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State leaders warn U.S. Senators of pending ACA lawsuit amid Supreme Court nomination

October 15, 2020

Story 

As the U.S. Senate rushes through the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, the lawsuit deciding the fate of Affordable Care Act (California v. Texas) will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in less than a month — putting the future of the popular law and the health care of millions in serious peril.

If the court overturns the Affordable Care Act, the impacts to Washington state would be widespread and devastating. Despite the state’s efforts to enact many of the ACA protections into Washington state law, overturning the ACA would be financially catastrophic to the state and its residents. It would be especially damaging as Washingtonians continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a letter to Washington's U.S. Senators, Gov. Jay Inslee, Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler and Washington Health Benefit Exchange CEO Pam MacEwan detailed what's at risk in the highly anticipated court case. 

They laid out that if the Affordable Care Act is overturned, Washington state will lose $4.2 billion annually in federal funds and more than 750,000 could lose coverage. 

  • $3.6 billion cut in annual federal funding to pay for Medicaid expansion coverage as 625,000 newly eligible enrollees would lose health coverage. 
  • $620 million cut in federal premium subsidies as 140,000 people lose the financial assistance that helps them afford health insurance.

"That a decision could be made in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and our nation’s ongoing efforts to recover only intensifies the harm. More than 90,000 Washingtonians will have a new pre-existing condition this year after having been diagnosed with COVID-19,” the leaders wrote. “This would have massive implications for people who rely on the law's reforms, such as women and older adults. A court decision that makes coverage unaffordable for many would effectively undermine these consumer protections and erode the safety net we have fought to preserve." 

State leaders acknowledge that these are federal decision and urged members of Congress, particularly U.S. Senators, to continue fighting to protect the health and well-being of Washingtonians.”

Read the full letter.

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