AFT President Weingarten and Virginia Rep. Scott Denounce Fifth Circuit Court Obamacare Ruling

Yesterday, the American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement on the ruling in the Texas v. United States Affordable Care Act case:

“While today’s ruling will not pose an immediate change for the Affordable Care Act, it does present a major threat to the tens of millions of Americans who currently rely on the law for healthcare.

“If the court ultimately rules that the individual mandate cannot be ‘severed’ from the other provisions of the Affordable Care Act, it could thrust our nation’s entire healthcare system into chaos, and people who finally gained health coverage and other critical protections under the ACA would lose them.

“Catastrophically, individuals with pre-existing conditions, low- and moderate-income families, and seniors would be vulnerable to disastrous consequences as a result of an immediate and direct loss of vital benefits.

“In the richest nation in the world, this ruling could take us backward to times when healthcare was simply out of reach for too many working people. Once again, healthcare would instantly become a privilege reserved only for the wealthy few, while holding everyone else who can’t afford it hostage and guaranteeing a death sentence for many. Let’s be clear, since the ACA was passed, the establishment of the Republican Party has fought it—this is the second major case they will try to get to the Supreme Court to try and render it unconstitutional.

“Educators, healthcare professionals and public employees of the American Federation of Teachers simply cannot allow this to stand. Our 1.7 million members whose families depend on the many provisions in the Affordable Care Act—literally to survive—will fight this, in the courts and on Election Day.”

Virginia Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) also issued a statement regarding the Fifth Circuit Court’s decision in Texas v. United States.

Today, Republican attorneys general and the Trump administration took another step toward stripping access to affordable health care from millions of Americans. The latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act is legally frivolous. The argument that the absence of a monetary penalty for failing to purchase coverage invalidates the law is absurd on its face, and inherently shows the plaintiffs’ lack of standing to bring this case.

“The court’s decision continues to jeopardize the patient protections and expanded access to care that so many Americans rely on every day. The Affordable Care Act’s protections for patients with preexisting conditions, its prohibition on insurance companies setting annual and lifetime caps, and the Medicaid expansion that helped more than 17 million Americans gain coverage are all at risk.

“Americans are tired of Republicans playing politics with their health care. Rather than continuing a nine-year assault on the Affordable Care Act, Republican leaders should focus their energy toward building on the progress it achieves for Americans across the country.”