Supreme Court Upholds Constitutionality of ACA

US Supreme Court

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), including the individual coverage mandate, is constitutional under Congress’s taxing authority, according to the U.S. Supreme Court.

However, there is uncertainty regarding the requirement that states expand their Medicaid programs. If South Carolina chooses not to expand Medicaid, between 600,000 and 700,000 South Carolinians will remain uninsured.

“We’re glad the Supreme Court has clarified the constitutional issues, but we know this doesn’t resolve uncertainty about the future of health care reform in America. The debate will now intensify as it moves from the courts into the political arena,” according to SCHA President and CEO Thornton Kirby.

“Patients don’t have the luxury of waiting months and years for political solutions—they need the best care we can give them today, tomorrow, and next week. And that’s why our hospitals are intensely focused on improving the quality and reducing the cost of care. And we’re doing it with a lot of great partners in the Palmetto State,” Kirby added.

The ACA reduces payments to hospitals by $155 billion over 10 years, and in exchange hospitals benefit by the fact more Americans will have insurance. Hospitals are guaranteed the cuts, so they are very anxious whether the coverage expansion will happen as promised, Kirby said.

For the past six years, South Carolina hospitals have focused on improving quality, creating efficiency and improving the health of our citizens. They have established and strengthened strategic partnerships with other organizations that are concerned with fixing our broken health care system.

“While the debate in Washington will continue, South Carolina hospitals will continue to work with our partners to provide high quality care while continuing to enhance efficiency and control costs. We will also continue to advocate for government policies that support our efforts,” Kirby said.

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