawsuit, Texas v. United States, claims that because the tax bill changed the penalty from $695 to $0, the mandate requiring individuals to purchase health insurance is still in effect, which exceeds Congress’ power under the Commerce Clause. If this argument prevails, it will upend major provisions of the ACA including the protections that ban insurers from charging individuals with pre-existing conditions more for health insurance coverage.
"Defending the ACA is a matter of public health. We urge the court to maintain the ACA and to dismiss this politically motivated attempt to dismantle it," added Benjamin.
APHA champions the health of all people and all communities. We strengthen the public health profession. We speak out for public health issues and policies backed by science. We are the only organization that influences federal policy, has a nearly 150-year perspective and brings together members from all fields of public health. Learn more at www.apha.org.