Healthcare of 2 Million Floridians Hangs in the Balance With Affordable Care Act Lawsuit

By Giselle Balido

October 28, 2020

It will be one of the first cases heard by Trump-appointed conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

The confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court was not just another part of the news cycle for Ann Vera-Tudela. To the 51 year old Peruvian American from Miami-Dade County, this means that—no matter who wins the presidential election—if the US Supreme Court strikes down the Affordable Care Act, her healthcare coverage could be in jeopardy.

“I am an independent worker and I pay my own insurance,” Vera-Tudela, who was paying close to $600 a month through a private insurance company, told The Americano. “With the Affordable Care Act my premium is under $40 a month, and it covers a preexisting condition. It would be disastrous if I lose [the ACA].”

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An Imminent Threat

Many Floridians are finding themselves in the same situation as Vera-Tudela. If the Affordable Care Act is struck down, nearly 2 million in the state who bought health plans through the federal exchanges could lose their health coverage.

In Miami-Dade County alone, 457,666 residents are on the exchanges, according to data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Additionally, provisions that protect young adults, allowing them to stay on their parents’ policies, as well as protections for those with preexisting conditions, would disappear, potentially impacting millions more. According to an estimate from the Center for American Progress, 8.4 million Floridians have preexisting conditions. And while Republicans claim state law requires insurers to offer coverage for preexisting conditions, it doesn’t place a cap on prices.

No Plan To Replace ACA

Those challenging the law claim the ACA’s “individual mandate,” the fee imposed on those who don’t get health coverage, is unconstitutional. But claiming that the individual mandate provision can’t be struck down on its own, they call for the entire law to be eliminated.

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Oral arguments in the lawsuit are set for Nov. 10, a week after Election Day. It will be one of the first cases heard by Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who replaces liberal judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg after her death in September. The conservative jurist was confirmed by the US Senate on Monday by a 52-48 vote. Her confirmation increases the chances the law will be eliminated.

The case to strike down the ACA was brought before the US Supreme Court by Texas. It is backed by the Trump administration and 18 other states, including Florida. But Trump, who ran his 2016 election campaign on the promise of eliminating the ACA, doesn’t have a plan to replace it.


CATEGORIES: Florida | Healthcare


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