Liz Rose, (p) 202-587-1638, firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEJune 28, 2012
Campaign for America’s Future’s Roger Hickey Hails SCOTUS Health Decision as Victory
Warns Against GOP Plan to Dismantle Medicare
Washington, DC -- Roger Hickey, co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future, hailed the Supreme Court’s complicated majority decision that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional – as long as the individual mandate is seen as a tax and not an extension of the Interstate Commerce clause.
“This narrow decision is a victory for all of us who defend the right of Americans to join together to impose new rules on the private health insurance industry – to require that they cover all applicants and not disqualify people with pre-existing conditions. It is a victory for those who want to try to get the private insurance system to create state insurance pools – with subsidies for low income people – to make insurance available to all. The Affordable Care Act experiment in trying to get the insurance industry to cover everyone can now go forward.”
Hickey also noted that the many Republicans disappointed that the Court did not throw out the law – and who are campaigning to repeal the law that would extend affordable coverage to millions of Americans -- are the same politicians who have recently voted to dismantle the two one functioning parts of the health care system: Medicare and Social Security.
“Almost every Republican in the House and Senate voted for the Ryan Republican budget, which would end Medicare’s pledge of guaranteed coverage for seniors – and instead they would give future seniors (today’s workers and youth) an inadequate voucher with which they would have to try to buy private health insurance in the confusing and inconsistent private insurance market,” Hickey warned.
The Campaign for America’s Future was and is a strong proponent of including a “public option” as part of the Affordable Care Act. And CAF continues to urge Democrats to campaign (and win a new majority) as defenders of Medicare and Social Security – the two parts of our crazy-quilt health care system that guarantee health care and retirement security to all Americans who are eligible.
"In Plain English: The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional,” Hickey said,. “There were not five votes to uphold it on the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the states to require everyone to buy health insurance. However, five Justices agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power. That is all that matters. Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding. On that question, the Court held that the provision is constitutional as long as states would only lose new funds if they didn't comply with the new requirements, rather than all of their funding."