Shaheen to HHS and Treasury: Produce an Analysis of Americans Who Will Lose Health Coverage if the ACA is Overturned
**Shaheen & group of Senators: “In the midst of a global pandemic that has killed over roughly 220,000 people in the U.S. and infected over 8 million others, the President of the United States is actively asking the Supreme Court to eliminate the ACA’s critical health protections”**
**Shaheen has led efforts in the Senate to protect the ACA from Republicans’ partisan efforts to strike down the law and eliminate Americans’ access to health care**
(Washington, DC) – In a letter, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and a group of Senators have asked the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of the Treasury to conduct an analysis of how the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in California v. Texas would affect health care coverage in the United States, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter was led by U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Chris Murphy (D-CT).
Despite the ACA’s unequivocal success in reducing the number of uninsured Americans, Republican lawmakers have spent years working to overturn the law. These years of sabotage have culminated in California v. Texas, a case—led by 18 attorneys general and President Trump’s Department of Justice—that calls for the courts to declare the entire ACA unconstitutional. The President is currently working to fill the late Justice Ruth Bader’s Supreme Court seat with his nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, in time to hear arguments in the case in the Supreme Court on November 10, 2020. Barrett’s nomination is a key component of the President’s self-stated goal to “terminate health care under Obamacare [the ACA].”
“In the midst of a global pandemic that has killed roughly 220,000 people in the U.S. and infected over 8 million others, the President of the United States is actively asking the Supreme Court to eliminate the ACA’s critical health protections,” the Senators wrote. “Republicans in the U.S. Senate had the opportunity to pass legislation barring the President from advocating against the ACA in court, but they refused—choosing instead to ram through Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination and place the health care law at even greater risk.”
If the ACA is repealed, experts estimate that over 23 million Americans - including as many as 105,000 Granite Staters - will lose health coverage. The Senators have asked HHS and Treasury to answer urgently a series of questions to help policymakers better understand the implications of a decision overturning the ACA.
Alongside Shaheen, Warren and Murphy, the letter was signed by U.S. Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tina Smith (D-MN), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory A. Booker (D-NJ), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).
The full text of the letter can be read here.
Shaheen has led efforts in Congress to protect and improve the ACA, including leading all 47 Senate Democrats on a Senate resolution that would call on the Department of Justice to reverse its decision to argue in favor of U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor’s ruling that would strike down the ACA. This health care sabotage could result in as many as 133 million Americans losing protections for pre-existing conditions, millions more Americans without health insurance, soaring prescription drug costs for seniors, and as many as 105,000 Granite Staters losing health care coverage. Instead of defending the law and its vital health care protections, the Trump administration’s DOJ chose to side with Texas and other states challenging our health care law last year, arguing that pre-existing condition protections are unconstitutional. The DOJ later expanded its position, arguing on the side of Judge O’Connor that the entire Affordable Care Act should be struck down.