On Friday, a federal judge in Texas struck down the Afford­able Care Act as uncon­sti­tu­tional.
Washington State Nurses Associ­a­tion Execu­tive Director Sally Watkins, PhD, RN made the following statement:

The Washington State Nurses Associ­a­tion is deeply disap­pointed in the ruling of a federal district court in Texas v. Azar, that found the Afford­able Care Act is unconstitutional.

If the Texas judge’s decision on the Afford­able Care Act is allowed to stand, millions of Ameri­cans will have their health, their finan­cial security and even their lives put at risk. 

This ruling puts in jeopardy access to quality, afford­able and acces­sible health care for the millions of Ameri­cans whose lives have improved due to the coverage expan­sions and consumer protec­tions under the ACA. 

The ACA has protected the 133 million Ameri­cans with pre-existing condi­tions and brought health care to millions of seniors, young people and econom­i­cally disad­van­taged people. Without the ACA, as many as 17 million people could lose their coverage within the next year.

As nurses, we have seen the benefit of the Afford­able Care Act in our commu­ni­ties. Patients have had unprece­dented access to health insur­ance coverage, ensuring they can access the medical and mental health care they need. 

In the recent midterm elections American voters spoke loudly and clearly that they want their health care rights protected. We will continue to fight to not only protect families, our patients and those with pre-existing condi­tions or on Medicaid, but also to advocate for even stronger laws guaran­teeing all American families the right to health care that does not put them into finan­cial bankruptcy.

WSNA will continue to advocate for access to quality, afford­able, and acces­sible health care for all Ameri­cans, including people with pre-existing condi­tions, and defending the ACA’s essen­tial health benefits provi­sions for individual insur­ance plans.