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October 18, 2021

The Affordable Care Act Resurrected: Curtailing the Ranks of the Uninsured

Author Affiliations
  • 1Medical Science, Medicine and Biological Sciences, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island
  • 2Library Planning and Assessment, Brown University Library, Providence, Rhode Island
  • 3Harvard Law School, Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
JAMA. 2021;326(18):1797-1798. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.17531

On June 17, 2021, in California v Texas, a majority of the US Supreme Court rejected the latest challenge to the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the grounds that the plaintiffs lacked standing to bring their claims.1 This ruling marks the third time that the US Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the constitutionality of the ACA.1 The new lease on life for the ACA creates a window of opportunity for curtailing the ranks of the uninsured. Living up to this imperative will require the executive and legislative branches of the federal government to make the most of the policy options available to them. This Viewpoint reviews the national coverage gap and its potential redress by enhancing federal outreach to the uninsured, rendering permanent the health insurance benefits of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), and establishing a federal health insurance program for low-income adults in states that did not expand their Medicaid programs.

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