The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal government may legally provide subsidies for health insurance sold via federally run health insurance marketplaces. As everyone watching the news, scanning Twitter, or talking to their colleagues has seen, this is a pretty big deal.
It was a 6 to 3 ruling in the King v. Burwell case. For the majority opinion, Justice Roberts wrote:
Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them.
Justice Scalia, ending his dissent, noted we should start calling this SCOTUScare. But President Obama said it best in his address to the nation this morning – the ACA is here to stay. Rather than re-fighting the same battles again and again, we need to join together to continue making health care better for all Americans, he said.
And our CEO agrees. Words of encouragement and an eye to the future from Siegel:
We still have a long way to go to solve the nation’s health insurance crisis and ensure affordable and available care for all people. About 37 million people still lack health coverage in the United States, in part because 21 states still have not expanded Medicaid. We hope this decision will give states the confidence to extend coverage to the millions of vulnerable people who need it.
Essential hospitals are committed to working with Congress and other stakeholders to achieve this vision for our country.
So as we continue learning together at #VITAL2015, let us all remember that access to affordable, quality health care is not a privilege, but a right. And essential hospitals fight for that every day.