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The Future of Our Health Is Now: Statement on the Elections and the Supreme Court

November 10, 2020

Today, the Supreme Court is conducting hearings to determine the legality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Last week, the country elected a new President after a long and contentious election that has left the nation still bitterly divided. All this occurs amid a worldwide infectious disease pandemic that has put a spotlight on the vital importance of both housing and health for the most vulnerable people in our society.

This is clearly a pivotal moment for the future of our health care system. Moving forward, we will attempt to retain what has worked well while also building toward a better, more universal system that works for everyone. The future of our health is now.

Specifically, the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid to single adults was life-changing for the HCH community in that it significantly expanded health insurance coverage to people experiencing homelessness. “In my 30 years as a homeless health care provider, I’ve never seen a more impactful policy than the ACA, which had a huge impact improving the health, wellness, and stability of many of my patients. Ending the expanded Medicaid eligibility will certainly increase overdoses and rates of uncontrolled chronic illness (such as diabetes and cancer), as well as add barriers to care and further burdens on our health care system during this pandemic. This will leave many without care,” says Mary Tornabene, MS, APRN, FNP-BC, Chair of the NHCHC’s Clinicians’ Network.

“The ACA has made it easier to transition from homelessness to permanent housing,” says Art Rios, Sr., Chair of the NHCHC’s National Consumer Advisory Board, “which only shows how health care is priority number one for all human beings.”

Greater Medicaid coverage has provided tangible benefits to people who are experiencing homelessness (as well as the providers who care for them), and we look forward to working with the Biden-Harris Administration to strengthen the current system. However, we also look forward to working with members of Congress to go further than the ACA and adopt a simpler, more equitable and cost-effective approach such as a Medicare for All system that many other advanced democracies have found successful.

During this tumultuous time where the future of health care is at a crossroads, we feel it vitally important to re-affirm our commitment to advancing the following principles:

  • We will continue to pursue health care and housing as human rights.
  • We will continue to advance anti-racist policies and dismantle systemic racism.
  • We will continue to elevate the voices of those who experience homelessness and ensure a democracy that values everyone’s participation.
  • We will continue to root our work in science, public health, and best practices.
  • We will continue to fight for a health care system based on quality, dignity, and respect for everyone.

“Our government has the responsibility to promote the general welfare of all its people. We remain steadfast in our commitment to justice and to a better, more equitable and inclusive society going forward,” says Bobby Watts, CEO of the National HCH Council.

This website is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $1,625,741 with 20 percent financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit HRSA.gov.

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