(AP Photo/Chris Carlson) (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

California Rep. Harley Rouda marked the tenth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act this week by highlighting how important expanded insurance access is in the middle of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, people without health insurance are less likely to seek medical help than people who are insured. And experts have said getting medical attention in the midst of the novel coronavirus outbreak is vital to slowing the pandemic.

Over five million Californians have healthcare coverage thanks to the ACA, and it’s very likely that many of these individuals will need that coverage as the pandemic continues. California currently has the third highest number of cases in the United States. 

In 2018, Health Access found that over 93,000 people got their insurance through ACA exchanges or expanded coverage in California’s 48th congressional district, which Rouda now represents.

Rouda also pushed back against efforts to repeal the ACA, saying it was “disgraceful” to put the 135 million Americans who have pre-existing condition protections at risk of losing their insurance in the midst of a public health crisis. 

Many Republicans currently support a Texas lawsuit that aims to repeal the ACA in its entirety. If the lawsuit is successful, it could take health insurance away from nearly 20 million Americans, and allow health insurance companies to once again deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. The Supreme Court is expected to hear the case in the fall, if oral arguments resume by then.