The recent ruling by a federal district judge striking down the Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual coverage mandate, thereby rendering the entire health law unconstitutional, could wreak havoc on California, our health care safety net, and most importantly, millions of patients.
This decision to dismantle the ACA could have sweeping damaging effects across our country, especially in California where Medicaid expansion has been key in reducing our uninsured rate. By rendering the ACA unconstitutional, millions of individuals – many of which are cared for at public health care systems – would be stripped of crucial health care services that so many rely on to stay healthy and productive in their communities.
We are proud that California is leading the legal battle to protect the federal health care law. Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Governor Jerry Brown, and Governor-elect Gavin Newson have all expressed their commitment to vigorously fight this decision and protect the millions of Californians who would lose health care if the ACA is repealed. If affirmed by higher courts, we are concerned about the widespread disruption this ruling may cause, including eliminating the Medicaid expansion, coverage for pre-existing conditions, and other critical preventative health care services.
The ruling does not immediately impact any ACA policies and programs as the decision is currently being appealed.