Thursday April 25th 2019

Court upholds ACA subsidies

A long-time advocate for improving the public’s access to health care, the American Nurses Association lauded the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 18 decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act by preserving tax credit subsidies that have allowed more than 10 million Americans to obtain health insurance coverage.

“We are gratified that the Supreme Court ruling will avoid the loss of subsidies that have allowed millions of people to get healthy and stay healthy,” said ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN. “The Supreme Court has spoken. Now it’s time to finish the work of ensuring Americans get the health care they need by expanding Medicaid.”

The share of adults without health insurance dropped to its lowest level in seven years in 2014 as the ACA took full effect. Without tax credits, many people would have been unable to obtain health insurance, thus limiting their access to routine preventive care and causing insurance costs to rise due to a sicker population.

ANA has been a steadfast supporter of the 2010 health care reform law and its provisions to expand access to health care; protect consumers; improve the quality of care; emphasize primary care, care coordination, disease management, and prevention; increase community-based care; and utilize nurses to their fullest capabilities as leaders and essential members of multidisciplinary health care teams. In February of this year, ANA joined an amicus (friend of the court) brief in support of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, respondents in the Supreme Court case.

Alarmed by the growing numbers of uninsured individuals and families, rising costs, and quality-of-care concerns, ANA has advocated for health care reform since the early 1990s. ANA contends health care is a basic human right and that all deserve access to essential health care services.

ANA, state nurses associations and nurse members across the nation were vital to educating the public and their colleagues about health insurance marketplaces, helping to sign up consumers for plans in some regions.

The 6-3 court decision allows for the continuation of tax subsidies to financially eligible persons who use the federal exchange to purchase their health insurance.

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