Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Medical Groups Praise High Court Ruling on ACA

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Medical Groups Praise High Court Ruling on ACA

Article excerpt

The American Medical Association and other physician leaders expressed relief about the U.S. Supreme Court's 6-3 vote to uphold the use of federal subsidies under the Affordable Care Act in states that have not created state-run marketplaces.

"The subsidies upheld today help patients afford health insurance so they can see a doctor when they need one and not have to wait until a small health problem becomes a crisis," AMA President Steven J. Stack said in a statement. "The subsidies provide patients with peace of mind that they will not risk bankruptcy should they become seriously ill or injured and experience catastrophic health care costs."

Dr. Renee Binder, president of the American Psychiatric Association, also released a statement in support of the high court's ruling. "We are pleased that the Supreme Court upheld subsidies for more than 6 million people," she said. "As the physician experts and leaders in mental health treatment, we know there can be no health care without mental health care. The King v. Burwell ruling ensures that millions of Americans will continue to have access to these critical services."

The majority justices ruled that residents in states that rely on the federal marketplace are eligible for tax credits to buy insurance, based on the high court's interpretation of ACA language.

In their opinion, the justices said the context and structure of the act's language compel the conclusion that tax credits are available for insurance purchased on any exchange created under the law. The credits are necessary for the federal exchanges to function like their state exchange counterparts, the high court stated, and to avoid calamitous results that Congress intended to avoid.

"When read in context, the phrase 'an exchange established by the state' [in the ACA], is properly viewed as ambiguous," the majority justices said. …

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