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Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Hear the Nine: Houston Resident Helps CAP Launch First Three Stories in Series on Impact of King v. Burwell
Press Release

RELEASE: Hear the Nine: Houston Resident Helps CAP Launch First Three Stories in Series on Impact of King v. Burwell

New website to feature nine stories for each Supreme Court justice who will rule on the Affordable Care Act.

Washington, D.C. — Aurora Harris’ story from Houston is one of the three helping kick off a month-long campaign by the Center for American Progress to highlight the very real impacts of the King v. Burwell lawsuit, the latest attempt by conservatives to use the Supreme Court against the Affordable Care Act, or ACA. The consequences of a ruling against the ACA could have devastating effects for people such as Aurora, who now has access to affordable health care, including preventive care, that she has not had for years. Aurora’s story, and all nine stories to match with the nine Supreme Court justices, can be seen in the coming weeks at HearTheNine.org.

Aurora has seen major benefits from the Affordable Care Act, which not only blocks insurance companies from rejecting people with pre-existing conditions, but also provides tax credits for low-income Americans to afford coverage. Those tax credits saved Harris more than $1,500 last year, making her coverage affordable. It is these tax credits that are at the heart of the King v. Burwell suit, meaning a ruling against the ACA would directly affect millions of Americans and severely damage the insurance market.

“My coverage through the Affordable Care Act gave me access to vital services, particularly certain preventive services,” Harris said. “Through my experience and the experiences of the people I’ve worked with, I’ve come to realize that having health insurance does more than cover you if you get sick—it provides access to services that will stop you from getting sick in the first place.”

Unlike two years ago, when the Supreme Court ruled before the marketplaces were in effect, the Court’s decision on King v. Burwell will have immediate real-world consequences. More than 9 million people have already signed up or re-enrolled during the current open enrollment period, and millions more have benefited from Medicaid expansion in their states. Through King v. Burwell, conservative opposition to the Affordable Care Act is attempting to undermine the law through a key clause that clearly states that tax credits for insurance will be available across all 50 states for low-income Americans. For the next month, CAP will be highlighting more personal stories, videos, and facts about the case at HearTheNine.org, culminating in a major event outside Supreme Court on the day of the oral arguments—March 4.

These stories are just a few of millions from across the country about people whose lives are better today because of the Affordable Care Act,” said Neera Tanden, President of the Center for American Progress. “Two years ago, the Supreme Court ruled favorably on hypothetical outcomes of the Affordable Care Act, but the actions of these justices will have immediate consequences for real people this year. The ACA is working, which why millions of Americans would be affected by a ruling against it and why so many have spoken against this political lawsuit.”

ACA facts:

  • In just one year, the ACA has reduced the number of uninsured Americans by about 10 million, while millions have signed up for coverage through the marketplace.
  • Last year, nearly 7 in 10 people who enrolled in the marketplaces selected a plan that cost $100 or less per month, after factoring in tax credits.
  • Americans are getting better coverage than before with access to preventive services such as vaccines, cancer screenings, and yearly wellness visits with no out-of-pocket costs. And, as many stories have shown, insurance companies are no longer allowed to deny or drop anyone from coverage because of a pre-existing condition.

Aurora’s story:

Aurora got her health insurance coverage through Texas’ federal marketplace. Aurora, age 26, works at a small nonprofit where she helps her LGBT peers find the coverage they need. An active member of her community, Aurora speaks at events about the no-cost preventive services, such as well-person exams and mammograms, that are part of the essential health benefits in all health plans in the marketplace. When she signed up, Aurora not only found a great plan, but also was able to receive financial assistance to pay for her coverage—saving more than $1,500 last year. “I wouldn’t be able to afford my policy otherwise,” said Aurora. “It has really helped me be able to get my well-person exam and other prevention screenings that I’d not had in years.” Together with her girlfriend, who also benefits from the Affordable Care Act, they are taking a stand for equality and getting the affordable coverage they need. As Aurora put it, “Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, we can breathe easier, knowing we both have health insurance that we can afford. I want everyone—especially my LGBT family—to know that they can get covered too.”

For more information, contact Benton Strong at [email protected] or 202.481.8142.