As the United States Supreme Court deliberates the California v. Texas and Texas v. California lawsuits which could fully overturn the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Lutheran Services in America President and CEO Charlotte Haberaecker emphasizes the national network’s support for ensuring that all Americans have access to affordable, quality health care – regardless of their income, race, gender, faith or ZIP code.
“While the ACA is not perfect, the protections it has instituted for underserved groups have greatly increased their ability to access much-needed health care especially important during the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency. At this vital time, given our longtime commitment as a faith-based organization to meeting the health and human services needs of all people, we urge Congress and the Administration to safeguard in federal law protections for these populations throughout America.
“Every day, Lutheran Services in America’s 300 health and human service member organizations serve one in 50 Americans ranging from older adults and children, youth and families, to people with disabilities, veterans and people of all ages experiencing homelessness. All of these populations are better served by legal provisions that make obtaining and maintaining quality, accessible and equitable health care coverage easier – including the elimination of pre-existing condition exclusions, Medicaid coverage expansion, and the prohibition of discrimination based on health status.”
Haberaecker added that complete repeal of the existing law would mean loss of access to high-quality, affordable health care for populations served by Lutheran Services in America’s members in the following ways:
- Almost 13 million low-income adults who became newly eligible for Medicaid under the ACA would lose their health insurance and access to treatment for chronic conditions, mental illness, and substance use disorders.
- Up to 133 million people with pre-existing health conditions — 51 percent of all Americans — could become uninsurable.
- About 1.5 million children would lose Medicaid coverage based on changes to eligibility rules, as would people aged 19 to 26 formerly in foster care.
- State options to provide some new types of community-based, long-term care for nearly 500,000 seniors and people with disabilities would end, potentially causing those beneficiaries to return to institutions for care.
- States would lose the ability to conduct Medicaid eligibility determinations using new, streamlined processes, presenting a challenge given the technological changes they’ve made to comply with the new ACA rules.