The United States Supreme Court today announced that it was upholding the majority of the Affordable Care Act.
“In our 35 years of caring for low-income residents on the south side of Chicago, we are about to see radical change and reform in healthcare during our lifetime,” said Nick Valadez, chairperson of the board of directors of Chicago Family Health Center (CFHC).
The decision to let stand the mandate requiring all Americans to purchase insurance through Health Insurance Exchanges will establish the right framework among providers, insurance companies, government and citizens, a practice essential for meaningful reform. This decision will keep health costs manageable and give everyone, rich or poor, the tools they need to be healthy.
The glitch comes in the Court’s decision to rule unconstitutional the required Medicaid expansion clause. The Medicaid expansion in the ACA offered low and moderate income Americans their best hope of obtaining full coverage for their health care needs
With more than 8,000 CFHC patients having no insurance, expanding Medicaid would have covered more than 6,000 of those patients in 2014. CFHC could have gained up to $1.6 million in new revenue to expand and improve vital programs and services such as pediatrics, women’s health and chronic care programs.
“Today’s decision gives hope to up to 57 million people nationwide who are either uninsured or underinsured,” said Warren J. Brodine, CEO of Chicago Family Health Center. “But the Court’s rejection of the Medicaid Expansion clause is disheartening. The expansion represented the best of American ideals – public coverage being the clearest example of neighbors helping neighbors, communities helping communities.”