On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in California v. Texas, a case that has the potential to strike down parts, or all, of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
It’s encouraging that several key justices signaled they would vote to reject the latest challenge, as upending the ACA would devastate Californians who rely on coverage provided under the law’s umbrella. Among the biggest impacts if the law is negated:
- Millions of Californians would lose access to health care services.
- Massive delays in care would lead to more advanced disease burdens and more costly treatment.
- 7 million Californians could be denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions.
- 900,000 Californians could be denied coverage due to COVID-19 as a pre-existing condition.
- Value-based care incentives would be eliminated, driving a return to a volume-driven system.
- An estimated $4,200 annual increase in out-of-pocket costs for individual insurance market enrollees
And the state would face detrimental fiscal effects, including the loss of 269,000 jobs statewide, $15-18 billion in federal funding for Medi-Cal, $29.3 billion in state GDP, and $2.2 billion in lost state and local tax revenue.
The court’s decision won’t be available until February at the earliest, but possibly as late as spring of next year. In the meantime, we’ve issued a joint media statement with multiple state organizations to assert our support for the ACA, including the California Medical Association, Health Access, Service Employees International Union, Western Center for Law and Poverty, and more.
We’ve also created a web page with news articles, key messages, and an infographic to help hospitals discuss what’s at stake as the court deliberates. We’ll continue to update the site as new information become available.
Depending on the outcome of the case, the coming year could bring another challenge for hospitals as we work to protect the health of all Californians.