The Supreme Court saved the Affordable Care Act a second time, ruling Thursday that the red states who sued to challenge the law did not have standing to do so.
The long-awaited decision was cheered by healthcare groups who had warned for months that striking down the law would cause ripple effects across the industry in an unprecedented way.
“We are hopeful that this historic decision will restore stability to the individual market—and be the push Washington needs to make true progress in building upon on what works and strengthening the ACA," said Ceci Connolly, president and CEO of the Alliance of Community Health Plans, in a statement.
"ACHP and our nonprofit health plan members stand ready to work with Congress and the Administration to foster a stable, secure individual market that provides millions of Americans access to affordable coverage and care," Connolly said.
Here are more soundbites and reactions from across healthcare today:
“We believe the Supreme Court rightly concluded this case does not belong in court, as the challengers have not suffered any injury. The ACA remains the law of the land and a foundational component of health care and coverage for more than 300 million Americans. After a year filled with unprecedented loss when reliable comprehensive health coverage has never been more important, this decision protects the stability of health coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, hardworking families, seniors, and other Americans who need it most," said AHIP CEO Matt Eyles.
"With more than one million more people having already signed up for coverage during this special enrollment period and millions more receiving their care through the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, it is clear that Americans agree we should continue to build on the ACA to improve coverage and care for everyone."
American Hospital Association
"The more than 30 million Americans who secured health insurance under the Affordable Care Act can again breathe a sigh of relief. But our work is far from over," said AHA President Rick Pollack. "We need to redouble our efforts to close coverage gaps and make care affordable and accessible for everyone, all while continuing to fight COVID-19 and encouraging more Americans to get vaccinated. The AHA is eager to partner with Congress and the Biden administration to make sure all Americans can achieve their highest potential for health."
American Medical Association
“Today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court is a victory for patients and for the gains in health care coverage achieved through the Affordable Care Act. The American Medical Association is pleased that the high court rejected the challenge to the ACA, thereby upholding critical patient protections that are improving the lives and health of millions of Americans, particularly amid a global pandemic," said AMA President Gerald Harmon, M.D.
“With yet another court decision upholding the ACA now behind us, we remain committed to strengthening the current law and look forward to policymakers advancing solutions to improve the ACA. The AMA will continue working to expand access to health care and ensure that all Americans have meaningful, comprehensive, and affordable health coverage to improve the health of the nation. We have a plan—2021 and Beyond: AMA’s Plan for the Uninsured—to do just that.”
Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
“We are pleased with today’s decision dismissing the challenge to the Affordable Care Act. The ACA has made health care more accessible by providing 31 million people health care coverage. Right now, 90% of Americans have health coverage through their jobs, the individual market, Medicare and Medicaid," said Kim Keck, CEO of BCBSA.
"Today’s decision now gives the nation an opportunity to meaningfully tackle the underlying cost of health care—one of the most critical challenges in the health care system. As we’ve seen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever that everyone has access to affordable health care, no matter who you are, where you live or what your health condition may be. It’s time to build on what we have to make our health care system more affordable and equitable to work better for everyone.”
Federation of American Hospitals
“The tens of millions of Americans who depend on the ACA for affordable health coverage can breathe a sigh of relief—their access to care was upheld today by the Supreme Court. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the true value of this law with a record number of consumers now getting affordable coverage through ACA exchanges," said FAH CEO Chip Kahn.
“As caregivers, the goal of hospitals is always for our patients to have increased access to coverage and care—this decision brings that goal closer to reality. We applaud the Supreme Court for overwhelmingly upholding the ACA and hope that this latest challenge to the law will be the last.”
America's Essential Hospitals
"Today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a decisive victory for patients, hospitals, and all who believe no one, especially people of limited financial means, should go without access to affordable health care," said CEO Bruce Siegel, M.D.
"Through the ACA, our nation took a historic step toward realizing a world without barriers to a need as fundamental to living as shelter, food and education. This ruling preserves important progress in our work to make that vision a reality."
"With this decision, we urge Congress and the administration to act to close gaps in coverage, promote health equity and invest in hospitals that care for people who face social and financial hardships. We must put underrepresented populations and underserved communities highest on the list of priorities for next steps in the journey to equitable and accessible care for all."
American College of Physicians
"Eliminating the coverage, benefits and protections provided by this law would have thrown our health care system into chaos, and placed health care for millions of Americans in jeopardy. We are glad that the justices saw the need for the law to remain in place," said George Abraham, M.D., president of ACP.
"We know that people who do not have health insurance live sicker and die younger. For millions of people in our country, losing access to the health insurance they have under the ACA would have prevented them from getting care and harmed their health and well-being. Those who gain access to insurance through the law are not the only ones who benefit from it. The law ensures access to a set of essential benefits that health insurance plans have to cover, it provides no-cost access to preventive services, and it ensures that no one has to pay more for insurance due to personal characteristics or health circumstances outside of their control."
Association for Community Affiliated Plans
“The Affordable Care Act has been subjected to more than 60 repeal votes in the House of Representatives, a 16-day government shutdown, and three Supreme Court cases. Nevertheless, it has persisted—with the help of a thumbs-down from Senator McCainThis ruling is a victory for all Americans, particularly the millions of consumers who rely on the ACA for access to health care coverage and were in danger of losing that coverage in the middle of an unprecedented public health crisis," said Margaret Murray, CEO of ACAP.
“In ten years, the ACA has been subjected to constant threats. Consumers have too long paid the price for the uncertainty these attacks bring about. Enough is enough. It’s time to stop attacking our health care system and time instead to repair, reform, and reinforce it so every American has access to quality, affordable, comprehensive coverage.”
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
“Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a victory for the many millions of people who have and will receive health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Let us hope that the dismissal of this case marks the end of meritless attacks against a milestone law. It is time now for our nation to resume its path toward achieving universal health care coverage," said Richard Besser, M.D., CEO of RWJF.
“The ACA is one of the most significant laws in generations. Since its passage, tens of millions of Americans—in particular people of color, those with low incomes and preexisting conditions, and young adults—have received quality, affordable health care coverage. States that have expanded their Medicaid programs under the ACA have provided health coverage to millions, leading to improved health outcomes and stronger state economies. Now we must finish the job to ensure that every person in the United States—no matter their skin color, income level, or zip code—has health insurance and a fair and just opportunity to live the healthiest life possible.”
United States of Care
“Today’s Supreme Court ruling finally brings peace of mind to those who feared having their health care torn away by the courts. The Affordable Care Act is the law of the land and today’s ruling is a victory for the people whose lives are more secure because of it. It is time—especially in the wake of a pandemic—that we put a permanent stop to wielding people’s health care as a political tool or bargaining chip," said Natalie Davis, co-founder and acting executive director of United States of Care.
"Yet another Supreme Court decision in support of the law means that it is time to move beyond these battles and work to create a more affordable, reliable, and more equitable health care system. It’s time for our leaders to get to work on building a health care system where all people have dependable access to high-quality care that they can afford and that meets their personal needs.”
“COVID-19 has shone a light on the critical importance of health care access and the horrifying disparities in health care among vulnerable communities,” said Lambda Legal Senior Attorney and Health Care Strategist Omar Gonzalez-Pagan. “For more than eleven years, the Affordable Care Act has made it possible for more than 20 million people to see a doctor or health care provider when needed, and who without the ACA would otherwise be left to fend for themselves. Today, the Court ensured that the ACA will continue to be a critical lifeline for the people most in need by rejecting yet another frivolous challenge.”