LOS ANGELES, June 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In a historic decision, the Supreme Court of the United States has upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, landmark legislation that will extend access to affordable, quality health care to millions of additional Americans regardless of age, income, or pre-existing condition and shift our health care system to one that prioritizes prevention.
"Today's decision by the United States Supreme Court is an affirmation that Americans, regardless of age, income, or pre-existing condition, are entitled to and deserve quality, affordable health coverage, including the more than seven million Californians who are uninsured," said Daniel Zingale, Senior Vice President of The California Endowment. "For our state, today's decision is both a fiscal blessing and a clear signal that there should be no more excuses. Covering the uninsured currently costs our state nearly $10 billion per year and we need to continue to move full speed ahead to ensure that millions of Californians take advantage of the new options and consumer protections provided by the law."
The California Endowment submitted an amicus curiae brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in September 2011 supporting the constitutionality of the individual mandate. The brief, drafted and submitted on the Endowment's behalf by frequent Supreme Court litigator Kathleen Sullivan, can be viewed HERE.
In conjunction with foundation and community partners, The California Endowment has also worked to enroll eligible Californians in Medi-Cal, Healthy Families, county health programs, the new low-income health program, CalFresh, and the Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC). To date, more than 10,000 residents have participated in enrollment events across that state.
As the first state to establish a health care exchange under the new law, California will soon have the infrastructure to simplify health care enrollment, making it easier for both individuals and businesses to compare plans and purchase coverage. Additionally, since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, California has already secured hundreds of millions in federal funding that has been used to:
- Establish transformative community health programs;
- Create and operate the Health Benefit Exchange;
- Support community-level efforts to prevent chronic disease;
- Expand coverage to Californians with pre-existing medical conditions; and
- Upgrade the infrastructure of, and increase services provided by, community clinics.
The health care law will make basic preventive care free, reduce health care premiums, prevent children with pre-existing conditions from being denied coverage, and increase accountability for insurance companies -- among other improvements.
The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation, was established in 1996 to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians. Headquartered in downtown Los Angeles, The Endowment has regional offices in Sacramento, Oakland, Fresno and San Diego, with program staff working throughout the state. The Endowment challenges the conventional wisdom that medical settings and individual choices are solely responsible for people's health. The Endowment believes that health happens in neighborhoods, schools, and with prevention. For more information, visit The California Endowment's homepage at www.calendow.org.
SOURCE The California Endowment