Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Hear the Nine: Local Miami Story Among Three Released by CAP Highlighting Stakes in King v. Burwell Supreme Court Case
Press Release

RELEASE: Hear the Nine: Local Miami Story Among Three Released by CAP Highlighting Stakes in King v. Burwell Supreme Court Case

HearTheNine.org highlights how a Supreme Court ruling against the Affordable Care Act would have real-life impacts on Americans across the country.

Washington, D.C. — With nine Supreme Court justices holding the fate of millions of Americans’ access to affordable health care in their hands, the Center for American Progress is releasing three more stories in its Hear the Nine campaign today. Today’s stories are part of a month-long effort to highlight nine personal stories showing the stakes for the Court—one for each justice. This week’s stories from Florida, Georgia, and Ohio show how the case would hit people such as Celia M. from Miami, who went eight years without health insurance before signing up under the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, and seeing the cost savings when she spent time in the emergency room. Celia’s story is one of three highlighted today. All of the stories can be found at HearTheNine.org.

“I’m just so worried about having my coverage taken away,” Celia said. “I finally have health insurance I can afford, and now I have the risk of losing it. I can’t imagine going back to having to worry about suffering from anything worse than a cold.”

Conservatives have been trying for years to undermine and repeal the Affordable Care Act. Since they have been unable to do it legislatively, they “recruited [the Supreme Court] into the front lines of a partisan war.” A decision in favor of the plaintiffs would have devastating consequences for the nation’s health care system. Millions of Americans have signed up for and are benefiting from health care under the Affordable Care Act, from saving money on premiums and care to simply having access they didn’t have before. In many cases, the Affordable Care Act has saved lives.

Recent media scrutiny around the King v. Burwell case is showing the political nature of this lawsuit and conservatives’ focus on taking health care away from millions of Americans,” said Michele Jawando, Vice President for Legal Progress at the Center for American Progress. “Five years after the ACA became law, conservatives are still fighting to prevent access to affordable health care, but now their actions don’t have theoretical situations. A Supreme Court ruling against the Affordable Care Act would throw our health care system into disarray, and the people who would be punished are the ones who can afford it the least.”

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 in the current open enrollment period, and millions more have benefitted 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. Last week, CAP released the first three of the nine stories, and three more will be highlighted next week alongside videos and facts about the case at HearTheNine.org.

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.

Celia’s story:

Since 2005, Celia M. of Florida had been unable to find affordable health coverage. A self-employed pilates instructor and therapist, Celia could only find private insurance that cost upwards of $900 per month. So she went without coverage for nine years, luckily avoiding any serious issues with her health. In 2014, Celia decided to find coverage from the Florida marketplace. After signing up for a silver plan, Celia had a minor accident in her home that required a trip to the emergency room. After receiving treatment for the fall, Celia’s largest hospital bill was $57. “I couldn’t have even imagined what that would have cost me out of pocket—more than I could ever afford,” she said. This year, Celia re-enrolled for another silver plan and receives tax credits to help her pay for the cost. For around $200 per month, Celia feels assured that she will be covered for any health incident—minor or major—and has made a point of getting an annual wellness exam. “I’m just so worried about having my coverage taken away. I finally have health insurance I can afford, and now I have the risk of losing it. I can’t imagine going back to having to worry about suffering from anything worse than a cold.”

For more information, contact Benton Strong at bstrong@americanprogress.org or 202.481.8142.

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