KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- The future of healthcare is surrounded with uncertainty following a federal judge’s ruling last week on the affordable care act.
The ruling was based on the tax changes made last year, getting rid of the tax mandate against those who don’t purchase health insurance.
Because the law is no longer based on congress’s constitutional power to tax, the Texas judge ruled the ACA unconstitutional.
At this time, nothing is changing.
The case still has to go through the appeals process before anything drastic happens.
If the law is struck down though, a lot of people would be affected.
“It’s very worrisome and everybody should be worried,” said Brad Bray, retired pastor.
Bray has a pre-existing condition.
Something the ACA set up protections for.
“We’ll be back to square one. Before we had the ACA, we had the insurance company just charging whatever they want,” voiced Bray.
Another rule put in place by the ACA allows adult children up to the age of 26 to be covered by their parent’s plan.
That’s how Sam Stockman gets his healthcare coverage.
“As someone who is considering going to grad school very soon, it’ll probably be several years before I’m able to get out and get a stable job after my school, so it’s kind of essential to me to rely on my parents at this point time for healthcare,” expressed Sam Stockman, UMKC student.
He’s keeping a close eye on the news, wondering what the ACA ruling could mean for him.
“I have no idea what this is going to mean in the immediate future, which is the most concerning part,” said Stockman.
So, do these folks have reason to worry?
“We are not worried at this point, no,” voiced April Holman, Executive director Alliance for a Healthy Kansas.
Holman says people shouldn’t panic, yet.
The affordable care act has been challenged before.
“It has persisted through a number of challenges and both the courts and in Congress,” expressed Holman.
More than 98,000 Kansans have bought insurance on healthcare.gov since 2014 and more than 243,000 Missourians.
There are also thousands of people in 36 states across the country enrolled in Medicaid expansion programs that are funded by the ACA. Kansas and Missouri are not included in that list.
“Unless something else were to come in and take its place, there would be a lot of people left without a viable option,” said Holman.
Holman hopes congress can provide a backup plan if the courts ultimately strike down the ACA.
The Kansas and Missouri attorneys general are plaintiffs in the ACA case.
In a tweet about the ruling last week, Senator Elect Josh Hawley praised the court’s decision saying, “now it’s time for both parties to work together to lower healthcare costs, improve access to quality care for all, and protect those with preexisting conditions.”
Missouri Attorney General Derek Schmidt commented on the ruling as well. Schmidt posted on his website saying, “…this decision reaffirms the important principle that our Constitution protects liberty by limiting the power of the federal government in ways that an independent judiciary is duty-bound to enforce.”