Kentucky Voices for Health Statement on U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Upholding the Affordable Care Act
Jun 28th, 2012
With today’s decision by the U. S. Supreme Court to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), it is now more important than ever for government, health providers, payers and advocates to band together and address the myriad of issues facing Kentuckians when it comes to accessing quality health care.
When fully implemented, the ACA will bring a number of important benefits to Kentuckians, including:
· Approximately 300,000 additional Kentuckians will become eligible for Medicaid coverage in 2014;
· Health plans will be prohibited from denying coverage to an estimated 920,000 Kentuckians with pre-existing health conditions;
· Health plans will be prohibited from basing premiums on a person’s health condition;
· Health plans will be required cover important preventative services;
· Tax credits will become available to help an estimated 221,000 Kentucky families and 51,500 businesses purchase health insurance; and
· The Medicare “donut hole” in prescription drug coverage will be eliminated for an estimated 129,000 Kentuckians.
Although the ACA will go a long way in ensuring that all Americans have access to affordable health care, there are still roadblocks to overcome. Not only do Kentuckians need access to care, that care must be of high quality. It is important that consumers become engaged and work with policymakers to ensure their voice is heard in the implementation of the law.
The expansion of the Medicaid system in 2014 comes at a time when Kentucky is experiencing a turbulent switch to managed care. Denied prior authorizations, delayed payments and limited provider networks are just some of the many issues already facing Kentucky’s Medicaid members. As more members are enrolled, it is important that these problems are solved quickly so that new members can access and use their health care.
There must also be transparency in the system in order to improve quality and create a consumer-friendly atmosphere within the health care market. The enactment of the ACA will create a significantly more consumer-driven health care environment. However, without the right information, it is impossible for consumers to make informed decisions regarding care. Increasing transparency in the health care system will help guide consumers toward making effective health care choices while at the same time improving quality of care as resources are allocated efficiently.
Lastly, it is important that the ACA continue to promote and support preventative health care in order to help reduce chronic disease and long-term health care costs. The ACA requires insurance companies must cover preventive care procedures such as mammograms and other cancer screenings. Preventative health care is one of the most important ways to keep communities healthy for life.
It has now been determined that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional and will continue to be the law of the land. It is the hope of Kentucky Voices for Health that the implementation of the ACA will continue to support our four core principles: assuring that all Kentuckians have access to high quality, affordable health care, making prevention a priority for Kentucky’s health policies and programs, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of health care for Kentuckians and improving the health of Kentucky’s children.
Kentucky Voices for Health is a broad coalition of nearly 250 organizations and individuals working to improve Kentuckians’ health and health care coverage. Kentucky Voices for Health has been supported by the Public Welfare Foundation grant and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.
Kentucky Voices for Health: Building a healthy Kentucky together.
We’re a coalition of concerned Kentuckians who believe that the best health care solutions are found when everyone works together to build them. Right now, families and businesses in every county are facing rising costs, and too many of us go without needed health care. Healthy families create healthy economies. And a healthy Kentucky economy is something we all want. So we’re working step by step to build a healthier Kentucky for everyone.
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