Future of Obamacare in question with Barrett's confirmation hearings set to start Monday

Future of Obamacare in question with Barrett’s confirmation hearings set to start Monday

TUCSON – In 2010, Alessondra Springmann was 24 when she was in graduate school at MIT when she says she got really sick and had to take medical leave.

She was diagnosed with Chron’s disease and got on the Affordable Care Act also known as Obamacare.

“The Affordable Care Act has saved my life and has allowed me to stay healthy and also not be bankrupt from paying for health care,” Springmann said. “It really freed me up to go back to MIT and finish my degree and not have to worry about access to health care or be able to afford health care over the last decade.”

In 2017, the Trump administration got rid of the Obamacare individual mandate, the part of the law that said one must buy insurance or pay a penalty.

Now a group of states, including Arizona, will argue in front of the Supreme Court to do away with Obamacare in a case that will be heard Nov. 10.

The high court will decide the constitutionality of the law for the third time in eight years.

If confirmed by the Senate, Judge Amy Coney Barrett could cast the deciding vote that guts the ACA.

“Let’s advance what we all agree on knowing that some will say it needs to be more or this or that. and that’s what we did. we passed it with near-unanimous support in the Arizona legislature,” District 17 State Sen. J.D. Mesnard said.

Mesnard sponsored a bill up in Phoenix this last session to make sure Arizonans with pre-existing conditions are still covered regardless of what the Supreme Court decides.

“Now, it’s entirely possible that Obamacare gets upheld or even if it gets struck down its only pieces that get struck down and pre-existing conditions get retained,” he said. “Regardless, now, because of my law, it won’t matter. at the end of the day, one way or another, Arizonans will have protections.”

But even with lawmakers moving to protect pre-existing conditions, some worry out of pocket costs will skyrocket.

Springmann, now a student at the University of Arizona worries even more with COVID-19 now considered a pre-existing condition.

“I have friends who got COVID-19 in March and they haven’t really recovered,” Springmann said. “They have shortness of breath, they still have to pay for inhalers. if their insurance companies said we don’t have to cover that anymore. too bad for you.”

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