NMA Press Release on Texas ACA Ruling
Sunday, February 17, 2019
On Friday evening, December 14, 2018, after the courts closed, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor ruled that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) unconstitutional due to the recent change in the federal tax code. That change was the removal of the “tax” on individuals who do not participate in the plan. This “tax” was the individual mandate that was eliminated by Congressional Republicans in the tax overhaul last year. The individual mandate became a tax when Justice Roberts wrote, in 2015, that the mandate should be considered a tax and is constitutional.
As the collective voice for African American physicians and the leading force for parity and justice in medicine, the National Medical Association has been supportive of the Affordable Care Act since its inception in March 2010. Many members were present in Washington DC and in the chambers of Congress the night it was passed and our 110th President was present in the Oval Office when it was signed.
This ruling flies in the face of the will of the people, who desire and deserve affordable, accessible healthcare for all Americans. The decision could affect the 133 million people with pre-existing conditions, the 20 million who benefit from the consumer protections that make their plans affordable and the millions of dependents who were able to maintain coverage through their parents’ plans until age 26. It will allow insurance providers to, once again, impose annual limits on coverage for certain conditions and lifetime limits on coverage, in general as well as removing the cap on out-of-pocket expenses.
A reversal of the progress made by the ACA will not only create an undue financial burden on a vast majority of the American population, but it will remove the security of long-worked for benefits of those covered by Medicare, remove any hope of access to coverage by the poor and increase the financial burden of parents of college-age dependents. This callous ruling could disproportionately affect our country’s most vulnerable citizens - the elderly, the poor and our children.
The National Medical Association firmly stands with California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, The Federation of American Hospitals, The American Medical Association, who filed an amicus brief to reject this challenge, those specialty societies that joined AMA and the America Health Insurance Plans in challenging this ruling. We, the NMA, vow to work with and support those who will fight to defend the stability and accessibility of the healthcare system to make it work for all Americans, especially our most vulnerable.
“NMA is the Collective Voice for African American Physicians and the Leading Force for Parity and Justice in Medicine”