Today is a GREAT day!
Amy Whitcomb Slemmer, Health Care For All-Massachusetts, June 28, 2012
The Supreme Court ruled that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional, which means that tens of millions of Americans will receive the affordable, quality health care they need. Chief Justice John Roberts writing for the 5-4 majority (which included Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Kagan and Sotomayor) upheld the individual mandate and affirmed the power of Congress to pass and implement this law under its broad constitutional power to tax our citizenry. This ruling means that the rest of the country can move forward and catch up to Massachusetts by eliminating lifetime insurance caps and discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, allowing millions of young adults to stay on their parents' plans, and improving Medicare for our Seniors by allowing them to save money on their prescription drug costs.
Needless to say, here in Massachusetts we are celebrating! Today, the Massachusetts plan signed by Governor Romney in 2006, was reaffirmed as the blueprint for the nation. The risk we took into the unknown worked and is now being replicated. The Supreme Court acknowledged today what we knew all along: that health care reform is constitutional. Now we need to make sure that health reform works for everybody in America. We know that health reform nationally will work when it's fully implemented, because it's working here.
We also want to give a big shout out to our fabulous lawyers who work for HCFA and Health Law Advocates - Justice Ginsburg cited our amicus brief in her opinion. That is a major accomplishment we should all be proud of. So, take a deep breath (I encourage a public or private happy dance). Steady yourself. And let's move forward together. Now that the Affordable Care Act is affirmed, we are excited to move into the next era of reform as we work tirelessly to insure that the care we buy in Massachusetts is of the highest quality and lowest cost feasible. And even as we move forward in the Commonwealth, we urge other states to implement the ACA with all deliberate speed, as their uninsured residents are vulnerable - and now they don't have to be!
Thank you all for everything you do.
Amy Whitcomb Slemmer, Esq.
Health Care For All