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AFSCME president on high court ACA ruling: A ‘huge victory’ for working families

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By AFSCME Staff ·

AFSCME President Lee Saunders today praised the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision involving the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as a “huge victory” for working families, calling for an end to political attacks and meritless lawsuits against the popular law.

“Working families can rest a little easer tonight, with the peace of mind that they can access health care when they need it, that they won’t be bankrupted by a medical emergency, that they won’t be denied coverage based on a preexisting condition,” Saunders said in a press release. “The ACA has been the established law of the land for more than a decade now.”

The nation’s highest court ruled 7-2 in California v. Texas that the plaintiffs did not have standing to bring the challenge to court. It was a case in which lower courts had ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, essentially eliminating health care coverage for 21 million people.

The case was brought by Republican officials in Texas who argued that the ACA’s mandate requiring health insurance coverage had become unconstitutional when Congress, in the first year of the Trump administration, eliminated the penalty for failing to obtain coverage.

This is the third time that the Supreme Court has upheld the ACA, a popular law that has provided affordable health care to tens of millions of people across the United States.

Saunders said the court’s decision was a victory “for basic fairness, for the rule of law, and especially for those who would have been cruelly stripped of their health care during a once-in-a-century global pandemic.”

AFSCME supported passage of the ACA from its inception and played an important role in promoting its benefits. We will continue to defend the law for as long as it continues to be challenged, though it’s high time for such attacks to cease.

“Now, let’s work together to strengthen the ACA and build on its successes,” Saunders said. “The health care investments in the American Rescue Plan are a good start. We look forward to working with the administration to build on this start.”

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