ATLANTA, June 28, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Arthritis Foundation applauds the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Although it limits the Medicaid expansion provision, it is positive news for the 50 million Americans with arthritis who have already benefited from some key insurance reforms and patient protections since the ACA's passage in 2010.
Some of these key reforms and patient protections have:
- Prohibited insurance companies from denying children coverage because of a pre-existing condition, like arthritis
- Eliminated lifetime caps on coverage, restricting annual coverage limits and capped out-of-pocket expenses for treatment of chronic illnesses, like arthritis
- Provided coverage for dependents up to 26 years of age with a history of chronic diseases, such as arthritis
- Established a loan repayment program for pediatric subspecialists, such as pediatric rheumatologists
- Lowered the cost of prescription drugs by 50 percent for seniors in the donut hole, which is a gap in coverage when people must pay more for their medications
- Provided essential preventive care services at no costs to families with new health insurance plans
- Established The Prevention and Public Health Fund, which funds communities to implement evidence-based community prevention activities to address chronic diseases, such as arthritis
"We are pleased by the Supreme Court's announcement today. It is now time to move forward to continue working through the implementation process to produce a health care delivery system that meets the needs of all people with arthritis," said Amy Melnick, vice president of public policy for the Arthritis Foundation.
"The law, though not perfect and certain to evolve over time, has already begun to make a difference in the lives of millions of Americans with arthritis," said Melnick. "The Arthritis Foundation will remain diligent in its mission to support our constituents and their rights to have affordable, high-quality health care."
"The Arthritis Foundation will assess and monitor the impact and meaning of the limitations surrounding the Medicaid expansion," said Dr. John H. Klippel, president and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation.
For more information about the Arthritis Foundation's position on health care reform, visit http://www.arthritis.org/affordable-care-ruling-2012.php.
About the Arthritis Foundation
Striking one in every five adults and 300,000 children, arthritis is the nation's leading cause of disability. The Arthritis Foundation (www.arthritis.org) is committed to raising awareness and reducing the unacceptable impact of this serious and painful disease, which can severely damage joints and rob people of living life to its fullest. The Foundation funds life-changing research that has restored mobility in patients for more than six decades; fights for health care policies that improve the lives of the millions who live with arthritis; and partners with families to provide empowering programs and information.
SOURCE Arthritis Foundation