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Medical groups react to Supreme Court healthcare ruling

June 28, 2012|By Jon Bardin
  • An opponent of President Obama's healthcare law demonstrates outside the Supreme Court before the court's ruling is announced.
An opponent of President Obama's healthcare law demonstrates outside… (David Goldman / Associated…)

Across the country, organizations are reacting to the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision to uphold President Obama's Affordable Care Act. While most medical organizations appear to be happy with the ruling, some are concerned that the law does not go far enough, or that it includes provisions likely to limit progress.

Here is a sampling:

California Medical Assn.

“While the ACA provides insurance coverage for millions of previously uninsured Californians, it does not guarantee that these newly insured patients will have access to doctors because the Medicare and Medicaid programs were left grossly underfunded. CMA was also strongly opposed to the ACA’s creation of an unaccountable Independent Medicare Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), which will mandate arbitrary spending cuts, force more physicians out of the program, and limit seniors’ treatment options.”

Planned Parenthood

“At Planned Parenthood, we know how important this law and this decision are for women and families, because we see the need for affordable health care every day. Women who come into Planned Parenthood health centers often struggle to balance paying for birth control and health services with paying for textbooks, groceries, or gas for the car. The Affordable Care Act will make those decisions easier for women across the country.”

Venice Family Clinic

“With 7 million uninsured residents in California and 2.7 million people in Los Angeles County alone with no health insurance, the court’s decision means California can move forward with fully implementing the Affordable Care Act and providing a health care system that truly works for all Californians. We thank President Obama for his leadership on this issue and applaud the Supreme Court for upholding the fact that health care is not a political or social issue — it’s a basic human right.”

Physicians for a National Health Program

“Although the Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the unfortunate reality is that the law, despite its modest benefits, is not a remedy to our health care crisis: (1) it will not achieve universal coverage, as it leaves at least 26 million uninsured, (2) it will not make health care affordable to Americans with insurance, because of high co-pays and gaps in coverage that leave patients vulnerable to financial ruin in the event of serious illness, and (3) it will not control costs.”

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America

“The 2010 law’s focus on prevention for Medicare beneficiaries challenges physicians to zone in on successful aging and, often for the first time, on memory concerns. Cognitive assessment presents the potential for early diagnosis of memory problems and allows families additional time to prepare for the challenges and overwhelming caregiving responsibilities borne by Alzheimer’s disease.  As the champion of memory screenings, and a strong advocate for the inclusion of cognitive assessment, AFA is hopeful that this cycle of under-diagnosis and misdiagnosis will now come to an end — especially at a time when 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65 each day, putting them at greater risk for this heartbreaking disease.”

American Academy of Pediatrics

“Since the Affordable Care Act took effect, millions of children with pre-existing conditions gained health care coverage; 14 million children with private insurance received preventive health services with no co-pay; and 3.1 million more young adults gained coverage through their parents’ plans. These are just a few of the law’s investments in child health, with many more set to take effect over the next few years as affirmed by today’s decision.”

American College of Physicians

“ACP recognizes that even with the Supreme Court’s ruling, the political debate over the ACA continues and that its future is a major issue in the 2012 election. We hope that a day will come when the debate will no longer be polarized between repeal on one hand, or keeping the law exactly as it is on the other, but on preserving all of the good things that it does while making needed improvements. For instance, ACP continues to believe that there is an urgent need for more meaningful reforms to the medical liability system. Yet, in the meantime, we will continue to urge Congress not to take any actions, including funding restrictions, to impede successful implementation of the ACA and the enormous benefits to patients, even as we will continue to seek opportunities for bipartisan improvements.”

American College of Emergency Physicians

“Medicaid is intended as one of the means of expanding coverage. Increasing the number of patients on Medicaid without an equivalent increase in the number of physicians willing to take that insurance will surely increase the  flood of patients into our nation’s (emergency rooms). Coverage does not equal access and critical problems facing emergency patients are not going away.”

jon.bardin@latimes.com

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