National Partnership for Women & Families

As Court Rulings Collide, Women’s Health Expert Stresses that Millions of Women and Families Will be Harmed if Courts Deny Subsidized Health Coverage Under the Affordable Care Act

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
WASHINGTON, D.C. — July 22, 2014 —

“Today’s ruling by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in Halbig v. Burwell is one more painful reminder that opponents of the Affordable Care Act are motivated by extremist ideology and care nothing about the millions of Americans who have been suffering without health insurance coverage for years. Those who have led the legal assault on the Affordable Care Act seem to be without compassion for the families that have so much at stake in this case, many of whom are getting the preventive, primary and acute care they urgently need for the first time.

Creating barriers to insurance subsidies could endanger the health of millions. If today’s Halbig ruling were to prevail, it has the potential to deny millions of Americans the subsidized health coverage they recently gained through the federal marketplace, and with it the health care they need. That means millions of women would no longer be able to afford mammograms, millions of patients with chronic conditions would go without treatment, and millions of people would enter hospitals sicker and in need of more costly care than would otherwise be the case.

There is a tremendous amount at stake with the Halbig ruling, which poses a direct threat to the health insurance subsidies on which millions of low- and middle-income Americans in 36 states rely. We trust that the full 11-member D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals will concur with the ruling of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in King v. Burwell, which recognized that the intent of Congress was to ensure the availability of premium tax credits to women and families in every state. To limit subsidies to state-based marketplaces would force patients and families to go without the care they need and cause health care costs to increase even more.

In addition to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, lower federal courts have several times rejected the legal argument that prevailed today in Halbig. We expect and trust the full D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to strike down today’s Halbig ruling. Millions of Americans will be the losers if it does not.”

Contact

Cindy Romero (202) 986-2600 cromero@nationalpartnership.org

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at www.NationalPartnership.org.

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