NEW YORK, June 28, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- United Spinal Association, the largest non-profit organization dedicated to helping people living with SCI/D, applauds today's Supreme Court ruling affirming the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. The ruling ensures Americans that the access to and affordability of health care coverage is the law of the land.
"To say that the Supreme Court's decision is monumental for the disability community would be an enormous understatement. It brings peace of mind to 22 million families who have loved ones living with significant disabilities and millions with chronic diseases," said Paul J. Tobin, United Spinal's President and CEO.
"Much of the law will be implemented in 2014 and United Spinal Association will remain vigilant in its effort to ensure that the law's implementation fulfills its tremendous promise to promote healthcare as a right and not merely a privilege in the United States," he added.
Specifically, the decision upheld the "individual mandate" requiring all who are capable of purchasing insurance to do so to enable the health care system to spread risk and keep costs down.
It also upheld the requirement that states expand their Medicaid eligibility to reduce by 33 million the number of low-income individuals who are now completely uninsured and whose care is paid for in higher premiums and costs incurred by those with coverage.
With these two major components of the law remaining intact, the remainder of the legislation is not placed in jeopardy of collapsing and maintains key provisions that ensure that:
- No one will be denied health coverage or charged a discriminatory premium due to a pre-existing condition, such as spinal cord injuries and disorders or chronic illnesses such as diabetes.
- States are incentivized to advance home and community-based services and supports and reduce institutionalization for Medicaid long-term care coverage.
- Children can remain on their parents' health plans until they turn 26 years of age.
- Women cannot continue to be discriminated against in the pricing of their health insurance premiums.
- Seniors and people with disabilities will have access to affordable prescription drugs under Medicare and see both the Part D doughnut hole gap in coverage be phased out and enjoy free access to preventive services like colonoscopies and mammograms.
- Millions of uninsured people will gain health care coverage.
- Moderate—and middle—income families will receive tax-credit subsidies so that insurance premiums are affordable.
The law also provides deficit savings of more than $1 trillion over the next two decades and does so by promoting improved quality, continuity and coordination of care and fostering innovation in the financing and delivery of services and supports.
About United Spinal Association
United Spinal is a national 501(c) (3) nonprofit membership organization formed in 1946 by paralyzed veterans and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all Americans with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D), including multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, ALS and post-polio. It played a significant role in writing the Americans with Disabilities Act, and made important contributions to the Fair Housing Amendments Act and the Air Carrier Access Act. Membership is free and is open to all individuals with SCI/D. United Spinal was instrumental in getting New York City to create sidewalk curb ramps and accessible public transportation that has been used as a model for many United States cities.
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SOURCE United Spinal Association