On Thursday, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joined the liberal wing of the Supreme Court to save the heart of President Obama’s landmark health care law, agreeing that the requirement for nearly all Americans to secure health insurance is permissible under Congress’s taxing authority.
The court modified another key provision of the law, however, ruling that the federal government cannot withdraw existing Medicaid funding from states that decide not to participate in a broad expansion of Medicaid eligibility.
“Today is a historic day for Americans of all ages, an affirmation of a law that helps children, workers and retirees obtain affordable health care,” said Edward F Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance of Retired Americans. “Americans can now live more secure, knowing that their health and well-being are no longer tied to the whims and greed of the big insurance companies.”
Coyle continued, “The law has helped millions of seniors better afford to see a doctor and fill a prescription. In 2011, over 3.6 million seniors on Medicare saved a total of $2.1 billion on their drug costs, an average of $604 per person. Just last year, over 32 million seniors received at least one new free preventative care benefit through Medicare. Medicare’s “Doughnut Hole” – a shameful legacy of the big drug companies’ sway in Washington – is closing and premiums for Medicare Advantage plans are down 16 percent since the law took effect in 2010.”
Coyle went on to say that yesterday’s ruling will be a short lived victory if, this November, we fail to elect a President and Congress with the courage to stand up for the middle class. A repeal vote in the U.S. house, scheduled for July 11, will provide an opportunity for lawmakers to show their constituents where they stand.
“This year’s presidential election provides a clear contrast between Barack Obama, who had the courage to risk his presidency fighting for the middle class, versus Mitt Romney, who would replace the Affordable Care Act with a plan that is good for only the healthy and wealthy.” Coyle said.
He concluded, “Today is a tremendous victory for seniors, their children and their grandchildren. But we cannot rest on our laurels. In the 2012 elections we cannot let politicians roll back the progress we have made.”
Romney has made it clear that he would repeal Obamacare, saying he would “kill it dead”. For more fact sheets and background on how health reform is good for seniors, please visit three locations on the Alliance website: Affordable Care Act Myth Busters at www.bit.ly/x1U472 ; the Health Care Reform page at www.bit.ly/cQTDL9 ; and Medicare page at www.bit.ly/Ljzb17.