NEW YORK, June 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Lupus Research Institute (LRI) is strongly encouraged with today's bipartisan U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding virtually the entire Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010.
This historic decision is greatly welcomed news for the 1.5 million Americans living with lupus. In upholding the Act, the Court supported principles the LRI and its National Coalition of patient organizations had successfully advocated for inclusion to ensure that people with chronic diseases such as lupus are protected. The Supreme Court ruling maintains the following four key principles so critical to people with lupus and other chronic diseases:
- Insurance coverage available for all Americans, regardless of pre-existing conditions.
- Elimination of lifetime caps on health benefits.
- Provisions dedicated to prevention and wellness and educating those with and at risk for chronic disease on best ways to manage and prevent illness.
- Dedication to eliminating racial disparities in chronic diseases such as lupus, which disproportionately affects minorities.
"With so much at stake for lupus patients, so many are breathing a sigh of relief with this Supreme Court ruling," said Margaret Dowd, President and CEO of LRI. "The ability to buy insurance regardless of preexisting conditions is a critically important legal right for all of us - but for people with lupus it's truly a life and death issue. The current provision eliminating lifetime caps on insurance benefits is another pillar of health care reform that is dramatically increasing treatment options for many lupus patients."
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), or lupus, is a complex and serious autoimmune disease affecting 1.5 million Americans. Ninety percent are women ages 15-44, mostly in their childbearing years. Women of color are two to three times at greater risk than Caucasians. In lupus, the immune system, which protects against infection, attacks the body's own tissues and organs. Difficult to diagnose and treat, lupus is a leading cause of premature cardiovascular and kidney disease and stroke among young women.
About the Lupus Research Institute
Now the world's leading private supporter of innovative research in lupus, the Lupus Research Institute is also supported by a Coalition of patient advocacy organizations across the country, primarily in the nation's urban centers. The nationwide network has effectively advocated on behalf of people with lupus for more than 10 years. Most recently, the Coalition succeeded in securing the funding for a signature federal lupus healthcare provider education program conceived by LRI in collaboration with the Department of Minority Health, Department of Women's Health and the U.S. Surgeon General. For more information, visit www.lupusresearchinstitute.org.
SOURCE Lupus Research Institute