Selections from What’s Trending This Week — June 26, 2015
1. KING v. BURWELL: Supreme Court Upholds Health Law Subsidies
Yesterday’s ruling is a victory for working Americans and especially for the families who depend on health centers for affordable and accessible healthcare. Over half (66 percent) of health centers are located in states in which the federal government operates an exchange. A majority of the patients in those states are low-income and rely on the subsidies to maintain their coverage and options to care.
We know that many new patients coming to health centers now hold an insurance card for the first time in their lives. Yet, many of them are sicker with complex health conditions that could have been prevented with timely access to care. Now they can keep their coverage and continue to afford life-saving care, whether at a health center or another healthcare provider.
Health centers serve anyone regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay. Even if the Supreme Court ruled against Burwell and undermined the intent of the law to make insurance more affordable, health centers would continue to serve uninsured patients after they lost coverage. Yet, the long term financial consequences for health centers would be significant, and there are limits on how many people they could serve, based on available resources.
The Supreme Court ruling affirms what many in the Community Health Center community believe, in both mission and practice: that all people deserve affordable health care AND coverage to ensure good health.
2. HEALTH COVERAGE: It’s Good for Financial Health, Too
According to recent findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those who have health insurance have less health-related financial stress.
The C.D.C. looked at data from more than 370,000 people collected through the National Health Interview Survey. It found that in the six months after the introduction of the Affordable Care Act in January 2014, the percentage of people under age 65 who were in families having problems paying medical bills was lower than it had been before — 17.8 percent vs. 19.4 percent in 2013.
And, stay tuned for more, as Medicaid’s important anniversary will continue to be highlighted throughout the summer!