May 6, 2020/Press

ICYMI: AG Stein, Chairman Goodwin, Rep. Cunningham Address GOP Lawsuit to Eliminate Healthcare Protections

On the filing deadline for opening briefs to be submitted to the Supreme Court, Democratic leaders in North Carolina blasted the Trump administration’s backing of a lawsuit aimed at dismantling the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and stripping health coverage and benefits from millions of people in the state. 

On a call with reporters, Attorney General Josh Stein, former state Commissioner of Insurance Wayne Goodwin and long time healthcare provider and State Representative Carla Cunningham addressed the enormous risks if the Republican effort is successful. The trio cited protections for a number of groups in North Carolina that are at risk, including: 

  • The 4.1 million individuals with pre-existing conditions; 
  • The 1.8 million seniors on Medicare in the state who depend on lower drug prices provided through the ACA;
  • The more than 500,000 people who have purchased insurance through the federal exchange; and
  • The 400,000 North Carolinians who receive tax subsidies to help them purchase health insurance. 

The full audio of the call can be accessed HERE

Highlights from the discussion: 

Attorney General Josh Stein: 

  • If the State of Texas and the Trump Administration [are] successful in the U.S. Supreme Court, they will strike down the entire Affordable Care Act and all of the benefits to the people of North Carolina. 
  • If the ACA goes away, the impact on healthcare is going to be absolutely devastating; over 10 years, hospitals will lose $22.7 billion. Doctors [and] physicians, they will lose $8.7 billion, and the amount of uncompensated care in this state will mushroom to $35 billion. 
  • Defending the Affordable Care Act is absolutely critical to defending the quality of life of the people of North Carolina and the economy of North Carolina.

Former N.C. Commissioner of Insurance Wayne Goodwin: 

  • I’ve seen firsthand the struggles that too many families face due to a lack of access to quality, affordable healthcare. When the Affordable Care Act finally took effect, it was indeed a game changer for our state.
  • That the Trump administration continues to pursue the reckless effort to dismantle the ACA while unemployment skyrockets and millions of Americans are losing employer-sponsored insurance is indeed mindboggling. 
  • I hope the Supreme Court will reject this dangerous, partisan attempt to undo such an important milestone for our country; the financial wellbeing of millions of North Carolinians is at stake. 

State Representative Carla Cunningham: 

  • After three decades in the medical field, gaining both policy and personal experience with these individuals, I have seen the consequences of being uninsured or underinsured. These consequences are devastating to families and individuals across the state, especially during this public health crisis.
  • Having more insured people is good for our public health system and for our economy. It means fewer visits to the emergency room, less pressure on our hospitals and health care workers, and fewer people facing financial ruin just to get the care and medications they need. 
  • I can’t think of anything more irresponsible than trying to rip away the health protections and financial security that millions of people across this country — and particularly our state — are depending on, especially during the worst public health crisis in a century … We have to protect and build on this law.