Washington, D.C. – June 18, 2021 – This past week, our nation crossed another watershed in recognizing the historic injustice of slavery and the fight to protect all people’s rights to health care under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
On Thursday, June 17, President Biden signed into law the Juneteenth National Independence Day act, marking the commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States a U.S. federal holiday. The bill’s bipartisan sponsors included Rep. Sheila Jackson (D-TX) and Sen. John Coryn, (R-TX) where the message of the end of slavery was finally announced to the African American residents of Galveston in 1865.
In another historic ruling this week, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an attempt to strike down provisions of the ACA. The 7-to-2 court vote on California et al. v. Texas et al., No. 19-840 was the third challenge to the law since 2010. The court ruled that no one has been injured by ACA due to the individual mandate as argued by some conservative states. The court did not rule on a related challenge as to whether the law could require most Americans to obtain insurance or pay a penalty. According to the National Law Review, “the plaintiffs argued that if the individual mandate provision was unconstitutional, the entire ACA was unconstitutional.”
“These events of the past week provide renewed hope that our nation is committed to healing the painful injustice of slavery and rejects any attempts to erode the historic gains in health care access for all,” says SOPHE Chief Executive Officer Elaine Auld. “SOPHE applauds these historic steps forward and looks forward to continuing the fight for healthy and equitable communities at the federal, state, and local levels.”