On Friday, a federal judge in Texas struck down the Affordable Care Act as unconstitutional.The following statement is attributable to Washington State Nurses Association Executive Director Sally Watkins, PhD, RN:
The Washington State Nurses Association is deeply disappointed in the ruling of a federal district court in Texas v. Azar, that found the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.
If the Texas judge’s decision on the Affordable Care Act is allowed to stand, millions of Americans will have their health, their financial security and even their lives put at risk.
This ruling puts in jeopardy access to quality, affordable and accessible health care for the millions of Americans whose lives have improved due to the coverage expansions and consumer protections under the ACA.
The ACA has protected the 133 million Americans with pre-existing conditions and brought health care to millions of seniors, young people and economically disadvantaged people. Without the ACA, as many as 17 million people could lose their coverage within the next year.
As nurses, we have seen the benefit of the Affordable Care Act in our communities. Patients have had unprecedented access to health insurance coverage, ensuring they can access the medical and mental health care they need.
In the recent midterm elections American voters spoke loudly and clearly that they want their health care rights protected. We will continue to fight to not only protect families, our patients and those with pre-existing conditions or on Medicaid, but also to advocate for even stronger laws guaranteeing all American families the right to health care that does not put them into financial bankruptcy.
WSNA will continue to advocate for access to quality, affordable, and accessible health care for all Americans, including people with pre-existing conditions, and defending the ACA’s essential health benefits provisions for individual insurance plans.