For many Americans, the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, was a setback for women’s rights, as her tireless life’s work on gender equality helped end gender discrimination. But her pivotal role in preserving the Affordable Care Act was also an important step forward in ending gender discrimination in our health care system and preserving the most transformational health care legislation in 50 years.
This is what is at stake with impending confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett. If she gets confirmed by the Senate, we will be saying that as a country, we don’t believe that all Americans’ health is worth protecting, and we will be abandoning those with pre-existing conditions, including women, whose gender prior to the ACA, was considered a pre-existing condition.
Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act a decade ago, the Supreme Court has rebuffed challenges to the law. Donald Trump ran on a promise to repeal and replace the ACA, but repeal efforts failed when Senator McCain voted against repeal in 2017.
We have yet to see a credible or workable “replacement” to the ACA that would cover more people including those with pre-existing conditions that would be cheaper and more efficient than the ACA. Donald Trump keeps promising a “great plan,” but it has yet to materialize.
At the heart of the ACA is the “individual mandate” that everyone must have health insurance, and in return, insurance companies cannot deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions. The IRS monitors this and can assess a penalty on anyone failing to show proof of insurance.
Despite a weak mandate to purchase insurance the percentage of Americans without insurance has remained steady at about 10% in recent years, and over 70% of people said that they would purchase health insurance even if the penalty did not exist. The last time the individual mandate was challenged, Justice Ginsburg joined a slim 5-4 majority in supporting the ACA.
View the full article at Univision.com.