Posts tagged with "ACA"

As COVID-19 rages, Trump asks Supreme Court to strike down Obamacare

June 29,2020

The number of confirmed new coronavirus cases per day in the United States hit an all-time high of 40,000 on Friday, June 26—eclipsing the mark set during one of the deadliest stretches in late April, CBS News reports; noting that there is “ample evidence” that the pandemic is making a comeback.

Yet, even so, the Trump administration asked the Supreme Court late on June 25 to terminate the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare—the only health insurance to which many Americans have access. If the justices agree, they will wipe out coverage for as many as 23 million Americans, The New York Times reports.

In an 82-page brief submitted an hour before a midnight deadline, the Administration joined Republican officials in 18 states in arguing that, in 2017, the largely Republican Congress had rendered the law unconstitutional when it zeroed out the tax penalty for not buying insurance—the so-called individual mandate.

In his brief, Solicitor General Noel J. Francisco maintained that the health law’s two remaining central provisions are now invalid because Congress intended that all three work together, the Times said.

The court has not said when it will hear oral arguments, but they are most likely to take place in the fall, just as Americans are preparing to go to the polls in November.

Republicans have long said their goal is to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act but have yet to agree on an alternative. They are bracing for the possibility that the effort to overturn the health law will cost them, according to the Times report.

Joel White, a Republican strategist, said in a recent interview with the news outlet that he considered it “pretty dumb to be talking about how we need to repeal Obamacare in the middle of a pandemic.”

Democrats, who view health care a winning issue—and who reclaimed the House majority in 2018 on their promise to expand access and bring down costs—are trying to use the Supreme Court case to press their advantage. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has scheduled a vote for Monday, June 29, on a measure to expand the healthcare law, in an effort to draw a sharp contrast between Democrats and Republicans.

“President Trump and the Republicans’ campaign to rip away the protections and benefits of the Affordable Care Act in the middle of the coronavirus crisis is an act of unfathomable cruelty,” Pelosi said in a statement late Thursday night, after the administration’s brief was filed.

“If President Trump gets his way,” she added, “130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions will lose the A.C.A.’s lifesaving protections and 23 million Americans will lose their health coverage entirely.”

Research contact: @nytimes

Medicaid work requirements put 6.3M Americans at risk of losing healthcare

January 16, 2018

On January 11, the Trump administration issued policy guidance that effectively ends Medicaid as Americans now know it— allowing states to place “punitive work requirements” on certain Medicaid recipients, according to the American Center for Progress.

Some states and the Trump administration have opined that the American Healthcare Act (ACA) Medicaid expansion is targeting “able-bodied” adults and seeking to make Medicaid eligibility contingent on work. However, more than seven in ten (70%) of those affected will be either caregivers or in school, the center claims, based on a recent Kaiser Family Foundation briefing paper.

New CAP analysis by Kaiser shows that at least 6.3 million Americans—including students, caregivers, and retirees—could be at risk of losing their healthcare. This includes nearly 640,000 people in the ten states that already have filed for waivers to implement Trump’s plan.

Analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that the majority—60%—of working-age adults who receive Medicaid already are employed. Of those who do not already have a job, more than one-third are ill or disabled.

The American Center for Progress states in a January 12 release, “Although these so-called work requirement policies may seem reasonable at first glance, in practice, they’re a way to strip away health insurance from struggling unemployed and underemployed workers. President Donald Trump’s actions are just the latest shoe to drop in his party’s deeply unpopular crusade to undermine Americans’ health care—including the highly  popular Medicaid program—and come on the heels of a tax cut that rewards the massively wealthy over working Americans.”

Research contact: rcollins@americanprogress.org