Merkley Report: Texas v. United States Puts Health Care for Millions of Oregonians At Risk

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley today released an estimate of the number of Oregonians whose access to health care would be at risk if the Texas v. United States case is successful: 150,000 Oregonians who are enrolled in the health care marketplace; 50,777 Oregon seniors enrolled in Medicare Part D whose prescription drugs will cost more; 1.7 million Oregonians with preexisting conditions; and nearly 500,000 Oregonians who would be kicked off of Oregon Health Plan coverage.

In July, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear Texas v. United States, the lawsuit aiming to eliminate the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that was brought by 18 Republican attorneys general and governors, and supported by the Trump administration. The case puts in jeopardy protections for the 133 million Americans with preexisting conditions, including nearly 1.7 million Oregonians, aged infant to 65 years old.

“These attacks on our health care must end,” Merkley said. “Republicans have tried to repeal or undermine the Affordable Care Act over 100 times, and each and every time, there has been an outcry from Oregonians and people across America. This lawsuit is yet another attack that must be thwarted. Just like the 100 times before, We the People must triumph over those who would snatch health care away from millions.”

The serious consequences for Oregonians if the ACA is eliminated include:

  • Protections for people with pre-existing conditions would be eliminated, impacting 1.7 million people, age 0 to 65, in Oregon;
  • Millions would be kicked off Medicaid, including 499,000 in Oregon who would be kicked off of the Oregon Health Plan;
  • Insurance exchanges where individuals can compare and buy insurance and premium assistance would be eliminated;
  • Seniors on Medicare would face increased prescription drug costs, including 50,777 in Oregon;
  • Women could be charged more than men for health care, including 731,287 women, aged 18 to 64, in Oregon;
  • Young people would no longer have access to their parents’ insurance plan up to age 26;
  • Annual and lifetime caps on benefits could return;
  • There would no longer be guaranteed coverage for preventive screening and contraceptive services without deductibles or copayments;
  • There would no longer be guaranteed coverage for mental health and addiction treatment services.

Merkley has led efforts to protect the ACA and the protections and access it has provided for millions of Oregonians and Americans. And he has introduced legislation that would improve America’s health care system, making it more affordable and less complicated: In April he introduced the Choose Medicare Act, which would give every American currently buying private insurance the option of buying Medicare instead; and this week he will introduce the End Price Gouging for Medications Act, which would require drug companies to sell prescription drugs in America at the same, usually lower price they do in other countries.