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Internists Say Upholding the ACA is Critical to the U.S. Health Care

Statement attributable to:
Jacqueline W. Fincher, MD, MACP
President, American College of Physicians

Washington, DC (November 10, 2020) — As the Supreme Court of the United States begins hearing arguments today in the case looking to overturn the Affordable Care Act (ACA) we all need to understand the damage that would be done to health care for Americans if the law is thrown out. Since the ACA was signed into law over a decade ago, it has become critical to the functioning of the U.S. health care system.  The ACA provides access to affordable health coverage for millions of Americans.  It ensures that health insurance covers essential benefits and that effective preventive health care is fully covered.  It ensures no one has to pay more for coverage, or is prevented from getting it, because of their age, gender, occupation or health condition.

It is for all of these reasons, and more, that the American College of Physicians (ACP) has strongly opposed efforts to do away with the ACA.  In an amicus brief to the Supreme Court the ACP signed on to along with other medical organizations, we detailed the broad nature of the provisions of the ACA and how many of them are not related to the individual mandate contained in the law.  The brief further detailed the crisis that would ensue to the U.S. health care system if the law were thrown out.

Our health care system is already under unprecedented strain due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  If the ACA were to be thrown out at the same time that we face the pandemic, it would cause chaos for physicians and our patients, and for the entire health care system.  Millions of Americans who have been infected by the coronavirus could now have their coverage in jeopardy if protections for pre-existing conditions were no longer in place.  Millions of Americans have lost or are in danger of losing their employer-sponsored insurance and will need coverage through the ACA’s health insurance marketplaces or Medicaid expansion.

Without access to health insurance people live sicker and die younger.  The coverage, protections and benefits provided by the ACA are critical to the well-being of millions of Americans. Instead of yet another attempt to do away with the ACA, we should be looking for ways to build on it, to improve our health care system and increase access to care for our fellow Americans.  We call on the Supreme Court to uphold the law and prevent the untold damage that would be caused if the ACA were no longer in place.

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About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 163,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Contact: Jackie Blaser, (202) 261-4572, jblaser@acponline.org