Medical experts express concern over latest court challenge to ACA
The Trump administration filed a brief with the Supreme Court on Thursday night to overturn the Affordable Care Act.
According to reporting by The New York Times, the administration joined Republican officials in Texas and more than a dozen other states in arguing that the law was rendered unconstitutional after Congress removed a provision that applied a tax penalty for Americans who did not buy health insurance — known as the individual mandate.
Atheendar Venkataramani, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the division of health policy at University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, told Healio Primary Care that a Supreme Court decision in favor of the Trump administration would cause dire public health consequences.
“Studies have shown that the Medicaid expansion under the ACA was associated with less uninsured people, health care improvements and financial security and even reductions in mortality from cardiovascular diseases and older individuals,” he said. “Undoing ACA would at a minimum reverse those gains.”
The AMA, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the ACP have previously voiced concerns over efforts to undue the ACA.
Venkataramani said the COVID-19 pandemic makes the potential elimination of the ACA even more profound.
“There's already enormous uncertainty with the COVID-19 pandemic, about the disease itself and seeking health care for other diseases,” he said. “To kick out people's legs and potentially increase rates of uninsured Americans during this time is an incredibly irresponsible to do.”
According to the Times, the Supreme Court has not said when it will hear oral arguments, but they could occur before the November presidential election.