Greenstein: Health Reform Here to Stay; Time for States to Fully Implement
Today’s strong, clear Supreme Court decision confirms what was widely understood during the debate around the enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA): health reform provides subsidies for consumers in all states. The decision will let millions of Americans retain their marketplace coverage, allowing health reform’s many achievements to stand: historic progress in reducing ranks of the uninsured, important market reforms and protections for consumers, and the ACA’s likely contribution to a slower rate of growth for health care costs.
With this case behind us, it is time for opponents of health reform to accept that health reform is here to stay and to stop aggressively pushing proposals to impede it or repeal key elements of it, including the proposals in a pending House appropriations bill to cut off the funds the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services needs to continue carrying out the law, as well as proposals likely to be included in budget reconciliation legislation expected next month.
States also can take important steps to more fully implement the Affordable Care Act. The states that have adopted the law’s Medicaid expansion have seen large gains in coverage and generally are saving money in their budgets. Policymakers in the 21 states that have not expanded Medicaid should now do so and enable an estimated 3.7 million uninsured Americans with low incomes to finally gain access to affordable health coverage.