For Immediate Release
Contact: Natalia Pérez Santos

Time to build on the ACA, not take away health care during a pandemic

AFSCME President Lee Saunders issued the following statement ahead of the Supreme Court hearing oral arguments in California v. Texas.

“For more than a decade, wealthy special interests and right-wing politicians have tried every way possible to destroy the Affordable Care Act, including its protections for people with preexisting conditions. Each time, most recently in last week’s election, people across the country have affirmed their support for this groundbreaking law, which has given millions of families security and peace of mind.

“Now, Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell are at it again. Ignoring the voice and the will of the people, they are asking the highest court in the land to rip health coverage away from 21 million people.

“Throwing the health care system into chaos and disarray would be a bad idea at any time. To do it in the middle of the worst pandemic in a century is unconscionably cruel and reckless. This is clearly a moment to strengthen American health care, not tear it down. That is why the incoming Biden-Harris administration is committed to building on the ACA, with a plan to expand coverage, increase choice and lower costs. Mitch McConnell’s callous disregard for millions of Americans who will be uninsurable because of preexisting conditions is one of the biggest reasons Georgians must ensure he no longer leads the United States Senate come January.

“More than 10 million Americans have contracted COVID-19, many of them front-line public service workers who are fighting every day to keep our communities safe and strong. It would be shameful for them to be slapped with higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs while insurance companies rake in massive profits.

“If the Supreme Court overturns the ACA, we will see higher prescription drug prices and a likely end to Medicaid expansion. It would eliminate 100% coverage for basic preventive services like vaccinations and cancer screenings. It would mean a return of annual caps and lifetime limits. And the 133 million Americans with preexisting conditions – 17 million of them children – would lose their protections and be left at the mercy of insurance companies.

“The ACA has saved countless lives. It’s as simple as that. But no matter what any court decides, AFSCME will continue the fight to strengthen the ACA and give more people access to the medical care they need. That’s why we will organize and mobilize in Georgia to elect Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock, so we enter 2021 with a pro-worker, pro-health care United States Senate.”