Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in an 8-1 decision in the case Maine Community Health Options v. United States. The court ruled that the federal government must live up to its promise to shield insurance companies from some of the risks they took in participating in the ACA exchange market. Some feared that if the court ruled otherwise that it could overturn the entire law. Thankfully, that did not happen. At South Carolina Appleseed, we are encouraged by this decision to protect the right to health access for millions of Americans. Even if it weren’t currently a public health crisis, overturning the ACA would have had negative and far reaching consequences.
Now that the ACA has once again been affirmed as the law of the land, South Carolina can focus on expanding coverage through the programs already available in the law, such as Medicaid expansion. Through these and other measures, we can bring stability to our healthcare system, from the individuals who cannot afford health insurance and access to care, to the providers like rural hospitals that are pushed to the financial brink from providing uncompensated care.
“For our state, where more than 200,000 depend on the ACA ,this is important and encouraging news,” said Sue Berkowitz, Director of South Carolina Appleseed. “We must continue to protect all of the benefits afforded to us through the ACA and work to gain access for those who have no insurance. We can do this easily and economically through the expansion of Medicaid. We urge the governor and state leaders to take this step so that no one faces economic ruin or loss of life due to lack of health insurance.”