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ACA: Basics

Oral Arguments for the ACA to Start Today

Oral arguments against the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will begin today and end on Wednesday.  Today, although both those who support and those who do not say it doesn’t apply, the court will hear arguments about the Anti-Injunction Act. If found it does apply, it would bar the Supreme Court from considering constitutionality of the individual mandate until the ACA goes into full effect in 2014.

Tomorrow, perhaps the most widely know argument against the ACA will be heard. That is, arguments against the individual mandate, or personal responsibility part of the law. This is the part that requires everyone to obtain health insurance by 2014, or pay a penalty.

Finally, on Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on severability, Wednesday. This would explore the question on whether or not the rest of the law could stand if the individual mandate was taken out of the health care law altogether. They will also hear arguments on the Medicaid expansion provision. This provision would require states to include more low income people – those who are eligible – into the state’s Medicaid program. Those who are against health care reform question the authority of the ACA provision that would require states to expand their state programs.

Looking for more information about the Supreme Court and the health care law? Here are some useful tools:

What is at Stake for Women?

The insurance industry has historically failed women time and time again. Now, some provisions of the ACA have already gone into effect and we are seeing their benefits. Women have already enjoyed a ban on their lifetime coverage limits – a huge impact for those with a chronic illness. Soon, women will also begin to see bans on annual coverage limits as well.

Because of the ACA, mothers do not have to worry about not being able to find coverage for their child with a pre-existing condition. Plus, in 2014, insurance exchanges will open the doors to a whole new menu of options for those without coverage.  Insurance exchanges will offer women and their families an avenue to compare plans and pick what is best for them. They will offer tax credits to help pay premiums for moderate income families and individuals.

Further, the ACA will ban preexisting condition denials for adults in 2014 and bans a practice known as gender rating. Gender rating allows insurance companies to charge women more than men for the same plan – the ACA stops women from being branded as a “preexisting condition!”

The ACA offers preventative care at no cost (no copayment, coinsurance, or deductible) and requires plans to offer maternity care.

We cannot afford to go backwards. Women need health care reform. Moreover, Wisconsin women win with health care reform. Playing politics with health care is unacceptable and we urge the Supreme Court to agree when they announce their decision this summer.

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