June 28th, 2012
07:27 PM ET
It didn't take long for the first reactions to the Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act to start trickling in. Here's a sampling of how some health organizations feel about the highest court upholding President Obama's controversial health care law:
The trade group that represents health insurance companies - American Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) - says in their statement that "health plans will continue to focus on promoting affordability and peace of mind for their beneficiaries. The law expands coverage to millions of Americans, a goal health plans have long supported, but major provisions, such as the premium tax, will have the unintended consequences of raising costs."
But citing research by other sources, AHIP suggests that the health care law will also increase the cost of health care coverage, by way of premiums, forcing young Americans to buy artificially high premiums and affordable coverage will be less available.
They title their statement: "Questions about the Affordable Care Act’s constitutionality have overshadowed the law’s progress. With this ruling, that uncertainty has finally been put to rest." And AMA president Dr. Jeremy Lazarus says, "The American Medical Association has long supported health insurance coverage for all, and we are pleased that this decision means millions of Americans can look forward to the coverage they need to get healthy and stay healthy."
Medicaid Health Plans of America, which describes itself as the leading trade association solely focused on representing Medicaid health plans, had this response to the court's ruling: "We commend the Supreme Court for keeping in place key elements of this historic legislation."
But they don't agree with all the provisions saying: "We must reiterate that the ACA-mandated $8 billion annual fee on the health insurance industry in 2014, which gradually increases over time, should be repealed. According to a study by Milliman, Inc., an actuarial firm, approximately one-sixth of this fee will be placed on Medicaid health plans, but because of federal actuarial soundness requirements, will be paid entirely by state Medicaid programs, already financially strapped even without the upcoming Medicaid expansion."
Physicians for a National Health Program describes itself as is a single-issue organization with more than 18,000 members that advocates for a universal, comprehensive single-payer national health program. Their response to the decision is: "Although the Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act, the law will not remedy the U.S. health crisis," and "the unfortunate reality is that the law, despite its modest benefits, is not a remedy to our health care crisis."
National Nurses United, the largest national nurses organization didn't think the Affordable Care Act went far enough. Now that the law has been upheld, their say the "court ruling does not end healthcare crisis or the need to continue the campaign for reform," because they say the ACA still leaves some 27 million people without health coverage.
Their statement goes on to say that it "does little to constrain rising out-of-pocket health care costs, or to stop the all too routine denials of needed medical care by insurance companies because they don’t want to pay for it."
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which represents 60,000 pediatricians, endorsed the law as well as filing three "friends of the court" briefs to the Supreme Court in support of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, individual mandate and the mandate’s severability from the rest of the statute.
The AAP was pleased with the court's decision, also calling it a historic decision. AAP president Dr. Robert W. Block said in his organization's statement: "Today, the Supreme Court upheld a law that invests in children’s health from the ground up." He said the ACA addresses the "A-B-C" goals that has been the core of the pediatric group has stood for 82 years - "Providing all children in this country with Access to health care services, age-appropriate benefits to meet their unique needs, and high-quality, affordable health care coverage.”
The Family Research Council, a leading social conservative group, vehemently opposed the high court's decision, saying it jeopardizes the future of liberty. According to their statement, "The Supreme Court has today given the federal government unlimited authority to use its tax power to require Americans to engage in specific commercial activity. The obvious implication is chilling: Uncle Sam can make you buy anything, at any price, for any reason."
Their statement goes on to say: "That's why today, the American dream gave way to a real American nightmare. President Obama's vow about fundamentally transforming the United States of America was fulfilled. The Supreme Court essentially said it cannot articulate any limiting principle on the power of the federal government.
The American Cancer Society's president John R. Seffrin said the Supreme Court's decision ruling preserves critical patient protections for families affected by cancer. He said, “The ruling is a victory for people with cancer and their families nationwide, who for decades have been denied health coverage, charged far more than they can afford for lifesaving care and forced to spend their life savings on necessary treatment, simply because they have a pre-existing condition."
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