APA Reasserts Support for Affordable Care Act as Supreme Court Hears California v. Texas

WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 10, 2020 – The Supreme Court is hearing arguments today on California v. Texas, litigation challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The suit seeks to have the ACA entirely invalidated now that the so-called individual mandate has been essentially removed.

In May, the American Psychiatric Association joined with the American Medical Association and 20 other medical societies in an amicus brief in the case. The amici argue that the law as it currently stands should remain constitutional, and if the Supreme Court decides that the individual mandate no longer qualifies as a tax, it should leave the rest of the ACA intact.

“To disrupt the law governing the provision of health care in the middle of a pandemic would put everyone at risk,” said APA President Jeffrey Geller, M.D., M.P.H. “Overturning the entire Act would mean nearly 21 million people would lose their health insurance. We urge the Supreme Court to preserve the entire Act, including the individual mandate.”

“If the Court overturns or dramatically alters the Affordable Care Act in the middle of a pandemic and the growing mental health crisis created by the outbreak, people most in need will not have access to care,” said APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A. “APA is extremely concerned about the lives of those with mental health and substance use disorders who are covered under ACA. Now more than ever access to health care is essential, and we should be doing everything possible to make it available.”

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 38,800 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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