Health Care Law is Upheld; AAFA Urges Full Implementation to Keep the Promise For Millions of Americans
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The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) Comments on Supreme Court’s Decision Upholding the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
(Washington, DC, June 28, 2012) The United States Supreme Court has decided that the health care reform law known as the Affordable Care Act is constitutional. This decision is a relief for millions of Americans who suffer from asthma or allergies and have limited means to pay for their care.
“In our nation, having affordable health insurance can be the difference between healthy outcomes or disability and even death. This decision is a major step forward in a decade’s long mission to offer care to all who need it,” said Bill McLin, AAFA’s President and Chief Executive Officer.
Nearly 50 million Americans have no coverage, and many more have coverage that does not provide for their basic health and long-term care needs. The problem is especially acute for Americans with chronic diseases like asthma and allergies— the people AAFA represents. An estimated 1.17 million children with asthma face managing their condition with no health insurance coverage whatsoever!
Before the Affordable Care Act was enacted, AAFA articulated support for a national, comprehensive solution that addressed the following principles:
- health care that covers everyone
- curbs costs responsibly
- abolishes exclusions for pre-existing conditions
- eliminates lifetime caps
- ensures long-term and end-of-life care
We applauded passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010 because it addressed these principles. Once it is fully implemented, the ACA promises to improve the status quo for millions of Americans who lack adequate, affordable health insurance.
Now we face a new challenge with fully implementing the ACA. The Supreme Court says that states may not have to expand Medicaid to the lowest income families that will continue outside the health safety net even after other parts of the ACA are in place. If the promise of near universal coverage is to continue, states must expand Medicaid according to plan.
On behalf of the more than 133 million people with chronic diseases and disabilities and their family caregivers, we urge full implementation of the ACA as a reasonable solution to the urgent problem of access to affordable health care. Congress should reject any effort to roll back its implementation or to repeal it altogether.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), a nonprofit organization founded in 1953 for people in the US with asthma, allergies and related conditions, is the oldest asthma and allergy patient group in the world. AAFA is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people through education, advocacy and research. For more information, visit www.aafa.org/advocacy.