Marilyn J. Heine, MD, president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED), practicing oncologist and emergency medicine:
More than two years ago when Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Pennsylvania Medical Society stated that it was difficult to speak glowingly or disparagingly of the new law. Of course, at that time, we knew that there would be a long road of legal challenges ahead before we would actually know what parts of the act would stand.
With the Supreme Court’s decision today, we now have a better understanding of the legality of the act.
In simple terms, the high court has concluded that Congress was acting within its powers under the Constitution when it required most Americans to carry health insurance or pay a penalty.
Just prior to Congress passing the ACA, the Pennsylvania Medical Society adopted eight essential principles of health system reform, among them that health care coverage should be available to all American citizens. We are pleased that this decision will make health care insurance available to most Americans.
However, it continues not to address two important issues, including medical liability reform and Medicare payment reform. These two issues have plagued health care in the past, and will continue to do so in the future. By ignoring these two elements, the ACA is only a partial fix for what ails health care access.”
Jeremy Lazarus, M.D., President, American Medical Association:
“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.
The AMA remains committed to working on behalf ofAmerica’s physicians and patients to ensure the law continues to be implemented in ways that support and incentivize better health outcomes and improve the nation’s health care system.
This decision protects important improvements, such as ending coverage denials due to pre-existing conditions and lifetime caps on insurance, and allowing the 2.5 million young adults up to age 26 who gained coverage under the law to stay on their parents’ health insurance policies. The expanded health care coverage upheld by the Supreme Court will allow patients to see their doctors earlier rather than waiting for treatment until they are sicker and care is more expensive. The decision upholds funding for important research on the effectiveness of drugs and treatments and protects expanded coverage for prevention and wellness care, which has already benefited about 54 million Americans.
The health reform law upheld by the Supreme Court simplifies administrative burdens, including streamlining insurance claims, so physicians and their staff can spend more time with patients and less time on paperwork. It protects those in the Medicare ‘donut hole,’ including the 5.1 million Medicare patients who saved significantly on prescription drugs in 2010 and 2011. These important changes have been made while maintaining our American system with both private and public insurers.”