Today, in Texas v. California, the Supreme Court ruled that the Plaintiffs, who sought to invalidate the Affordable Care Act (ACA), did not demonstrate sufficient harm to challenge the provisions. This means that the ACA is upheld and millions of people still have access to the health coverage they need.
The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), National Partnership for Women & Families, Black Women’s Health Imperative, American Medical Association, and Goodwin Procter LLP led an amicus brief in this case, joined by 76 other organizations committed to women’s rights and racial justice, showing what is at stake for women and their families.
The ACA has been critical in combating entrenched practices in the health insurance market and health care systems that systematically discriminated against women, especially women of color, and left many without access to necessary care and treatment. Thanks to the ACA:
- Thirty-nine states including DC have expanded Medicaid, which disproportionately serves women, and primarily women of color.
- Now insurers cannot deny coverage or charge higher premiums based upon pre-existing conditions. Pre-ACA, those denials were especially harmful to women of color, who have higher rates of pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, asthma, hepatitis B, and HIV/AIDS.
- A person can’t be denied coverage because of a prior pregnancy, cesarean delivery, or because they are a survivor of domestic violence.
- Insurers are prohibited from charging women more than men for the same health insurance — an insidious practice known as “gender rating.”
- Plans must cover a baseline of essential health benefits for individual and small group insurance, including maternity and newborn care, and they must cover preventive services without out-of-pocket costs – including birth control, mammograms, and other critical preventive care for women.
- The ACA contains the first federal law to broadly prohibit discrimination based on sex in health care — as well as discrimination based on race, color, national origin, age, and disability.
The following is a statement by Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of National Women’s Law Center:
“Basic health care should never be up for debate, especially during the most devastating pandemic in modern history. We’re glad that millions of people will still have access to the care and coverage they deserve. This case was nothing more than a move by states to achieve what the Trump administration failed to do: repeal the ACA. It’s time for the politically-motivated, racist, and sexist attacks on health care to end. People deserve to live in a world where they can get care based in dignity and respect, not barriers and discrimination. We must continue our fight until that is a reality.”
The following is a statement by Debra L. Ness, President National Partnership for Women & Families:
“Today’s Supreme Court opinion is a monumental victory for women and families. In ruling that Texas had no standing to bring the suit, the Court has safeguarded the single most significant advancement for women’s health care in a generation. If the pandemic has taught us nothing else, it has revealed the deep racial and gender inequities which bedevil our nation. Black, Indigenous and Latina women suffered disproportionately higher rates of infection and illness, while as frontline workers they were forced to risk their lives to keep their jobs while balancing the demands of parenting and family caregiving. This ruling ensures that they are able to get the care they and their families need and deserve.
Now that the Supreme Court has rejected the latest attack on the Affordable Care Act, we can redouble our work to advance health equity by strengthening the ACA and ensuring that every person has access to quality, affordable health coverage.”
ABOUT THE NATIONAL WOMEN’S LAW CENTER
The National Women’s Law Center fights for gender justice — in the courts, in public policy, and in our society — working across the issues that are central to the lives of women and girls. For additional information, visit nwlc.org.