Supreme Court’s decision valuable because it upholds important safety net legislation

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is valuable legislation for a host of reasons, but most notably, it provides coverage for millions of Americans who would not have been able to secure insurance, and therefore, health care when they need it. The Supreme Court decision to uphold ACA was also important because it gives clarity and certainty to states and private industry that they should start preparing for the main provision to kick in in 2014. It resolves any uncertainty that was felt throughout the country by the important players, and now provides the necessary push for its implementation.

The expansion of insurance is particularly important now as a growing share of Americans are without health coverage. Historically, Americans under age 65 have received insurance through the workplace, but since 2000, that valuable source of coverage has declined every year for 11 years running, a total decline of over 10 percentage points, as shown below.

These statistics are already bleak, but without the valuable health care legislation, the situation could have gotten much worse. Because of the ACA, more than 30 million people will get health insurance in coming years that would not have received it—making them more likely to get needed medical care and less likely to come under severe financial distress when they do.

Specifically, the fact that the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate is one of the reasons so many more people get insured, making the law more cost-effective. The effect of the decision with regards to Medicaid is unclear, but could potentially lead to fewer of the most vulnerable Americans getting access to affordable health care.

In sum, the Supreme Court decision today reaffirms the constitutionality of the health care legislation and its valuable provisions, providing a necessary safety net for millions of Americans. It also provides the added motivation for the implementation of health reform to move full-speed ahead.


  • Laura_Del_1

    Yes, the SCOTUS healthcare decision is welcome news and certainty for American business, consumers, employees, and state governmments, but of concern is the commerce clause part of the decision.
      The subtle part of the decision leaves open the door for much conservative undoings in years to come — we’ll have to watch that. And we all need to be vigilant in our states to ensure that we expand Medicaid as provisioned in ACA.  That is a key part of the bill that will cause it to fail if we have a patchwork of states who are or aren’t  expanding Medicaid.
     In states like Virginia, where the Attorney General, Governor, and House Majority Leader all said last week that they will leave the Medicaid money on the table, and by implication, would let the working poor continue to use the ERs for their medical care. and continue to pass their uninsured care costs to the rest of the insurered.  They are too low income to move to more just states — unable to get together first month, last month, and extra month’s rent needed to rent an affordable apartment these days, so they will be stuck using the free clinics and the ER if Medicaid remains in its current level.  They are too poor even though they work, to buy insurance on the to-come exchanges, and they don’t get any benefits from their work, so they’ll be stuck.
      This will cause the healthcare reform to fail if enough states refuse to expand Medicaid, like all of the 26 states that sued to overturn ACA.
      So if you live in one of those states, get busy and get angry, get organized and get your states to expand Medicaid.

    • EEB

      Getting those Rethuglican- controlled states to expand Medicaid would be an exercise in futility, since the Rethuglicans in Congress are going over the Fiscal Cliff and Medicaid itself will be effectively kneecapped, Norquist- style. If you’re going to fight (maybe to the death) for anything with respect to health care, then fight for full single- payer Medicare for all!!! For if the Rethuglicans attempt to destroy Medicare, the people will destroy them, and with any luck, capitalism itself, along with those Nazi sociopaths!!! Viva la Revolution!!! WE WANT TROTSKY, NOT TWATSKI!!!

  • The ACA is bologna and does not address the problems. It’s another smoke and mirrors con job on the American people and EPI knows it. It will be as ineffective as Bush’s Medicare Part D and more costly.  It will just pour more money into the healthcare system while 30 million have no insurance. Why does EPI ALWAYS support democratic policies even when they are supportive or corporate fascism?  Healthcare costs must be controlled. Why aren’t you guys talking about that? Stop supporting democrats, both parties are the same! See America’s Healthcare Solution for the real deal on healthcare