Julia Shenkar,, 202-317-0540

Issued May 13, 2020

With the Affordable Care Act’s Fate in Jeopardy, Working People Tell SCOTUS Exactly What We Have to Lose

SEIU files amicus brief in defense of the Affordable Care Act as coronavirus threatens the lives and livelihoods of millions of working people

WASHINGTON — As the latest healthcare repeal lawsuit awaits Supreme Court review, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) today filed an amicus brief illustrating the devastating and lasting consequences working people would face if the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is struck down. Late last year, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals declared the ACA’s individual mandate unconstitutional — a decision that was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Now, in the midst of a global pandemic, the case looms in the wings with millions of lives on the line.

Now, on top of a chaotic and unscientific response to the COVID-19 crisis that has caused millions of people to lose their jobs and their health insurance, the Trump administration and its Republican allies remain committed to sabotaging our healthcare. A direct attack on working families, the lawsuit seeks to rip away healthcare from 20 million Americans, eliminate protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions and increase costs for millions of working people.

SEIU’s amicus brief offers the stories of working people whose lives have been changed — and saved — because of the Affordable Care Act.

The ACA has made healthcare more widely available than ever before by increasing the number of insured Americans through federal subsidies.

Comprehensive health insurance coverage ensures that life-saving care is available to those who need it the most.

The quality of healthcare in the United States will deteriorate without the ACA’s protections.

The ACA has stabilized the healthcare system by creating reliable streams of funding for hospitals that serve communities of color and underpaid workers.

“This attempt by the Trump administration to rip healthcare coverage from millions of Americans in the middle of a pandemic is unconscionable,” said SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry. “SEIU members working on the frontlines of the pandemic in essential jobs are standing together to demand that the Trump administration protect the health, safety and economic security of all workers and all communities.”

The Supreme Court has the opportunity to end the dangerous political game the Trump administration has been playing with the lives of working people. “Voiding the ACA would devastate the lives of millions of Americans,” concludes the brief. “This harm is completely unnecessary [...] This Court should reverse the judgment of the court of appeals.”

As the country’s largest healthcare union and largest union of service workers,SEIU will keep fighting for healthcare for all, including long term care, for protections for all workers throughout this pandemic and beyond, and for the opportunity for working people to join together in a union to bargain for a better life.

Read SEIU's full amicus brief here.

To speak with workers who have shared their stories in the brief, contact


The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) unites 2 million diverse members in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. SEIU members working in the healthcare industry, in the public sector and in property services believe in the power of joining together on the job to win higher wages and benefits and to create better communities while fighting for a more just society and an economy that works for all of us, not just corporations and the wealthy.