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AAP Statement in Response to Appeals Court Ruling to Strike Down Affordable Care Act's Individual Mandate

12/18/2019 by: Kyle Yasuda, MD, FAAP, President, American Academy of Pediatrics

"The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is profoundly disappointed in this evening's ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit to strike down the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) individual mandate. The decision throws the entirety of the law into question as the lower court determines which provisions will stand and which will not.

"This ruling is especially troubling because it comes at a time when over four million children are uninsured, an increase of 425,000 uninsured children in a single year. We must work to reverse this trend. Instead, tonight's ruling only adds more uncertainty to the future of health care coverage for children and families, and that is worrisome.  

"In the nine and a half years it has been in effect, the ACA has made tremendous improvements to children's access to health care, all of which could now be in jeopardy. Families who have children with chronic illness, young adults depending on their parents' plans for affordable coverage, pregnant women, children undergoing costly medical treatments, they all are now left wondering what their futures hold. It should not be this way.

"For these families, the outcome of this ruling could mean medical bankruptcy. It could mean forgoing life-saving treatment in order to pay the bills. We oppose this ruling and stand in support of the millions of children and families who have benefited from the ACA's protections. Our hope is that the law will be upheld and that a decision will be rendered swiftly, so that families can rest assured that their health care will continue to be there for them."

 

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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds.