By Myrl Weinberg, FASAE, CAE
As any family caregiver knows, preplanning is a path to sanity. If you aren’t prepared for the possible, your life can quickly become chaotic. Like family caregivers, the patient advocacy community has been preparing for months for today’s Supreme Court decision. We knew that whatever the outcome, we would have to be ready to take decisive action to ensure that people with chronic diseases and disabilities get the health care they need.
Now that the Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act, it is time to move on. Here is the statement that the National Health Council released following the Court’s decision.
“We have felt confident throughout that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional. The patient advocacy community is very pleased with the Supreme Court and its decision to uphold the law. It is now time to put the acrimonious debate behind us and move forward to continue working through the implementation process to produce a health care delivery system that meets the needs of all people – especially those individuals with chronic diseases and disabilities. The National Health Council worked closely with Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle to ensure that the concerns of the patient and family caregiver community were addressed in the Affordable Care Act. We believe the law, though not perfect and certain to evolve over time, is already improving the lives of people with chronic conditions. Let’s move on.”
To read what other patient organizations are saying about the Supreme Court decision, visit http://www.puttingpatientsfirst.net/ACAdecision . Here are a few of the comments from the National Health Council’s members:
“The historic decision handed down today will benefit America’s heart health for decades to come. Questions about the Affordable Care Act’s constitutionality have overshadowed the law’s progress. With this ruling, that uncertainty has finally been put to rest.” – American Heart Association
“Today, cancer survivors throughout the U.S. are celebrating. The Supreme Court ruling means they will retain protection from insurance discrimination for pre-existing conditions.” – Lance Armstrong Foundation
“We are pleased that the Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act. Through the ACA, kidney patients will have access to insurance options and care that will improve the quality of their lives.” – American Kidney Fund
“Health insurance coverage is essential to leading a healthy life, and our nation’s highest Court has affirmed the validity of the Affordable Care Act, allowing implementation to continue in a way that will benefit patients with chronic diseases, like diabetes.” – American Diabetes Association
“As psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis often occur with other serious conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes, it is equally important that these patients will now be able to maintain access to coverage for continuous care.” – National Psoriasis Foundation
“The ruling also preserves vital provisions that are already improving the ability of people with cancer and their families to access needed care by ensuring that proven preventive services such as mammograms and colonoscopies are offered at no cost to patients, eliminating arbitrary dollar limits on coverage that can suddenly terminate care and prohibiting insurance companies from unfairly revoking coverage when a person gets sick.” – American Cancer Society/Cancer Action Network
Myrl Weinberg is president of the National Health Council (NHC), the only organization of its kind that brings together all segments of the health care community to provide a united voice for the more than 133 million people with chronic diseases and disabilities and their family caregivers. The NHC is made up of more than 100 national health-related organizations.