WASHINGTON — The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit will hear oral arguments today in Texas v. U.S., a case that seeks to strike the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in its entirety, putting access to health care for millions at risk. Under the ACA, 20 million people gained health care coverage and more than 62 million women have gained coverage for preventive services with no out-of-pocket costs, including birth control, STI screenings, breast cancer screenings, and Pap tests.
Statement from Dr. Leana Wen, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
The Affordable Care Act was a landmark step that made health care more accessible for millions, and it should be protected. As an emergency room physician, I’ve seen what access truly means and what happens when people can’t get the care they need. It’s the difference between having an infection treated with antibiotics, or an amputation after serious infection. Without the ACA, people will suffer. People like those who have faced systemic barriers to accessing care, such as people of color, people in rural areas, people with low incomes, and immigrant communities. The American people have made their voices heard loud and clear: They want more health care, not less. Planned Parenthood will continue fighting to ensure all people have access to care, no matter what.
On February 26, 2018, Texas and 19 other states sued the federal government, challenging the constitutionality of the ACA’s individual mandate, and the entire ACA. On December 14, 2018, the court ruled that the individual mandate is unconstitutional because there is no longer a penalty for not having insurance and that the entire ACA should fall.
Gutting the ACA would threaten the health and financial security of millions of people:
- More than 62 million women now have access to no-copay preventive services, including birth control, STI screenings, and life-saving preventive services such as breast cancer screenings and Pap tests.
- Under the ACA, women of color are able to access better preventative care, a step forward in leveling the playing field for communities that have faced years of discriminatory policies that result in poor health outcomes.
- Financial assistance to purchase insurance could be eliminated, threatening millions’ access to private insurance coverage, and coverage for the 12 million people who receive coverage under the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid is also threatened.
- Prior to the ACA, routine women’s health conditions were considered pre-existing conditions, including pregnancy.
- The Affordable Care Act eliminated “gender rating,” ensuring women do not pay an estimated $1 billion more annually than men for the same health care plans.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.