Women Workers Need the Affordable Care Act—and More

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit struck down the mandatory coverage requirement of the Affordable Care Act yesterday, instructing a lower court to decide if the rest of the legislation can remain in force. The decision to remove the mandatory insurance coverage requirement imperils the future of the ACA, and is a blow to working people—especially low-wage workers.

Women and communities of color are especially at risk to suffer if the ACA is dismantled, because we already suffer disparities in our ability to access health care services: Two-thirds of the 23 million low-wage workers in the U.S. are women, and the ACA made health insurance available to many of those women and their families.

Hundreds of supporters of the Affordable Care Act rallied on the steps of the Supreme Court as the Court heard oral arguments in King v. Burwell in 2015. (David Sachs / SEIU)

Elected officials should be working to make health care more accessible — instead of attacking a program that helps to provide health care coverage to 8.5 million people. We must not go backward and make health insurance unaffordable to working families who only have coverage because of the ACA.

9to5, the National Association of Working Women is a national organization on the frontlines working for economic security for all women, particularly women of color, and we’re encouraging voters to tell their elected representatives that health care is a basic human right—not a luxury. Together, we must demand improvements, not cuts, to the ACA—and expanded health care coverage.

Everyone in our country should have health coverage. We cannot have economic justice until that happens. We won’t stop fighting until all families get the health care they need.

About

Leng Leng Chancey is the executive director of 9to5, National Association of Working Women, a national organization on the frontlines working for economic security for all women—particularly women of color. You can follow her work on Twitter at @lenglengC.