CHICAGO — Siding strongly with patients and their physicians, the American Medical Association (AMA) and other medical associations today filed an amicus brief in the case of Texas v. United States, a lawsuit that threatens popular key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Additional organizations joining the AMA include the American College of Physicians (ACP), American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP). Download or view the amicus brief.

“The policies being undermined through the plaintiffs’ action have broad, bipartisan and public support, and have improved the lives of patients. An unfavorable decision in this case would create further disruption, generate uncertainty, spark additional premium increases and cause declines in coverage,” said AMA President Barbara L. McAneny, M.D. “We urge the court to reject this case because health policy should be developed in Congress and not in the courts.”

If the lawsuit were successful, federal policy could roll back to 2009, which would be remarkably disruptive to our nation’s health system and every single American. If the lawsuit is successful, the following provisions of the Affordable Care Act could be null and void:

  • Patients would no longer have protections for pre-existing conditions
  • Children would no longer have coverage under their parents’ health insurance plan until age 26 
  • Insurers would no longer be held to the 85% medical loss ratio, meaning they could generate higher profits at the expense of coverage and payments for services
  • 100 percent coverage for certain preventive services would cease
  • Annual and life-time dollar limits could be reinstated, leading to more bankruptcies due to health care costs

The AMA also released a commentary by AMA President Barbara L. McAneny, M.D to the nation’s physicians which further discusses the potential impact of this lawsuit.

For more than a decade, the AMA has advocated for expanded coverage and key health insurance reforms that help patients. At the time of its passage and ever since, the AMA has acknowledged that the ACA has flaws and policymakers need to fix problems, gaps, and unintended consequences of this law. The AMA’s highest priority is to ensure that the millions of Americans who have gained health care coverage because of the law maintain their coverage, in addition to their patient protections.

 

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The American Medical Association is the premier national organization providing timely, essential resources to empower physicians, residents and medical students to succeed at every phase of their medical lives. Physicians have entrusted the AMA to advance the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health on behalf of patients for more than 170 years.