With ACA threatened, Ohioans navigate healthcare world

Posted at 6:40 PM, Nov 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-09 19:08:49-05

CLEVELAND — If you go down to Public Square in the center of Cleveland and sit on one of the benches long enough, you'll hear what the public has to say.

On a Monday sandwiched between Election Day and the resumption of oral arguments at the United States Supreme Court, people wanted to talk about healthcare.

"I was a pedestrian hit by a vehicle. I went straight to Akron General," Teddy Covington said. She was sitting with some friends in the unseasonably warm November sun. "I did appreciate the Obamacare, especially for a lot of people that was in a worse condition than me."

Getting assistance from the Affordable Care Act (ACA), colloquially called Obamacare, helped keep Covington on her feet.

Covington knows people need assistance, especially during the pandemic.

"But if they were to take that away from a lot of us, it would be a lot of chaos," she said.

She isn't alone.

The Affordable Care Act helped Reginald Washington as well.

"If I didn't have that health care if I didn't have that fallback, I would have been just out here," he said while he was waiting for a bus.

Since it became law in 2008, the act has faced legal challenges.

The most recent is California vs. Texas.

The partisan battle has ended up at the feet of the country's highest court.

This case argues the constitutionality of the ACA. After the individual mandate requirement was removed from the law, opponents of the ACA argue the healthcare act is no longer viable.

"But, you know, when I look at how far this court case has gone, a case that at the beginning everyone said had no legal merit, it gives me pause to be concerned about what the court might actually do," said John Corlett.

Corlett is the President of The Center for Community Solutions, a think tank in Cleveland.

"Insurance companies in Ohio would be would no longer be prohibited from turning down people for insurance because they have a preexisting condition," he said.

Although the line between support and opposition for the ACA is often drawn down the center aisle of the U.S. Capitol building, some Republicans in Ohio are not writing off the act in its entirety.

During an Oct. 13 press conference, Gov. Mike DeWine talked about the ACA when asked about the then nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

In his answer, DeWine supported legislation that would continue to protect people with pre-existing conditions and that would allow children to stay on their parent's health plan until they are 26-years-old.

The Supreme Court is hearing these arguments while the country is battling a surge in coronavirus cases.

And, COVID-19 may now be considered a preexisting condition.