Supreme Court Hears ACA Challenge
As the U.S. Supreme Court prepared to hear the most recent challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on November 10, many wonder how an elimination of the law would impact access to and affordability of health insurance. The impact on women would be particularly large.
Affordable coverage options for many uninsured women will shrink as federal funding for Medicaid expansion and subsidized care are eliminated, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Since the ACA went into effect, the uninsured rate among adult women under 65 has declined among all demographic groups, and there has been a sharp drop in the uninsured rate among men over the past decade.
Without the ACA and federal funding, states would be unable to sustain the costs of coverage for the expanded Medicaid population, especially in the face of budgetary shortfalls arising from the pandemic. Moreover, health insurance plans could reinstate discriminatory policies like gender rating, exclude maternity benefits, and deny coverage or charge more for those with pre-existing conditions. Larry Levitt at the Kaiser Family Foundation warns the ACA's reversal would “put the health system into chaos and the political system into chaos, as well.”