Issued June 17, 2021
San Francisco, Calif. - Service Employees International Union (SEIU) International President Mary Kay Henry released the following statement today after the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. SEIU filed an amicus brief illustrating the devastating and lasting consequences working people would face if the ACA were struck down.
“Essential workers have been demanding to be respected, protected and paid, and that includes having access to quality, affordable healthcare. Black and brown workers have been at the forefront leading this fight, as they have with so many other campaigns to build a stronger nation. Working people, including healthcare workers who have been on the front lines of the pandemic, fought to pass the Affordable Care Act and they have defended it ever since. Today is their victory.
“Workers like Kristen Edwards, an adjunct professor of history from California, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 and eventually made a full recovery. But when she lost her job in 2011 and began searching for an individual plan to replace her employer-sponsored health insurance, she was horrified to discover that private insurance companies would not cover her because of her past diagnosis. Purchasing an ACA plan allowed Kristen to get health insurance without worrying that her insurer would reject her application because of her medical history.
“Now it is time to finally turn the page once and for all. Instead of trying to take healthcare away from tens of millions of people, Republican members of Congress need to join efforts that will make healthcare more affordable and accessible. That means working across the aisle to address the overlapping health, economic and racial crises working people are facing with Black, brown and indigenous communities.”