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Millions of Americans could lose health care coverage

Tucson woman fears for the worst
Published: Nov. 10, 2020 at 9:40 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Healthcare for more than 20 million Americans hangs in the balance, as the Supreme Court began hearing arguments today to eliminate the Affordable Care Act.

While a majority of the justices seem to be aiming to leave the law in place, local ACA recipients fear the worst.

“If the Affordable Care Act goes away, I will be crying. I will be very upset,” said Alessondra Springmann, an ACA recipient.

She is one of millions of Americans frightened over possibly losing her healthcare coverage.

“I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease in my intestines," she added.

Her diagnostic came shortly before the Affordable Care Act went into effect in 2010.

“The doctor ran some diagnostic tests and said, ‘Well, we can diagnose you but then you’ll be uninsurable,’” Springmann said.

Currently under the ACA, health insurance companies cannot refuse coverage or charge more due to pre-existing conditions. Springmann remembers the struggle before the act passed.

“The annual cap was about 2,500 dollars for one of my meds that would be met in about a month of filling prescription. There was an annual cap on the amount of care I could receive.”

Her disease requires regular blood draws, diagnostics and medication that she said would be impossible to afford on her own.

“We need healthcare to be affordable now more than ever during this pandemic,” she emphasized.

The Trump Administration, along with 18 states, including Arizona, argues the individual mandate which required people to buy health insurance or pay a penalty, raises no tax or revenue since Congress zeroed out the tax- making it unconstitutional.

“I think the Attorney General should really look at the millions of Arizonans who have benefited from the Medicare expansion,” Springmann said.

In a statement to KOLD, Arizona’s Attorney General Mark Brnovich said:

“While Congress has been busy arguing about our healthcare system, I’m proud to have worked with a bipartisan coalition of Arizona legislators at the state level to protect those with pre-existing conditions. Americans deserve certainty and a sound healthcare system.”

A decision on this case is expected in late June 2021.

Copyright 2020 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.