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Statement on the U.S. Supreme Court Health Reform Decision

June 28, 2012
9:18 am

The Supreme Court has upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).  We applaud the fact that mechanisms remain in place to bring millions of uninsured Americans into the health coverage system.  We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact, though, that the need to continue improving the quality and affordability of our healthcare system remains strong.

Expanding access to health insurance, while maintaining system stability and affordability for patients and consumers, requires broad public participation.  While the individual mandate has been deemed constitutional under Congress’s taxation powers, we continue to be concerned it may not be fully effective in encouraging sufficiently large numbers of healthy, uninsured Americans to purchase health coverage.  We urge Congress to consider supplementing the mandate with additional enrollment incentives.  Also, HLC will work to educate Americans about their coverage options and assist them in the enrollment process.

The Court’s decision notwithstanding, Congress must still address aspects of the health reform law that could undermine healthcare affordability, access, quality and innovation.  There is a bipartisan understanding, for example, that the Independent Payment Advisory Board exists only to cut payments to providers without regard to value, making it more difficult for seniors to receive medical care.  Medical device excise taxes will place obstacles in the way of new lifesaving innovations getting to patients while also removing jobs from our economy.

The goal of health reform is to ensure that every American has access to high-quality, innovative, affordable healthcare.  All health sectors are dynamically moving forward to deliver that care to patients and consumers.  Now policymakers must do their part to advance and remove impediments to this essential progress.

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