The Washington State Medical Association (WSMA) Responds to Supreme Court Ruling Upholding Affordable Care Act

SEATTLE, June 28, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Throughout the debate over the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Washington State Medical Association (WSMA) has maintained that the current health care system is unsustainable and fundamental changes to the financing and delivery of services are needed. In fact, in Washington state many of these changes are already underway, driven by federal and state policies and budgets, as well as the commercial market.

While the Court's decision is likely to create considerable chaos in states that have taken a "wait-and-see" attitude on issues such as Exchange implementation and Medicaid expansion, today's decision will have little impact in Washington as our state has become a national leader in implementing the law by virtue of creating its own Exchange.

The WSMA supported passage of recent state legislation enabling the formation of the Exchange. The increase in the number of insured Washington residents through the Exchange and the expansion of Medicaid should reduce pressures that force the uninsured to use the emergency room instead of visiting a physician's office or clinic—if solutions to the anticipated gaps between patient demand and physician supply can be bridged.

Under the new law, virtually all patients in Washington state will have insurance or Medicaid coverage and the promise of access to care by 2014. Our mission now is to make sure these patients develop a long term stable relationship with a physician to ensure that they get the care they need, when they need it, in an appropriate setting.

Overall, as the state medical association, our mission is centered on making Washington the best place to practice medicine and receive care. The WSMA remains committed to improving access to care and patient safety.

The Washington State Medical Association's vision is to make Washington the best place to practice medicine and to receive care. The WSMA represents over 9,800 physicians throughout Washington state. For more information about the WSMA, please visit www.wsma.org.

SOURCE Washington State Medical Association



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