25 Jun Breaking News: The ACA lives to fight another day
It’s a day filled with relief for the cancer community, as the U.S. Supreme Court has decided to uphold the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (ACA) one more time and protect the financial assistance that millions of people receive across the country to help them buy health insurance coverage.
The Supreme Court affirmed the 4th Circuit’s decision in King v. Burwell by a 6-3 ruling (with Scalia, Thomas, and Alito dissenting):
Chief Justice Roberts wrote, “Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them. If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter. Section 36B can fairly be read consistent with what we see as Congress’s plan, and that’s the reading we adopt.”
The true irony of this decision, is that most people didn’t even realize that their access to affordable health insurance coverage had even been in jeopardy!
For background on the King v. Burwell case, see our earlier post this week.
As I sit here watching the news reports, they show video of a large crowd of people holding signs in front of the Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C. Each sign has the name of the state and the number of people in that state who were going to lose access to the financial assistance to buy their health insurance: OH – 497,000; AZ – 266,000; PA – 414,000; UT – NE – 97,000; OK – 208,000; and so on. Millions stood to lose. Where you live shouldn’t determine whether you get access to affordable health insurance.
Having spent two decades helping people get and keep access to health insurance, I am certainly relieved that this option isn’t being taken away from a community that already struggles with access to affordable health care and who often need help the most.
In his statement today about the ruling President Obama said Americans can now be “secure in the knowledge that affordable, portable, health care will be there for us, and always will be. And if we get sick we won’t lose our homes, if we get sick we will still be able to look after our families. That is when America soars, when we look out for each other and take care of each other…when we strive to be better and to do better than the generations before us and build something better for the generations to come…so this was a good day for America. Now, let’s get back to work!”
It’s been five years and 3 months since the ACA was signed into law, and countless numbers of people in the cancer community have benefitted from the consumer protections and new access to health insurance coverage provided by the ACA.
The ACA is here to stay . . . at least for another day.
Now let’s get back to work.