The Trump Administration late last night filed a brief with the Supreme Court urging repeal of the Affordable Care Act. While not surprising, the stance remains deeply disturbing and imperils the lives of the 23 million Americans – nearly 3 million of them children – who gained coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

“The Affordable Care Act protects millions of our most vulnerable children,” said Bruce Lesley, president of First Focus on Children, “covering kids with conditions from asthma to cancer, and making sure their families don’t go bankrupt in the process. Attacks on children’s health care have already pushed the numbers of uninsured children up for the first time in decades. There is never a good time to rob children and their families of health care, but during a pandemic is a special kind of bad timing.” 

The ACA revolutionized health care for millions of children and their families who would be excluded from the health insurance market without it. One of the law’s primary achievements, First Focus argued in an amicus brief filed with the court earlier this year, is protecting children with preexisting conditions, extending dependent coverage, and eliminating annual and lifetime limits on benefits. 

Overturning the ACA would:

  • Endanger the physical — and financial — well-being of former foster youth who will lose Medicaid coverage.
  • Deny care to the 25% of American children with pre-existing conditions such as asthma, juvenile diabetes, pediatric cancer, ADHD and other common childhood diseases.
  • Quickly exhaust the annual and even lifetime benefits of a child who began life in the neonatal intensive care unit, has cancer or another serious illness.
  • Reverse a decade of gains that lowered infant and maternal mortality rates, pushing the United States even closer to the top of that list among developed nations.  
  • Deliver myriad other outcomes that have a measurable impact on public health and our nation’s economy.