Affordable Care Act

“Big news yesterday as the Supreme Court upheld and passed The Affordable Care Act. A critical step towards improving access to care for children with disabilities.” -Cathleen Collins, CEO United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County

The Supreme Court of the United States issued its ruling on the Affordable Care Act yesterday, upholding the law and ensuring that all Americans can get access to the care they need. While the decision today is a victory, there are two points that you should be aware of: first, the individual mandate was ruled to be constitutional as a tax and secondly, the planned Medicaid expansion will continue as an option, with no penalties for states that choose not to participate.

This decision will impact the disability community in a variety of ways, and below are some suggestedtalking points for UCP affiliates when speaking to the media about the Supreme Court’s decision:

How this affects YOU: 

  • The Affordable Care Act has already made a significant difference in the lives of millions of Americans, including those living with disabilities.
  • Thursday’s decision is a clear victory for Americans living with disabilities.
  •  One of the most critical points the decision upholds is that all Americans, including thosewith pre-existing conditions and chronic illnesses, will have access to the coverage they need.
  •  For the disability community, this ruling affirms the definition of equality as setforth in the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  •  Specifically, for Americans living with disabilities, the ruling upholds several criticalparts of the law:
    • Expanded access to affordable, quality health care regardless of age, income, or pre-existing condition. This means that all Americans, including those living with a disability, will be able to obtain access to care.
    • Shifting our health care system towards an emphasis on prevention and near-universal coverage, which will help Americans lead healthier lives and reduce health care costs.
    • Funding to establish preventive health programs and create and operate the Health Benefit Exchange. Theses Exchanges will help connect Americans to the health care coverage that is best for them. 
    • Expanded coverage to children with preexisting medical conditions, meaning that no child can be denied health care coverage because of illness, injury, or disability.           
    • Protected coverage for dependents up to 26 years of age on their parents insurance, helping young adults who are struggling in this difficult economy.
    • Eliminating lifetime dollar limits on benefits, helping people living with disabilities to get the care they need without an insurance company dictating their health care. 
    • Maintaining the CLASS Act infrastructure for the development of a long-term services and supports program.
    • Keeping the option to offer Medicaid eligibility to additional populations.

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