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Contact: Michele Kayal
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Email: michelek@firstfocus.org
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Amicus brief urges SCOTUS to preserve Affordable Care Act

Health

Child advocates argue ACA dramatically improved children’s health and lives

First Focus on Children and The Children’s Partnership today filed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the Supreme Court to preserve the benefits the Affordable Care Act extends to America’s children and young adults.

In California v. Texas, the Court will consider whether the ACA remains constitutional after a lower court struck down the law’s individual mandate. The justices will review a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit and will hear oral arguments in the fall. The decision, expected in 2021, will determine whether the entire ACA must be overturned or whether parts of it can stand.

“The ACA has dramatically improved the health and lives of children,” said Bruce Lesley, president of First Focus on Children. “From coverage for pre-existing conditions to well-child visits without co-pays, Medicaid coverage for former foster youth, and reduced maternal and infant mortality rates, children have benefitted from the ACA and would suffer if the law were dismantled. The Affordable Care Act provides children with services and benefits that improve their lives and health outcomes.”

“Providing quality health insurance and care is an investment in the future of our children and foundational for children and young people to succeed in school and life,” said The Children’s Partnership President Mayra E. Alvarez. “Through the ACA, children have reaped the benefits of free preventive services, mandated essential pediatric health benefits (including oral and vision services), and a host of benefits and protections to keep children covered. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this increased access to health coverage has saved the lives and economic security of vulnerable children and families. It is never the time to take away the health coverage of millions of our most marginalized children and families, but this shared crisis has made ever more clear the importance of basic necessities like health care.”

The brief argues that the ACA revolutionized health care for every American, especially the millions of children and their families who, without its protections, would be excluded from the health insurance market or receive inferior care. One of the law’s primary achievements, it says, was improving access to and quality of healthcare for children by protecting children with preexisting conditions, extending dependent coverage, and eliminating annual and lifetime limits on benefits. Please see our issue brief for more information on children and the Affordable Care Act.

First Focus on Children is a bipartisan advocacy organization dedicated to making children and families a priority in federal policy and budget decisions.

The Children’s Partnership is a California-based children’s advocacy organization committed to improving the lives of marginalized children where they live, learn, and play with breakthrough solutions at the intersection of research, policy, and community engagement.