On Friday, a Texas judge ruled in Texas vs. United States, a case challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The court ruled that the entirety of the ACA is unconstitutional because the 2017 tax reform law eliminated the individual mandate tax penalty. The case is expected to be appealed immediately and will likely go to the United States Supreme Court for a final ruling.
It is critically important to note that this decision does not have any immediate impact because the judge did not issue an injunction that would halt implementation of the law. For now, the ACA will continue – people covered by ACA exchange plans or the Medicaid expansion will continue to be covered and insurers must still follow ACA patient protections, like the ban on pre-existing conditions exclusions and lifetime caps.
ACHA joined with more than 35 other patient advocacy organizations to release a statement criticizing the ruling and affirming the importance of the ACA for our patient communities. ACHA will update the community as the case continues and if any further legal proceedings jeopardize access to care.