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Affordable Care Is Constitutional

Outlier Judge’s Ruling Does Not Invalidate Health Reform Law

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SOURCE: Center for American Progress

Today, George W. Bush-appointed district court Judge Henry E. Hudson, who has a financial stake in a major Republican consulting firm, ignored precedent, the consensus of his colleagues, and the Constitution itself to strike down an essential component of the Affordable Care Act. The result of this decision will increase costs for people and put insurance companies back in control of our nation’s health care system. Judge Hudson’s decision is also an outlier: So far, 14 judges have dismissed these meritless challenges to the health reform law.

The Affordable Care Act is nothing short of a lifeline for millions of Americans to receive the health care they need and deserve now and in the future as the law takes effect. It bans some of the worst insurance company practices, such as prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions and dropping coverage once a person becomes sick. To eliminate these abhorrent insurance practices, the law also requires people to purchase coverage. Without this provision, the insurance market becomes unworkable. Too many people will wait until the moment they become sick to purchase insurance, leading to skyrocketing premiums for everyone. That is why a wide range of economists and organizations representing patients with pre-existing conditions have urged the law be upheld.

Make no mistake: Judge Henry Hudson’s poorly reasoned decision is living on borrowed time. We at the Center for American Progress are confident that it will not hold up to further scrutiny.

Neera Tanden is Chief Operating Officer at the Center for American Progress and oversees the health care team at the Center. She previously served as senior advisor for health reform at the Department of Health and Human Services, advising Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and working on the president’s health reform team to pass the bill.

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