Court ruling threatens Ohioans’ health care
Posted December 19, 2019 in Press Releases
Policy Matters Ohio condemns today’s 5th U.S. Circuit Court ruling declaring the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate unconstitutional and remanding the law back to the judge who first struck it down. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) protects millions of Ohioans from denial of coverage because of pre-existing conditions and from unfair, discriminatory pricing. The Medicaid expansion of the ACA provides health care for hundreds of thousands of low-income Ohioans. This ruling heightens the danger that the courts could eliminate some or much of the ACA. Senior Project Director Wendy Patton issued the following statement:
“The ACA has provided the security of fair, comprehensive health care coverage to all Ohioans. It helps people whose jobs do not give them health insurance get quality, affordable coverage.
“Before Congress passed the ACA, the government didn’t make sure plans cover all health care needs. Some insurance companies discriminated against women and elderly people by charging them more than men and younger people. Companies could charge more to cover people with pre-existing conditions, like asthma or cancer, or deny them insurance altogether.
“Before the ACA, more than 4 million Ohioans had a lifetime limit on their insurance policy, meaning that the insurer capped benefits over the course of the person’s life. The ACA prohibits both lifetime and annual caps.
“More than 5 million Ohioans have a pre-existing condition that, prior to the ACA, would have allowed insurers in the individual market to deny them a plan or quote them exorbitant premium rates. The ACA prohibited these practices.
“The ACA ensures people with pre-existing conditions can get coverage, that prices are not discriminatory, and that consumers get the coverage they need. It has helped address the drug epidemic in Ohio, providing over $1 billion for behavioral health services in 2018.
“The Trump administration has tried over and over to dismantle the health care law. Luckily, a number of Ohio’s elected leaders are fighting to preserve the benefits of the ACA. With 37 cosponsors, Representatives Jeffrey Crossman and Randi Clites sponsored House Bill 390, to codify the consumer protections of the ACA for Ohio. Ohio lawmakers should enact House Bill 390 immediately, and Ohioans everywhere should take their concerns to elected officials on all levels.”