Thursday, June 28, 2012
WASHINGTON, DC – The Supreme Court today released its decision on the Affordable Care Act, upholding the healthcare reform law.
Jim Guest, the President and CEO of Consumer Reports, said, “The Affordable Care Act helps hold insurance companies accountable. The law makes the health insurance system work for consumers, not the other way around. Consumers have just begun to see the benefits of the law, and now they can be sure that the protections will be there for their families in the future.”
Guest continued, “This is a victory for consumers. Health reform is alive and well and will benefit all of us. But today we are especially thinking of the seriously ill children who will continue to be able to get critical care, the young adults who can stay on their parents’ insurance and the seniors who can better afford the prescription drugs they need. For these people and the millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions, the uncertainty is over.”
In addition to the current provisions, consumers will begin seeing new benefits of the law in the coming weeks. Millions of consumers will start seeing rebates or lowered premiums this summer due to the law’s Medical Loss Ratio provision. And in September, consumers will have access to standardized, straightforward information to help better understand and compare insurance plans when the Summary of Benefits and Coverage is rolled out.
In today’s ruling the Court said states can choose to not participate in the law’s expansion of Medicaid to lower-income Americans. Guest said, “While 28 states had opposed the requirement in the law to expand Medicaid programs for citizens with low incomes, it is not at all clear what they will actually do now that it’s no longer a mandate. Each state will face the reality that it would be giving up millions, or billions, of federal dollars, and still end up with hundreds of thousands of uninsured people who will drive up healthcare costs for everyone else. When faced with the decision, we think most states will take advantage of the federal funding to help low-income citizens get healthcare.”
To help consumers better understand the benefits of the Affordable Care Act available to them, Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports, has a guide highlighting the changes already available to consumers, as well as new benefits coming in the future. Free copies of “The Affordable Care Act: What You and Your Family Need to Know” are available for download at yourhealthsecurity.org/the_new_law. The guide is also available in Spanish at ConsumerReportsenEspanol.org/salud.
Media Contact: David Butler, 202-462-6262
Download a pdf of the Supreme Court Decision regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Health Reform Law).