Today, the United States Supreme Court upheld Obamacare: a.k.a. the Affordable Care Act. No longer is there any doubt about this law. Coloradans will continue to reap the benefits of increased access to more affordable health care.
There will be much parsing of the legal side of the law for days and years to come. But here is the best plain english version of the ruling we’ve seen, from the folks at SCOTUS Blog:
“The Affordable Care Act including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional. There were not five votes to uphold it on the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the states to require everyone to buy health insurance. However, five Justices agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power. That is all that matters. Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding. On that question, the Court held that the provision is constitutional as long as states would only lose new funds if they didn’t comply with the new requirements, rather than all of their funding.”
Melissa Hart of the Byron White Center for Constitutional Law Studies broke it down for us:
“The Supreme Court majority acted exactly as we expect courts in our system to behave—with appropriate judicial restraint. By upholding the ACA as a valid exercise of congressional power, the Court showed respect for its co-equal branch of government and for the our nation’s Constitutional structure. The decision was a victory for the rule of law in our country.”
Today’s decision is a lifesaving victory for millions of Americans who will be able to get health coverage. Today’s upholding of Obamacare is also a victory for Americans who are already benefiting from Obamacare’s protections for sick children, women, rural residents who need better health care, and small businesses who will get tax breaks to provide their workers with coverage. We can all rest easy knowing there are no more lifetime caps on health coverage benefits.
This is also great news for our economy. Americans will see the benefits of Obamacare in their pocketbook, as we all reap the financial benefits of affordable access to health care.
Obamacare and Colorado
In just two years, Obamacare has made real gains in moving all Coloradans closer to the security of knowing they’ll have access to quality, affordable healthcare when they need it.
By the numbers
- Under Obamacare, 291,000 children in Colorado with pre-existing conditions can never be denied coverage.
- In 2011 alone, 39,000 Colorado Medicare recipients saved over $22 million on their prescriptions.
- In just 2 years, more than 40,000 young adults in Colorado under 26 remained on their parents healthcare.
- Nearly 2 million Coloradans – including 696,000 women and 521,000 children – no longer have to worry about lifetime limits on insurance coverage.
- In 2011, 382,000 Coloradans on Medicare received a free preventive service visit to the doctor.
- Rural and medically underserved areas of Colorado have received $53.9 million to expand and serve more patients.
- An estimated 90,000 Colorado small businesses are eligible for up to a 35% tax credit – about $790 per worker – to offset the cost of insurance.
- Nearly 1,200 previously uninsured Coloradans with pre-existing conditions were finally able to enter the system and get the healthcare they needed.
For almost a year, we’ve been working on our Thanks Obamacare campaign to educate Americans on the truth about health care reform and what it means to them. If you haven’t already, please take a look at our information on the benefits and myths of Obamacare, videos, and our interactive “Game of Obamacare” at the Thanks Obamacare website.
Even after today’s victory at the Supreme Court, our work isn’t over. We’re going to keep working to get the word out about the benefits of Obamacare. Please help us: take a moment right now to forward this email to 10 friends, and share Thanks Obamacare with your social network.
Above all, take a moment to celebrate with us today. It’s been a hard battle, but Obamacare has always been about making people’s lives better. I’m so proud to have played a part in this historic fight for health care for millions of Americans—and you should be too.