After more than a century of debate, the American people won a historic victory yesterday when the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act.
Immediately after the law was passed by Congress and signed by the President in 2010, opponents of health care reform mounted legal challenges to repeal that progress.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court affirmed the constitutionality of the law, which has already expanded availability of health insurance for millions of Americans and protected them against catastrophic medical expenses.
With more than 50 million citizens without insurance and costs that increased 50 percent from 2003 to 2010, someone needed to take the lead, and we did. Among other reasons, we passed this law because life-sustaining hospitalization was a leading cause of bankruptcy for working Americans, and seniors were choosing between buying medication and putting food on the table.
The law protects those who suffer from pre-existing conditions, prevents insurance companies from dropping Americans who get sick, helps seniors pay for prescriptions, allows young adults to get coverage through their parents, provides small business owners with tax credits and bans insurance companies from continuing their practice of charging women 150 percent for the same coverage as men.
Ensuring that all Americans have access to insurance, the law spreads the costs over the whole population – including younger and healthier people.
Under the law, more than 100 million Americans are already benefitting from no lifetime limits on their coverage and more than 17 million children with pre-existing conditions now have insurance.
These advances are just the beginning of the law’s benefits. Most take effect in 2014 when 30 million more Americans will be covered.
Georgia small businesswoman Amy Morton is relieved the Supreme Court has upheld her insurance lifeline. Due to a pre-existing condition, this time last year she was among the more than 2 million Georgians – including nearly a quarter of the women in the state – without health insurance.
Morton and thousands of other previously “uninsurable” Georgians are getting coverage thanks to the law. Now Amy, and millions of others, nationwide with pre-existing conditions, can breathe a little easier.
Joe Lowery of Clarkston can now keep his two adult children on his health plan. They are just starting out and cannot afford coverage on their own. Today more than 3 million children nationwide are covered by their parent’s insurance because of the law.
The law is helping Marion Nurse of Atlanta. She’s one of 3.6 million seniors and people with disabilities who have collectively saved more than $3 billion on their prescription drugs. Without the law, she could not afford the heart medication that keeps her alive.
Tea Party Republicans promised repeal of the law. They have failed, and the highest court in the land has upheld it. This is a tremendous victory for consumers.
The Supreme Court has affirmed the Affordable Care Act. It is the law of the land. This is no time to regress. Let’s move forward together making health care coverage affordable and accessible, strengthening the economy, creating jobs and paying down our debt.
As always, I appreciate your time and feedback. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call or e-mail my offices. To learn more about the Affordable Care Act and what it means for you, click the HealthCare.gov icon above. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to represent you in Congress.
June 29, 2012
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Arthur D. Sidney, Chief of Staff
Kathy Register, District Director
Eric C. Hubbard
Oliver Spurgeon, III