CHA Reacts to the Potential Devastating Impact of DOJ’s Decision

For Immediate Release
March 26, 2019
Contact: Brian Reardon, breardon@chausa.org

CHA Reacts to the Potential Devastating Impact of DOJ's Decision
in the Texas vs Azar Case
Statement by Sister Carol Keehan, DC, President & Chief Executive Officer
Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA)

It is unconscionable and immoral for the Administration to support upending the entire health care system in the United States by supporting the District court ruling in the Texas vs Azar case at the expense of tens of millions of individuals' and families' lives and wellbeing. The Department of Justice (DOJ), now backtracking from its prior legal stance to argue instead that the entire Affordable Care Act should be struck down, is stunning. The time has come for our government to stop playing politics with people's health and livelihoods.

The scope of the District court decision, if upheld by the courts as the DOJ now supports, would detrimentally affect most Americans in our country. Gone could be the guaranteed protections for 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions. Medicaid healthcare coverage for over 17 million low-income individuals would dissolve. Millions of adult children under age 26 would no longer be guaranteed health coverage under their parents' insurance. Insurance companies could again place lifetime coverage limits on needed medical care as well as coverage restrictions on individuals with pre-existing health conditions. Coverage of preventive services with no cost sharing in private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid could vanish. Women could again be charged more than men for their health insurance coverage and maternity care would no longer be required coverage. We would return to the era of insurance companies defining what they cover rather than being required to offer plans that provide true health security. The continuing innovation to shift the health care system toward providing more affordable and quality health care to people in this country would also be lost.

The Catholic Health Association strongly disagrees with the Justice Department's new position in this lawsuit and, as part of a coalition of amici curiae, will be filing a brief to alert the Fifth Circuit to the dire consequences of upholding the District court's decision. If the last few years of debating the Affordable Care Act and all its provisions have taught us anything, it is that Americans value their health care. We welcome a robust discussion in Congress and with the Administration on how to continuously improve our country's health care system and hope that we can come together to do just that.

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