For Immediate Release: December 19, 2019
Contact: Ryan Bridges, Byrum & Fisk Advocacy Communications, (517) 333-1606
After Fifth Circuit Court Decision, Advocates Call on State Leaders to Fight for Michiganders Health Care
LANSING – After yesterday’s disastrous decision by U.S Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals for the Texas v. United States lawsuit, Protect Our Care Michigan was joined by local health care advocates for a press call to discuss the implications of the decision for Michiganders.
This lawsuit to overturn the entire Affordable Care Act, spearheaded by a coalition of Republican-led states, could leave hundreds of thousands of Michiganders without access to health care, and put the care of the 4.1 million Michiganders with pre-existing conditions in grave jeopardy.
“I am one of the 4.1 million Michiganders with a pre-existing condition that this lawsuit threatens to take coverage from,” said Sarah Stark, a patient advocate. “As a type 1 diabetic and patient advocate, I know that diabetics and insulin dependent people are already struggling to afford the high price tag on our insulin, which costs upwards of $1,000 per month. The threat of taking away the Affordable Care Act and our protections is quite terrifying for all of us. The ultimate consequence is that more people will be rationing their insulin and ultimately losing their lives.”
“The results of this lawsuit are significant and may lead us toward a chaotic and much less generous health care system,” said Amber Bellazaire, a policy analyst with the Michigan League for Public Policy. ”If the Affordable Care Act is ultimately invalidated, more than 700,000 Michiganders could lose their health care coverage and the 4.1 million people in our state with pre-existing conditions could lose the protections afforded to them under the ACA. Whether it’s asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes or cancer, many people we know and love have a preexisting condition. Today is a sad day for all Americans.”
“Yesterday’s decision will leave health care coverage for millions of Americans, especially those with preexisting conditions, in question,” said Dianne Byrum, state director of Protect Our Care Michigan. “This lawsuit is the centerpiece of the Republican’s agenda to kick people off their health insurance and raise the cost of health care, while taking away protections for pre-existing conditions. Following this ruling, we are certain health care will remain a top priority for Michigan voters heading into 2020 because it has a direct impact on working families across our state.”
“It is almost impossible to wrap your mind around the chaos that repealing the Affordable Care Act would cause in our state and our country,” said Dr. Vivek Palavali, a neurosurgeon and health care advocate. “In the first year alone, we expect to see a 115% increase in the number of uninsured Michiganders. It would also give insurance companies power to charge as much as they want, cover as little as they want, and drop you from your policy without cause or notice.”
- Protections for 4,103,600 Michiganders with pre-existing conditions would end.
- 720,000 Michiganders would lose their coverage, causing a 115 percent increase in the uninsured rate.
- Medicaid expansion would be repealed, meaning the 688,300 Michiganders who are covered through Medicaid expansion could lose coverage.
- 203,864 Michigan seniors will pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare “donut hole” will be reopened.
- 73,000 Michigan young adults will no longer be able to stay on their parents’ coverage.
- Protections for women, who insurance companies previously charged 50 percent more than men, would be gone.
- Financial assistance that helps 219,996 Michiganders purchase health care in the marketplace would end.
- Key support for rural hospitals would disappear, leaving Michigan hospitals on the hook for $1.9 billion more in uncompensated care costs.
- 4,543,547 Michiganders could once again have to pay for preventive care, like mammograms and flu shots.
- Lifetime and annual caps on coverage would once again be allowed, allowing insurers to put limits in care for 3,547,000 privately insured Michiganders.
- Insurers will no longer have to cover a set of essential health benefits, including hospitalization, prescription drugs, or mental health services.