The recent confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court could spell trouble for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also called Obamacare.The ACA currently covers 20 million Americans with pre-existing conditions. If the ACA is overturned by the Supreme Court, these citizens could lose their benefits almost immediately.
Judge Barrett’s confirmation to the seat once vacated by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has created a conservative Court. Judge Barrett herself has been critical of Obamacare in the past. Oral arguments before the Supreme Court will commence on November 10, 2020, the week after the election. The case will challenge the legality of the ACA, and if overturned, the health insurance that covers tens of millions of Americans could be gone. President Trump, who has called Obamacare “a disaster” has no plan to replace the ACA or the coverage for the Americans who lose their insurance.
Without the ACA, citizens (and legal residents) can say goodbye to Obamacare’s pre-existing conditions protections, including the rule that allowed for children to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans until they reach the age of 26. Obamacare also featured limits on out-of-pocket costs and deductibles.
For those living with HIV/AIDS, the ACA protected patients from health insurance denials, and from higher premiums due to their HIV/AIDS status.
President Trump’s policies have slowly whittled away at reproductive protections since he assumed office. Until October 2017, Obamacare required insurance coverage for birth control, cancer screenings, mammograms, and colonoscopies. This feature provided millions of Americans with contraceptive and cancer prevention care. Trumpian policies allowed for employers to refuse to provide coverage for contraceptives if contraceptives went against the employer’s religious and/or moral beliefs.
Removal of the ACA would have ramifications for millions of people; effectively knocking 21.1 million people off of their insurance plans. The 54 million people in this country with pre-existing conditions, including would once again be discriminated against and would either be prevented from getting health insurance altogether or would be forced to pay higher costs for insurance coverage.