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Supreme Court handed Congress a perfect opportunity to work together for ALL Americans

LatinaLista — It’s been over five hours since the Supreme Court released their ruling on the Affordable Care Act. What started out as a confusing mess among some media in what the Supreme Court actually did, gave way to anger by Republican politicians and a promise by Romney to rid it on his first day in office.

Supreme Court justices who upheld the Affordable Care Act.

Sadly, the people interviewed on the news who are against the passage of the law are the ones who have lost empathy with the middle class and working poor for whom medical costs ravage their savings, their quality of life and their futures.

What’s lost in this decision is that this was a “bi-partisan” ruling with one conservative justice joining with the liberal jurists on the bench to approve a law that is not just constitutional but benefits the majority. That the majority is not comprised primarily of the wealthy or businesses or insurance companies seems to be the major sticking point to critics of the ruling.

While the critics sounded their fury “fast and furious,” a number of organizations and groups praised the decision.

The Latino Commission on AIDS: “The Latino Commission on AIDS celebrates the Supreme Court
Decision on the Affordable Care Act with Some Concerns”

National Women’s Law Center: “I do not say this lightly — today is a GREAT day for women and their families” — Judy Waxman.

The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy: “We’re pleased that the Supreme Court has upheld all but one of the provisions in the ACA that help to reduce teen and unplanned pregnancy,” said Sarah Brown, CEO of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. “Improving pregnancy planning and prevention through evidence-based programs and wider access to contraception are cost effective and widely-supported ways to improve child and family health and well-being.

“We hope that states will take full advantage of the opportunities that the ACA makes available through Medicaid to expand health coverage, including contraceptive coverage, for vulnerable low-income Americans.”

National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health: “Latinas have historically faced a disproportionate number of barriers to basic health care, and we can now envision a future where those barriers begin to crumble,” said NLIRH executive director Jessica González-Rojas. “Everyone has a fundamental right to quality, affordable health care. Today’s Supreme Court decision is an important step toward making that right a reality.”

National Community Pharmacists Association: “The health care reform law that was upheld by the Supreme Court includes bipartisan provisions intended to achieve reasonable reimbursement for Medicaid generic prescription drugs, although the implementation process to date has been disappointing. There are also transparency requirements for pharmacy benefit managers in the health care exchanges set to launch in 2014. Medication therapy management will be expanded in Medicare. Independent community pharmacies remain exempted from the duplicative accreditation requirement for selling Medicare Part B durable medical equipment. Mechanisms have been put in place for the inclusion of pharmacies in Accountable Care Organizations and Medical Homes. In the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision and the government’s response to it, NCPA will continue to prioritize these issues because, left unaddressed in a prudent fashion, it is patients that will suffer the consequences. ”

American Academy of Pediatrics: “Pediatricians have already seen firsthand that health reform works,” said Dr. Block. “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.”

Mujeres Latinas en Acción: According to the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, the ACA has already helped more than 736,000 young Latino/as retain health care coverage under their parents’ plans until they reach the age of 26 and has eliminated discrimination by health insurers against children with pre-existing conditions. In the coming months and years, ACA provisions will expand access to life-saving cervical cancer screenings and other preventive health services, increase support for community health centers and increase Medicaid coverage. Beginning in August, the ACA also provides access to contraception without expensive co-pays, ensuring that every woman can plan the timing and spacing of her children.

From medical professionals to historically disadvantaged populations, the ACA equalizes the playing field in allowing everyone to have health coverage. When looked at in this context, the arguments against the Supreme Court ruling appear shallow, elitist and without merit.

It says something about the merits of the law that it would produce a bipartisan response to it from the Supreme Court justices.

Going forward, the flaws in the law will be revealed but it doesn’t mean that a law that does so much good should be scrapped. Rather, it’s the opportunity for both sides of the aisle to start thinking about all Americans and how to make a single law beneficial to everyone.

Like it used to be in America.

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