(Washington, D.C.) Today in a 2-1 decision, the three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the personal responsibility provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is unconstitutional, but upheld the rest of the law. The decision narrowed the ruling of a lower court, which struck down the entire ACA as unconstitutional. It is in conflict with a 6th Circuit Court of Appeals decision, which upheld the ACA, including the personal responsibility provision.
The following is a statement by National Women’s Law Center Co-President Marcia D. Greenberger:
“Women and their families need this health care law to remain intact to prevent insurance companies from once again treating women like a pre-existing condition and dropping women when they get sick and need health care the most. Women could once again be denied insurance coverage if they have had cesarean sections or have been survivors of rape or domestic violence under the guise that these are pre-existing conditions. Women could once again be charged higher premiums than men, preventing many from being able to secure affordable, comprehensive coverage.
“Fortunately, the 11th Circuit’s ruling today is not the final word on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. The 6th Circuit has already upheld the personal responsibility provision of the ACA’s key provisions. Strong legal precedents support the constitutionality of the provisions of this law and the ability of the federal government to protect women and families from harmful insurance practices. The Constitution requires that this decision be overturned.”