NASHVILLE, TN – Last week The United States Supreme court released their much-anticipated decision on the constitutionality of provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, sometimes known as “Obamacare” or the Affordable Care Act. In this unprecedented ruling, the court found the individual mandate provision constitutional and upheld the rest of the law. The mandate would require all Americans to carry some sort of health insurance coverage or pay a tax penalty.
Tennesseans across the state are celebrating the Supreme Court decision upholding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, rallying in communities across the state to show support for the health care reform law that will provide affordable access to high-quality health care for one million uninsured Tennesseans and guarantee protections to all 6.4 million state residents.
“With this landmark decision, the Supreme Court of the United States has marked the end of partisan political games to block implementation of the Affordable Care Act. There are no more excuses for delay. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is the law of the land, and it is time for state lawmakers to start taking responsibility for ensuring that Tennessee families have the rights and protections guaranteed to them by the law,” states Beth Uselton, Executive Director of the Tennessee Health Care Campaign.
The Affordable Care Act was already working for Tennesseans in a number of ways;
- 82,000 people with Medicare received a 50% discount on their brand-name prescription drugs, saving an average of $590 per person.
- 797,000 people with Medicare received free preventive services – such as mammograms, colonoscopies – or a free annual wellness visit.
- 878 previously uninsured Tennesseans now have coverage through the new Pre- Existing Condition Insurance Plan.
- $15.1 million in grants from the Prevention and Public Health Fund to ensure that all Tennesseans can lead longer, more productive lives.
- $46.7 million to create and sustain new and existing community health centers to expand preventive and primary health care services in medically underserved area.
This decision gives hope and peace of mind for millions of Tennessee families. Children can no longer be denied coverage because of a pre-existing conditions; insurers can no longer drop policyholders’ plans, restrict benefits or place dollar limits on a person’s coverage; small businesses will no longer be priced out of the market, and seniors will continue to have access to no-cost preventive services, vaccinations, and check-ups.
“With all of these benefits and many, many more, Tennesseans will now be able to engage in a system that practices health care and not just sick care,” states Director of Communications, Brad Palmertree. “We urge Tennessee lawmakers and policy makers to focus their future efforts on implementation strategies that puts consumers in control of their own care and provides guaranteed, affordable coverage for all. The cost of doing nothing is much too high.”
Tennessee Health Care Campaign is the state’s premier nonprofit, nonpartisan health care consumer advocacy organization working towards affordable access to high-quality health care for all Tennesseans.
Photo By: AP Photo/Alex Brandon