Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council President/CEO W. Stephen Love released a statement following Judge Reed O’Connor’s controversial December 14 ruling making the Affordable Care Act (ACA) unconstitutional.
O’Connor presides in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, which is based in Dallas. The federal court ruling, inspired by a group of Republican governors and state attorneys general, said that the latest tax bill, which eliminated the tax penalty in the ACA for not buying insurance, made the law unconstitutional.
Love’s comments were included in the December 17 DCEO Healthcare coverage penned by Will Maddox.
“The Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council (DFWHC) is extremely disappointed in the federal district court ruling on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Our member hospitals and health systems know this action puts many Texans health coverage at risk. Many of our citizens that have chronic illness, pre-existing conditions and seek health coverage and access will find it more difficult due to this ruling,” said Love in his statement. “We urge a stay in this decision until a higher court can review it. Texas unfortunately leads the nation in having the highest percent of uninsured in the nation (and has for the last 10 years) so it is unfortunate that this ruling has occurred at this time. DFWHC will continue to advocate to protect coverage and access for our fellow North Texas patients and their families. This ruling keeps the healthcare industry in uncertainty regarding coverage and access.”
The decision arrived just before the end of this year’s enrollment period, but coverage is not expected to be impacted by those who have already signed up.
A group of states led by Democrats promised to appeal the decision. But it will almost certainly make its way to the Supreme Court, threatening the survival of the landmark health law and health coverage for millions of Americans and protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
You can read the full story here.