The AHA, joined by America’s Essential Hospitals, Association of American Medical Colleges, and Federation of American Hospitals today urged the Supreme Court to reverse a federal appeals court decision that held the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate unconstitutional.
“Since its enactment in 2010, the ACA has made substantial progress toward improving Americans’ access to quality health care,” the organizations said in a friend-of-the-court brief. “More Americans have health insurance coverage because of the ACA’s many reforms, such as Medicaid expansion, the guaranteed-issue requirements, premium subsidies, and the creation of state insurance exchanges. And the ACA’s wide range of programs that encourage innovation in patient care have led to improvements in the quality of American health care.
“Congress recognized this progress when it amended the ACA in 2017. … The likely catastrophic effects of a ruling invalidating the ACA confirm that Congress did not intend that result. Judicial repeal would threaten improvements made to the care Americans receive by eliminating innovations, including programs designed to combat substance abuse. It would also roll back coverage gains, leaving many newly insured patients without access to everything from routine checkups and tests to treatment for chronic illnesses and opioid addiction.”
In a separate friend-of-the-court brief, 36 state hospital associations also urged the Supreme Court to reverse the appeals court decision.
“The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act made health care available to millions of individuals through insurance subsidies and expansion of the federal Medicaid program,” their brief states. “Often overlooked in the controversy regarding those provisions … are the ACA’s many other basic health care reforms. … Since there is not a shred of evidence that Congress would have declined to enact these reforms absent the minimum coverage provision, they must remain in force.”