Circuit Court Decision Adds to ACA Confusion

Circuit Court Decision Adds to ACA Confusion
Decision Does Not Affect Current Health Insurance Options
Coloradans Have Until Jan. 15 to Enroll

Statement attributable to
Polly Anderson
Vice President of Strategy and Financing
Colorado Community Health Network (CCHN)

DENVER― The decision by the Fifth Court of Appeals against the Affordable Care Act is bad news for the majority of Americans whose health care coverage has been helped in one or more ways by the provisions of the ACA. The decision that the ACA’s insurance mandate is unconstitutional and that the lower court must analyze if the rest of the law can be left in contact extends the uncertainty and confusion this case and other attacks on the ACA have raised.

If the lower court determines that the mandate cannot be separated from the ACA, they could find the entire law unconstitutional. We don’t want to return to the days when insurance rates and exclusionary practices prevented millions of Americans from affording health care coverage and limited their access to health care services or sent them into medical bankruptcy. The ACA is not perfect, but it has significantly moved the country forward toward a more fair and equitable health care system.

Improvements in access to health care coverage over the past ten years have helped many of the people who seek health care services at Community Health Centers. Although the ruling is expected to be appealed and won’t affect health coverage immediately, it raises new and extensive uncertainty in our health care system.

This couldn’t come at a worse time. Most Colorado CHCs are seeing an increase in the number of uninsured patients, reversing the trend initiated by the ACA’s Medicaid expansion and the creation of Colorado’s insurance marketplace. Everyone needs health care, but in our nation, we have not yet developed a system where people don’t have to worry about health disasters being a paycheck away and where a chronic condition doesn’t have to mean bankruptcy.

Open enrollment in Colorado continues through January 15, 2020. This ruling does not affect current health insurance options and Coloradans should continue to enroll for ACA coverage and to seek the health care services they need.

Community Health Centers have worked for more than 50 years to improve access to health care, regardless of people’s income or job status. We will continue to work on that mission. We hope everyone who cares about their access to affordable, high-quality care – and on some level, that’s just about everyone – continues to support the development of a health care system that works for all of us.


To interview Ms. Anderson, please contact Maureen Maxwell at (303) 67-9530, cell (303)913-9078, or

 The Colorado Community Health Network (CCHN) is the unified voice for Colorado’s 21 Community Health Centers (CHCs) and their patients. CHCs provide a health care home for more than 830,000 of their community members – more than one in seven people in Colorado – from 63 of the state’s 64 counties. Without CHCs, hundreds of thousands of Colorado’s low-income families and individuals would have no regular source of health care. CCHN’s mission is to increase access to high quality health care for people in need in Colorado. For more information about CCHN, please visit

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