The Supreme Court has largely upheld the Affordable Care Act, the health reform law passed by Congress in 2010, preserving the individual mandate requiring that most Americans obtain health insurance but limiting the law’s Medicaid expansion provision.
The law also contains important measures related to prevention and wellness, such as the Prevention and Public Health Fund, a critical source of investment in public health activities. States are already using the fund to build epidemiology and laboratory capacity to track and respond to disease outbreaks; train the nation’s public health workforce; prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis; and reduce health care-associated infections. The law also requires that private insurers cover all vaccines recommended by the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices with no co-payments or other cost-sharing requirements.
IDSA will continue to monitor the implementation of the law and the impact of the court’s decision, including how they will affect ID clinicians, patients, and IDSA’s priorities.
In a statement, HIV Medicine Association Chair Judith A. Aberg, MD, FIDSA, described the Supreme Court’s decision as a “significant victory for people with HIV infection” and the nation’s public health. The law is critical to improving access to HIV care by creating a level playing field for people living with HIV and others with serious and chronic conditions by expanding Medicaid to all low income individuals and creating regulated state-based exchanges for purchasing insurance. See HIVMA enews for more information about the decision and its impact on access to HIV care.
With the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act now decided, IDSA will urge Congress to turn its attention to other important, high-priority health care issues, such as reforming the flawed Medicare physician payment formula and preventing an 8.4 percent, across-the-board cut in funding for federal health agencies scheduled to take effect in January 2013.
< Previous Article | Next Article >