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Huge Win for Louisiana Working Families, Small Businesses, Health Care Community! Supreme Court Upholds ACA!

The United States Supreme Court decision today to uphold the Affordable Care Act is a huge victory for Louisiana working families, small businesses and the health care provider community.

This law, which was passed by Democrats in the United States Senate and the House of Representatives, addresses the national crisis of the collapse of the employment-based health insurance system in this country. Driven by growing numbers of companies and workers who could no longer afford the cost of health insurance coverage, health care in the United States was on the verge of becoming accessible only to the wealthiest people in this country.

Now, the Supreme Court has ruled that the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land.

We call on Governor Bobby Jindal to put an end to his obstructionist grandstanding. We call on the Governor issue an immediate call for a Special Session of the Legislature to take the steps necessary to enable the state of Louisiana to participate in the formation of the Health Insurance Exchange that will bring transparency and clarity to the health insurance market, and enable them to lower their cost of coverage through pooling of resources and experience with other small businesses.

We also call on the Governor to commit Louisiana to participate in the expansion of Medicaid included in the Act which will bring coverage to more than 100,000 working Louisiana adults. Participation is a no brainer on this issue as the federal government will pay 100% of the cost of bringing new enrollees into the program.

In the 2008 election cycle, a national consensus emerged that market-based solutions were needed to preserve the American approach to accessing care. In the midst of a financial and economic crisis that threatened the country, President Obama and congressional Democrats fought fierce opposition to enact the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2010, with no help from Republicans. The extreme partisanship that drove Republicans to oppose these market-based reforms that they had once championed, provided a preview of the perverse politics of the past three years in which Republicans opposed any and every major initiative the President and Democrats supported.

The Supreme Court upheld all parts of the law against a broad set of legal challenges. The individual mandate has been upheld. The severability issue is moot because the mandate was upheld. The expansion of Medicaid was upheld, although states cannot be punished if they do not participate.

This is a tremendous victory for President Obama and congressional Democrats, but it is an even bigger for the people of Louisiana.

The Affordable Care Act was written for what ails Louisiana! We are a state with one of the highest percentages of working age adults without health insurance coverage. The law will enable more than half of the 700,000 or so Louisianans between the ages of 19 and 64 to obtain health coverage.

Louisiana residents endure high rates of chronic disease. The Affordable Care Act makes regular health screenings and preventative care part of every health insurance coverage package. Louisiana businesses will also benefit from the Act because work absences due to chronic disease rob workers and companies of productivity every year.

Louisiana residents with pre-existing conditions will now be able to get affordable coverage no matter where they work, or if they change jobs.

Louisiana seniors on Medicare will benefit from the closing of the prescription drug donut hole that has become a financial burden for tens of thousands of them.

Children of parents with health insurance coverage can remain on their parents’ policy until the age of 26.

Louisiana small businesses will continue to be eligible for expanded tax credits if they provide health insurance coverage to their employees. This is a huge issue in Louisiana where so many people work for companies that employ fewer than 25 people. Only about 30% of Louisiana small businesses currently offer health insurance coverage to the people who work for them.

Louisiana’s health care provider community, particularly community hospitals, are huge winners under this law as large numbers of patients who have no means to pay for the care they need will now have coverage. This will help bring financial stability to hospitals across the state.

This is a great day for Louisiana!

The Affordable Care Act proves once again that Democrats are more attuned to the interests of small businesses. We defer to St. Francisville business woman Susan Davis to make that case.

Louisiana Owner Says Democrats Are Helping Small Business with ACA
Louisiana Owner Says Democrats Are Helping Small Business with ACA
Susan Davis: Health Insurance Exchange Will Bring Transparency
Susan Davis: Health Insurance Exchange Will Bring Transparency

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Originally published: June 28, 2012