Last week, thousands of people swarmed the steps of the Supreme Court to demonstrate support for the Affordable Care Act and highlight the many benefits and protections that we’ll all lose if the law is overturned. Among them were two of PHAN’s best activists, artist Theresa BrownGold and health educator Holly Dolan.
Theresa had been holding vigil there several days a week for months, with portraits and stories of Pennsylvanians who were left behind and left to struggle with no health care and no choices before the Affordable Care Act. Last week, she was joined by Holly, who’s been traveling across the state capturing stories of our friends and neighbors who have, or will soon be, helped by the new law for her blog, Health on the Horizon.
Holly and Theresa held their ground, committed to getting the truth out about what’s in the law and how it’s already helping real people. They squared off with tea partiers, talked to the media and most importantly, showed that we in Pennsylvania are committed to protecting our new law.
To recap, the Supreme Court is considering the following questions in the legal challenge brought by 26 Attorneys General (including Pennsylvania — thanks to our anti-health care Governor Corbett) and the National Federation of Independent Business:
1) Is it premature for the Court to hear the case, since no one will be penalized for not purchasing health coverage until 2015?
2) Does Congress have the authority to enact the minimum coverage provision (known derisively as the individual mandate)?
3) If the minimum coverage provision is unconstitutional, can the rest of the Affordable Care Act stand or does it all have to be struck down?
4) Does the expansion of Medicaid coverage in the law unfairly require states to participate, even though the increase is covered almost entirely by the federal government?