Faculty in the Milken Institute School of Public Health are leading efforts to combat the latest legal challenge against the Affordable Care Act, according to a release from the school last week.
Fourteen faculty members, including Milken Dean Lynn Goldman, signed onto a “friend of the court” brief June 14 defending the ACA after 20 states filed a federal lawsuit in February aiming to repeal the Obama-era legislation. The lawsuit alleges that because the financial penalty for being uninsured has been revoked, the entire law must be repealed.
“At the heart of their argument lies the concept of ‘severability’; that is, whether the repeal of the penalty – and thus, the end of an enforceable mandate – cannot be separated from the rest of the law, thereby leading to its demise,” the release states.
The brief’s signatories – 36 public health deans, chairs and experts in total – argue that although the elimination of the tax penalty hurts the efficacy of the ACA, the law still helps millions of people gain access to health insurance and fund community health centers.
The brief goes on to list the possibly “grim” effects of repealing the ACA, including the loss of coverage for young people and the elderly and a reduction of community health centers. The signatories also argue that nullifying the ACA could revert the United States to a time when pre-existing conditions could prevent an individual from receiving care.
“Without the ACA, the health of millions of Americans would be harmed,” the brief states.