SCOTUS hears arguments on Affordable Care Act

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Posted at 9:29 PM, Nov 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-10 22:35:28-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — In the midst of a global pandemic, there's a new challenge to millions of Americans’ health insurance. The Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday on the Affordable Care Act.

Republican attorney generals from across the country, backed by President Donald Trump are arguing the ACA is unconstitutional since Congress got rid of the tax penalty it carried if you didn't have insurance.

Even though the high court has a new conservative judge and majority, legal experts don't think the justices will strike down the entire law.

Even advocates for the ACA like Michele Johnson of the Tennessee Justice Center admit it needs to be improved, but don't want to see vulnerable populations lose coverage in the meantime.

“The Affordable Care Act has absolutely saved lives and continues to save lives every day,” Johnson said.

Johnson says she noticed from the questions she heard that there are justices on the Supreme Court, “who don’t really understand the daily realities of the clients that we serve and the clients whose lives have been dramatically improved by this law.”

Laura Packard is one of the many who credits the ACA for helping save her life. Three years ago she was diagnosed with stage-four cancer.

“Thankfully I had a good policy when I was diagnosed because now I’m uninsurable without it and 135 million Americans have preexisting conditions. Many of us can’t get insurance if the Affordable Care Act goes away,” Packard said

In the years since Packard has worked with the non-profit, Get America Covered. Their goal is simple, make sure as many people know how to navigate the open-enrollment period and find the help they need to understand their rights under the law.

“Honestly with the pandemic going on right now and I think over 10 million Americans infected so far, this is not the time to be going without health care,” Packard said.

On the open marketplace, you can find insurance brokers or navigators who can help walk you through the process of registering. You can keep your existing insurance you brought yourself or a plan you have through your employer.

Even if you already had insurance, the ACA also allows you to add your children up to age 26 to your health insurance plan.

The Supreme Court will not issue a ruling on the ACA until next year.