The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation, last week filed a “friend of the court” brief, offering relevant facts, case studies, and informative research to the Supreme Court of the United States as it decides whether to hear a case regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
In the Florida v. Department of Health and Human Services case, the Eleventh Circuit found, this past August, that the “minimum coverage requirement” contained in the statute to is unconstitutional.
“Our filing is intended to help the Court decide whether or not to hear such a case; we have funded long term studies and amassed a goldmine of data and information about the state of California,” Robert K. Ross, MD, president and CEO of The Endowment, said in a statement. “We know that the ACA will positively impact the health of communities in our state and its implementation is core to our mission of ensuring all Californians have access to health care services.”
The Endowment’s amicus curiae brief offers facts based on California research and related specifically to the Eleventh Circuit’s conclusions regarding the ‘minimum coverage requirement’ included in the law. The brief includes a notation that the minimum coverage requirement is strongly linked to commerce because uninsured Californians are more likely than insured Californians to use expensive hospital emergency rooms for routine care and to go without care due to cost.
It also states that the minimum coverage requirement is an essential part of making the Affordable Care Act work. The law cannot successfully increase health insurance coverage and reduce costs without the requirement.
“The Eleventh Circuit’s decision deserves review by the U.S. Supreme Court for numerous reasons,” Kathleen M. Sullivan, counsel for the Endowment, said in a statement. She added that evidence from the State of California and its recent experiences with the Affordable Care Act "help to show why the Court should grant review and reaffirm Congress's authority to ensure that its regulation of the interstate health care market is effective.”