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Patient Groups Praise Supreme Court Ruling Upholding Health Care Law, Preserving Critical Patient Protections

Justices Throw Out Case Citing Lack of Standing by Plaintiffs

June 17, 2021

The nation’s leading patient advocacy groups are praising the U.S. Supreme Court ruling today upholding the health care law known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Court ruled the plaintiff states and taxpayers did not have standing to bring the suit. The justices determined that without a financial penalty, the individual mandate does not result in the type of concrete injury required to bring a lawsuit. The dismissal leaves in place protections for people with pre-existing conditions and minimum insurance coverage standards.
 
Following is a joint statement from the groups, which include the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society along with more than a dozen others. The groups representing millions of patients with serious illnesses filed a joint amicus brief in support of upholding the law:  
 
“This ruling is a victory for people with serious illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung disease, diabetes, neurological conditions, mental illness, and anyone suffering long-term effects from COVID-19. These patients and millions more rely on the law’s critical patient protections to obtain more affordable, comprehensive health coverage.   
 
“This decision ensures that essential patient protections will remain in place, including those prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage or charging more for coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, requiring health plans to offer essential benefits needed to prevent and treat serious conditions and eliminating arbitrary dollar limits on coverage. Federal tax credits that make health insurance affordable for millions of Americans will continue. The 39 states that depend on federal funding to help provide critical Medicaid coverage to low-income adults will also have funds to continue to offer increased access to that safety-net coverage.
 
“Millions of Americans benefit from these fundamental protections. Today’s ruling leaves in place the health care law’s critical access to quality health coverage for more Americans." 

“On behalf of the millions of patients our organizations represent, we stand ready to assist lawmakers in efforts to strengthen the law and ensure all patients can access the quality care they need.”  
 
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The groups who filed the amicus brief include The American Cancer Society, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association, and its division, the American Stroke Association, the American Lung Association, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Epilepsy Foundation, Hemophilia Federation of America, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, March of Dimes, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, National Hemophilia Foundation, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the National Organization for Rare Disorders, the National Patient Advocate Foundation, and the Kennedy Forum. 

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