APA Calls for Vigorous Appeal of Federal Judge’s Ruling Striking Down the Affordable Care Act

Washington, D.C. – In the wake of a federal district court judge’s ruling striking down the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the American Psychiatric Association (APA) today calls for a vigorous appeal effort to protect access to health care for millions of Americans.

The Friday decision by U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor in Texas rules the ACA unconstitutional without the requirement of an enforceable individual mandate after Congress repealed the tax penalty associated with it. Through private insurance reforms and Medicaid expansion, the law has provided coverage to roughly 2.8 million Americans with substance use disorders and 1.3 million Americans living with serious mental illness. News accounts say roughly 20 million Americans have coverage under the ACA.

“This ruling has an unconscionable result,” said APA President Altha Stewart, M.D. “Should this ruling stand, millions of our patients will lose their health care. We cannot afford to go back to the days when Americans were denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions or when insurance companies would not cover mental health and substance use disorders.”

“This harmful ruling must be appealed and overturned,” said APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A. “The court’s decision to invalidate the ACA, including pre-existing conditions protections and the Medicaid expansion will hurt our patients with mental illness and all illnesses. This decision must be appealed and reversed.”

American Psychiatric Association

The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 37,800 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information please visit www.psychiatry.org.

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