Patient and health advocacy groups representing millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions filed an amicus curiae or friend of the court brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to immediately take up the case of Texas v. United States. The case is the latest court challenge to the health care law known as the Affordable Care Act. The groups, which include the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society along with more than a dozen others, cite the detrimental impacts and uncertainty patients would face with a prolonged delay should the case be left at the lower court level.
Following is the groups’ joint statement:
“Millions of Americans who rely on the health care law and its critical patient protections cannot wait for the lower court to determine which, if any, parts of the Affordable Care Act should remain in place. This ongoing uncertainty threatens their ability to obtain and afford care necessary for their health and well-being. It also threatens to erode the insurance markets which need clear, stable rules on which to price and offer coverage.
“Should the Supreme Court decline to take action, millions of people with pre-existing health conditions will have to worry whether they’ll again be denied coverage if the law is overturned. Millions of Americans who rely on federal tax credits to help pay for their health insurance will be unsure if they’ll have affordable coverage in the years to come. And health plans could raise their premiums in response to the uncertainty in the market.
“The health care law has expanded access to comprehensive health coverage to millions of previously uninsured Americans. The connection between health coverage and health outcomes is clear. Without affordable, comprehensive health insurance patients, survivors, and their families risk later stage diagnoses—if they can get care at all—and an increased risk of serious financial strain. Americans need to know what coverage options will be available as soon as possible, which underscores the need for an expedited final ruling in this case.
“On behalf of all the patients we represent, we urge the Supreme Court to swiftly resolve this case and provide the clarity and certainty people and the health care system need.”
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.