by Clyde Weiss | June 28, 2012
Affordable Care Act supporters gathered in front of the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year. (Photo by Jon Melegrito)
Obamacare is constitutional, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today in a decision that will protect the most important health care reform law in a generation and keep tens of millions of Americans protected.
The high court’s decision means that no one can be denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions; seniors will pay less for prescription drugs; students and young adults can stay on their parents’ plans; and fewer Americans will be forced into bankruptcy because of enormous medical bills.
Calling the decision “a major victory for working families,” AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders said the high court’s ruling “means that tens of millions of Americans will continue to benefit from this historic achievement. Millions of families already benefit from the law. Children with pre-existing conditions will not be denied coverage. Children up to age of 26 can remain on their parents’ health care policies. Millions of seniors can continue to depend on free cancer screenings and help with their prescription drug costs. When fully implemented, insurance companies will no longer be able to deny anyone coverage because of pre-existing conditions.”
AFSCME was a leader in championing the health care law. AFSCME members generated hundreds of thousands of phone calls, e-mails and letters to Congress and went door-to-door in nine key states to build a critical mass of public support. An AFSCME “Highway to Health Care Reform” mobile advocacy center stopped at 19 cities across the country to urge lawmakers to support the legislation and recruited volunteers to call their representatives. AFSCME activists also demonstrated with thousands of other supporters of the law in the nation’s capital in 2010.
Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has vowed to overturn the law if he becomes president.
In upholding Obamacare, the Supreme Court also held that Congress cannot require states to expand their Medicaid program to help poor Americans receive medical care.
“We will work at the state level to ensure that as many Americans as possible will receive the coverage they deserve,” Saunders said. “States should take advantage of the incentives in Obamacare and move forward to implement this far-reaching reform.”
Unfortunately, House Speaker John Boehner (R) and other right-wing members of Congress are already saying they will keep trying to repeal Obamacare. “Republican leaders in Congress must stop their campaign to undermine these reforms,” said President Saunders.
It’s time for all of America to unite behind a law that has always been about doing what’s right:
- Not allowing insurance companies to deny coverage due to pre-existing conditions;
- Covering more of our children;
- Providing much-needed savings for seniors;
- Reining in runaway costs; and
- Getting more Americans covered.