This past Monday, WSHA joined 25 other state hospital associations in filing an amicus brief in support of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). We played a coordinating role in the process of preparing and submitting the brief, in collaboration with the American Hospital Association. We at WSHA are dedicated to strategic judicial advocacy on behalf of our members and Washington patients.
The amicus brief is part of the appeal of the 2018 ruling, Texas v. United States, that declared the ACA unconstitutional based on Congress’ repeal of the tax penalty enforcing the ACA’s individual mandate. In the amicus brief, we emphasized that the ACA is a complex, multi-faced law. In addition to Medicaid expansion and insurance subsidies, the delivery reforms included in the ACA changed the way that hospitals provide health care and receive payment.
If the reforms included in the ACA were repealed along with rest of the law, patient care would be disrupted and negatively impacted. We argue in the amicus brief that Texas v. United States failed to recognize that these reforms are independent of the individual mandate and should be considered separately.
I believe that the coverage expansions included in the Affordable Care Act are essential to ensuring that patients across the nation – and especially in Washington State – have access to accessible, high-quality health care. Its repeal would not only significantly disrupt patient care, but also negate a majority of the positive health care reforms that hospitals and health care leaders have spent the last decade working on. I am confident that I speak for the entire team at WSHA when I say that we are committed to defending the Affordable Care Act and will continue to advocate on behalf of our members to ensure that Washington hospitals are open and available to provide expert patient care to Washington residents.