Jeremy A. Lazarus, MD, President of the American Medical Association (AMA), said that the AMA is pleased with the ruling by the Supreme Court to uphold health reform. Dr. Lazarus added that the AMA has always supported health insurance coverage for all US citizens. The decision means that millions of Americans who currently do not have coverage may now look forward to it to either “get healthy” or “stay healthy”.

President Barack Obama’s healthcare law was upheld by the US Supreme Court on 28th June 2012 by a majority of 5 to 4. According to political commentators in the US media, the result is a triumph for the Democrats in this election year and a setback for the Republicans.

Dr. Lazarus reiterated the AMA’s position on its commitment to working on behalf of the country’s doctors and patients to make sure the law carries on being implemented in ways that both encourage and incentivize improved health outcomes and an optimized health care system.

Dr. Lazarus said:

“The AMA remains committed to working on behalf of America’s physicians and patients to ensure the law continues to be implemented in ways that support and incentivize better health outcomes and improve the nation’s health care system.

This decision protects important improvements, such as ending coverage denials due to pre-existing conditions and lifetime caps on insurance, and allowing the 2.5 million young adults up to age 26 who gained coverage under the law to stay on their parents’ health insurance policies. The expanded health care coverage upheld by the Supreme Court will allow patients to see their doctors earlier rather than waiting for treatment until they are sicker and care is more expensive.

He added that the Supreme Court decision ensures continued funding for vital research on the effectiveness of drugs and therapies and improves the chances for millions of Americans to receive coverage for prevention and wellness care. The new law has already helped approximately 54 million patients.

The Affordable Care Act has helped simplify administrative burdens, Dr. Lazarus added. It has streamlined insurance claims so that doctors and their staff can dedicate more of their time to patient care, and less on paperwork.

The AMA says that the new law protects Medicare patients stuck in the “donut hole”. In 2010 and 2011 a considerable number of patients saved money on prescription drug costs.

Dr. Lazarus said “These important changes have been made while maintaining our American system with both private and public insurers.”

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as PPACA, the Affordable Care Act, or more informally as Obamacare, became law on 23rd March 2010, when it was signed in by President Obama.

According to its supporters, the new law represents the largest overhaul of the American healthcare system in over half a century, and is aimed at improving the American healthcare system by making sure that millions more people who have no insurance coverage today get it, while improving the system for those with “inadequate coverage”.

The Obama Administration says that those already with health insurance will also benefit from the legislation in several ways; insurance companies will no longer be allowed to cancel coverage if people become ill, out-of-pocket expenses will be paid-for for proven screening and preventive services, such as breast screening (mammograms) and colonoscopies. By detecting chronic and serious diseases earlier on, more people will receive effective treatment and experience better outcomes. (“What is The Affordable Care Act”)

Written by Christian Nordqvist