Health & Science

How the Supreme Court Nomination Could Impact Your Family’s Health

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The new Supreme Court nomination directly affects millions of American families by putting their healthcare in jeopardy, even as we continue to battle the coronavirus outbreak. If your family is one of the 22 million in this country who rely on the Affordable Care Act (also known as the ACA, or Obamacare) for health insurance, you could be at risk of losing coverage. Tens of millions more people would be affected in other ways—the ACA also provides vital protections for low-income families, young people, those who don’t have health insurance as an employment benefit like part-time or contract workers, and folks with pre-existing conditions.

Just a week after the upcoming election on November 3rd, the Supreme Court plans to consider a lawsuit in which the Trump Administration and Republican state Attorneys General are asking the Court to strike down the ACA.

With the recent death of Supreme Court justice and progressive icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg, there’s a vacant seat on the bench. Legal experts predict that if President Trump’s nominee to replace her (federal judge Amy Coney Barrett) is confirmed, the court is likely to rule against the ACA—especially since Judge Barrett has criticized previous decisions supporting Obamacare.

What then?

If the court’s decision leads to a repeal of the ACA, healthcare coverage will be stripped from tens of millions of families—all while our country is struggling to cope with the highest rate of COVID-19 infections and deaths in the world. 

After consulting with healthcare policy experts such as the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Washington Post reported that without the pre-existing condition protections the ACA provides, even just having had COVID itself (or testing positive for the antibodies) could mean sky-high premiums or denied coverage for millions of people. 

What else?

If the ACA is struck down, there are also big implications for the millions of people who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Families who once relied on their employers for health insurance will face additional obstacles to getting coverage on their own without the ACA. 

President Trump says that if the ACA is struck down, he will replace it with something better. Critics point out that he has been promising a replacement for the ACA for years. However, he has yet to provide evidence that average families won’t lose any coverage or protections under his new plan.

Now that you know all about this issue, share this explainer with your friends and family so folks know what’s at stake for families as Trump races to fill Justice Ginsberg’s seat.

Mckenna Saady is a staff writer and digital content lead for ParentsTogether. Before working for nonprofits such as the Human Rights Campaign and United Way, Mckenna spent nearly a decade as a child care provider and Pre-K teacher. Originally from Richmond, VA, she now lives in Philadelphia and writes poetry, fiction, and children’s literature in her spare time.