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Patient advocacy groups representing millions of Americans with serious health conditions decried a December 18th聽ruling from the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Texas v. United States, a case concerning the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. The Fifth Circuit ruling strikes down the ACA鈥檚 individual mandate and sends the case back to the District Court to determine whether other parts of the ACA still stand. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who has been leading the defense of the ACA in court, says that California will appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

The ACA, including protections for people with pre-existing conditions and minimum insurance coverage standards, remains in effect for now and the Fifth Circuit ruling does not have an immediate impact on people鈥檚 health coverage.

The patient groups鈥 statement follows:

鈥淭he Fifth Circuit ruling will cause more uncertainty and angst for millions of Americans who live with serious, acute and chronic health conditions and who rely on the Affordable Care Act to access comprehensive health coverage.

鈥淭he critical patient protections remain in place for now,聽including for people who just purchased healthcare for 2020, but the long-term viability of these essential protections continues to be at risk.聽 Those protections include prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage or charging more for coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, requiring health plans to offer essential benefits needed to prevent and treat a serious condition and eliminating arbitrary dollar limits on coverage.

鈥淢illions of Americans have benefited from these fundamental protections. Today鈥檚 ruling continues to threaten the future of these basic protections and leaves those who rely on the law鈥檚 benefits in a state of flux.

鈥淥n behalf of the millions of patients our organizations represent, we will continue to advocate for the quality care patients need and the lives that depend on this law throughout the legal process.鈥

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The patient groups signing onto the statement had jointly filed an amicus brief in the Fifth Circuit appeal. They include the American Cancer Society, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Epilepsy Foundation, Global Healthy Living Foundation, Hemophilia Federation of America, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, March of Dimes, National Alliance on Mental Illness, National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, National Hemophilia Foundation, National Multiple Sclerosis Society and The Kennedy Forum.

 

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