No Affordable Care Act could cause chaos in healthcare system, local expert says

Tuesday, December 18, 2018
What the Affordable Care Act ruling means
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What the Affordable Care Act ruling means: Ali Gorman reports on Action News at 6 p.m., December 17, 2018

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- It's the latest blow to the Affordable Care Act: a Texas judge calling it unconstitutional and saying all of it should be scrapped.

Robert Field is a professor at Drexel University and an expert in healthcare law.

"If this were to hold up and be approved all the way up to the Supreme Court, it could cause literal chaos across the healthcare system," said Field.

As it stands now, the Act protects people with pre-existing conditions and that's as many as 130 million Americans or one in three.

It allows people up to age 26 to stay on their parent's plan and it expands health coverage to 20 million more people.

All that stands to go away.

And Field says much more because the 1000-page law covers almost every aspect of healthcare, including some prevention and basic healthcare measures.

"Like calorie counts at chain restaurants and breastfeeding stations at work, that would all go away," said Field.

Drug prices could also go up, as the law allows companies to sell less-expensive, generic versions of drugs.

Joshua Peck of Get America Covered says if the ruling stays, it will be a huge step backward. Right now, they're hoping to clear up the confusion.

"A lot of people read from the headline and they thought the ACA was gone and that lead a lot of people not to enroll who would have otherwise done so," said Peck. "So we'll be following it, but with the focus of letting people know the Affordable Care Act is still the law and their coverage is not at risk."

And again, nothing will change for 2019, but the ruling is expected to go appeals court where it could be upheld or overturned.

Field says many legal experts say there are a lot of holes in the decision but we'll have to wait to see what happens.


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