MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday challenging the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.”
Eighteen states, including Alabama, are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down “Obamacare.”
About 957,000 Alabamians have preexisting health conditions, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
“So anybody who has health coverage in Alabama has protections for any pre existing conditions that they may have, or that may be discovered," said Jim Carnes with Alabama Arise.
Carnes said if the Affordable Care Act was struck down, insurance companies would not be required to provide coverage for people with preexisting conditions.
About 120,000 Alabamians would also lose health insurance, according to the Urban Institute.
“The immediate harm that will come to Alabamians is considerable,” he said.
Carnes also says striking it down would put a greater strain on hospitals which are already struggling in rural areas.
“And if more of their patients became unable to pay their bills, because they’d lost their health coverage, then many of those hospitals would face some critical decisions about viability," Carnes said.
Republicans call “Obamacare’s” requirement that Americans get health insurance unconstitutional.
Alabama Republican Party chairman Terry Lathan said in a statement, “No one wants to do away with pre-existing healthcare needs, but at the same time the foundational question stands – is this legislation constitutional? America is strong and compassionate enough to help our people in need. We are positive that can be accomplished.”
“While it is fair to address concerns if parts are struck down, it must also be fair to weigh the regulations, high premiums, loss of coverage and lack of healthcare control that millions of Americans have experienced by the ACA as mandated by the federal government.”
The court will issue an opinion next year.
More than 20 million Americans now depend on the law for their health care.