Statement from the NC Justice Center: Supreme Court upheld one of the greatest expansions of health care security in U.S. history

RALEIGH (June 28, 2012) — Today the U.S. Supreme Court upheld one of the greatest expansions of health care security in the nation’s history. The Affordable Care Act, passed by our elected representatives after extensive debate, will extend health insurance to 32 million Americans. It is now important to redouble our efforts to educate seniors and young people and small businesses about the benefits of health reform.

We also must move forward with full implementation in North Carolina in a way that best protects the interests of consumers. North Carolina’s economy as a whole – including our state’s hospitals, doctors, small businesses, and local employers – will benefit greatly from a new influx of Medicaid funds from the federal government. By investing in the health of our population we will contain the long-term growth in health care costs.

This endorsement of health reform by our nation’s highest court shows that Congress operated well within its constitutional authority in requiring that Americans who can afford insurance purchase a policy. The worst practices of the insurance industry – denying coverage due to pre-existing conditions, charging women more than men for the same policy, dropping coverage when someone gets sick – will soon be relegated to the rubbish heap of history.

The time when everyone – young and old, rich and poor – will have access to decent health services is near. As a consumer advocacy organization that has worked for more than 20 years to expand quality, affordable health care to all North Carolinians, we are elated by this decision.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Adam Linker, Policy Analyst, NC Justice Center's Health Access Coalition, adam.linker@ncjustice.org, 919.861.2074; Julia Hawes, Communications Specialist, NC Justice Center, julia@ncjustice.org, 919.863.2406.

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