Gov. Tom Wolf participated in a recent virtual press conference with U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, Pennsylvania health experts and a constituent affected by the Affordable Care Act to discuss what’s at stake for the 5.5 million Pennsylvanians with pre-existing conditions and nearly 1 million more who could lose their coverage in the middle of a pandemic, if the Supreme Court were to overturn the ACA.
“It’s imperative that we do everything in our power to protect the ACA and the millions of Pennsylvanians who have access to healthcare because of it, especially during a pandemic,” said Wolf. “If the Supreme Court were to dismantle or eliminate the ACA, millions of people would lose protections that are quite literally life-saving and with the unknown long-term health implications of COVID-19, now is the time to expand coverage, not limit or eliminate it.”
“President Trump and Senator McConnell are rushing to confirm a Supreme Court Justice who will back their lawsuit to destroy the Affordable Care Act, kicking 23 million people off their health insurance, ending protections for 135 million people with pre-existing conditions and raising costs for millions more, in the middle of a pandemic,” Casey said. “If confirmed, Judge Amy Coney Barrett will almost certainly vote to overturn the ACA, which will adversely impact working families, children and seniors.
“If Republicans successfully sabotage the ACA, insurers could deny coverage to people who recover from COVID-19 but face long-term medical consequences. In the middle of a global pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than 210,000 Americans, this is indefensible. I’m going to keep fighting every day to protect Americans’ healthcare and keep the Affordable Care Act as the law of the land.”
Andrea Kobylinski, mother to 10-year-old Nicholas, who has pre-existing conditions that require extensive care, spoke about how losing ACA benefits such as coverage for pre-existing conditions, not having yearly or lifetime limits, and being able to maintain Nicholas on her family insurance past high school graduation is essential to his ongoing treatment, particularly as he transitions to adulthood.
“When the ACA came around, I saw it as being for other people,” said Kobylinski. “When we received Nicholas’s diagnosis, all of a sudden it meant a lot to me. It meant everything. Having affordable, quality healthcare is the foundation for his future. It is my hope that compassionate hearts will prevail on the Supreme Court,” she said.
“Healthcare coverage for every Pennsylvanian is necessary to protect the lives of individuals and families, but it also protects communities,” Wolf said. “When people have access to healthcare coverage, they are more likely to have access to preventive care to stay healthy, and more likely to receive care quickly when they are sick. Ensuring that people have access to medical care – and that medical care is affordable – is the duty of government at all times, but it is especially vital when our world is fighting a pandemic that is still presenting us with new challenges every day. I will do everything I can to protect healthcare coverage for all Pennsylvanians.”