Health care

HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Connecticut healthcare advocates and lawmakers reacted to news that the Supreme Court dismissed a challenge to the Affordable Care Act.

The dismissal on Thursday essentially left the law intact.

Justices turned away the challenge from Republican-led states and the former Trump administration, which urged the justices to block the entire law.

They voted 7-2 to uphold the ACA and preserve insurance coverage and consumer protections upon which hundreds of thousands of Connecticut residents rely.

“At a time when we are just beginning to emerge from the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is unconscionable that the Affordable Care Act was ever at risk to begin with and it is a relief that the Court chose to preserve the law and not destroy it,” said Frances G. Padilla, president of Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut. “Perhaps at long last, our country’s leaders can work together to expand access to quality, affordable health care for everyone, rather than take it away."

According to the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut, the decision threatened the affordability of and access to coverage for anyone under age 65 living with a pre-existing health condition.

Over $2 billion of federal funding for Access Health CT subsidies were at risk, including new subsidies made available through the American Rescue Plan, affecting more than 75,000 state residents. And over 300,000 state residents stood to lose their Medicaid coverage, at a time when many people remain unemployed due to the pandemic. If the ruling had been upheld, parents would no longer be able to cover their children under age 26 through their employer plan and Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage would have become much more expensive, the foundation said.

“This decisive decision will allow millions of Americans to sleep a little easier tonight," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal. "After all the absurd legal contortions in this challenge, today’s decision should be no surprise but it is a profound relief. For years, the ACA’s opponents have seemingly stopped at nothing in their quest to decimate this law using increasingly desperate strategies. After this resounding legal defeat, Republicans should finally abandon their cruel and reckless attempt to undermine health care protections.”

Sen. Chris Murphy called it good news.

"Millions of Americans will be able to keep their coverage and protections for their preexisting conditions because of this ruling," Murphy said. "But let's be clear. Republicans did everything in their power to try to gut the Affordable Care Act. The American people will not forget that.

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