By Madelaine Spiering, CDF-Texas Health Policy Intern
On June 25th, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton led a group of states, in stride with the Trump administration, in filing opening briefs to repeal the Affordable Care Act with the Supreme Court. These briefs were delivered late in the evening on one of the worst COVID-19 case increase days, as the country continues to grapple with the economic fallout from the initial shutdown.
The arguments put forth in these briefs mirror some of the same dangerous arguments the administration has been touting since before 2016, and could cost millions of Texans their health insurance. Texas already has the highest number of uninsured residents in the country, standing at approximately 18% of the state’s population. If Attorney General Paxton and the Trump administration have their way, this lawsuit could overwhelmingly increase this number of uninsured.
Parents and children across Texas have greatly benefited from the Affordable Care Act and this legislation has continued to decrease the number of uninsured Texans every year. Some of the most popular provisions of the ACA, like preventative care services, subsidies for marketplace insurance plans, protections for those with pre-existing conditions, and young adults being able to stay on their parents plans until they turn 26, have increased the health of parents and children immensely. More parents across Texas have access to affordable coverage and are healthier, in turn allowing for my children to have a healthier present and future.
The ACA has also promoted equity in health coverage since it was signed into law in 2010. Those who did not previously qualify for health insurance were suddenly granted access to health coverage options. One of the biggest ways the ACA promotes health equity is through the baring of discriminatory practices by insurers that disproportionately affected people of color and those who identify as LGBTQ+. This, combined with the mandate to provide preventative care with all insurance plans, has helped to curve the inequity in health across Texas and the United States by allowing more people to have access to the coverage they need and deserve.
The outcome of this lawsuit could leave the future health of Texas children and families in a state of disarray. If the Texas Attorney General and the Trump administration win, and the Affordable Care Act is overturned, 1.7 million Texans could lose access to their current health care coverage. With the continued rise in COVID-19 cases across Texas and the United States, this could be detrimental to the future health of millions of people.
Texas families want their leaders to stand up and hold those trying to take their health care coverage away from them accountable. Tell Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Texas Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn to drop this fight to repeal the ACA and instead, fight for healthy futures for all Texans. For ways to get active in support of health care access and coverage follow #SickofItTX on Twitter at visit sickofittx.org/