We’ve issued a statement from Robert Greenstein on the Supreme Court decision regarding the Affordable Care Act. Here’s the opening:
Today’s Supreme Court decision allows the nation to reap the very substantial benefits of the Affordable Care Act: health insurance coverage for millions of uninsured Americans, important consumer protections for millions of insured Americans whose coverage has serious gaps, and the promise of progress in slowing the growth of health care costs.
States and the federal government should move forward immediately to get ready for 2014, when the law’s major coverage expansions are scheduled to take effect. State and federal policymakers should prepare to launch health insurance exchanges and to enroll millions of people in Medicaid beginning in January 2014.
These efforts still face significant challenges — including a major new challenge as a result of one aspect of the court decision. … For both states and the federal government, much work lies ahead to establish health insurance exchanges, set up enrollment processes that work smoothly both for the exchanges and Medicaid, and complete other critical tasks by the 2014 deadline. The timeframe is short, particularly in states that have made little progress since the law’s passage.