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Dr. Bill's Commentaries

Dr. Bill Quick began writing at HealthCentral's diabetes website in November, 2006. These essays are reproduced at D-is-for-Diabetes with the permission of HealthCentral.

The Supreme Court and the Affordable Care Act - A Victory for People with Diabetes   (June 28, 2012)

As most readers are probably aware, the US Supreme Court announced its decision this morning to uphold Public Law 111-148, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as the “Affordable Care Act” or ACA, and also called “ObamaCare”).

This decision is a clear victory for patients with chronic disease, including PWD. As the American Diabetes Association puts it:

“For the nearly 26 million Americans living with diabetes and the 79 million who have prediabetes, this decision preserves their ability to access quality health care that is vital to the prevention and management of diabetes, and in maintaining overall health.

“This law eliminates health insurance discrimination against people living with diabetes and provides access to affordable, quality health care and prevention programs needed to curb the current diabetes epidemic and prevent its devastating complications, including blindness, amputation, heart disease and kidney failure.” They quote their CEO as saying, “Health insurance coverage is essential to leading a healthy life, and our nation’s highest Court has affirmed the validity of the Affordable Care Act, allowing implementation to continue in a way that will benefit patients with chronic diseases like diabetes. Upholding the law protects the important benefits that people with diabetes have already received since the bill became law, including the elimination of lifetime limits on health insurance coverage, access to free preventive care, lower prescription drug costs for seniors, allowing young adults to stay on their parent’s insurance plans, protecting children from being denied insurance and the development of a successful program aimed at preventing type 2 diabetes.”

“Every day, the American Diabetes Association works hard to expand access to affordable care to prevent, delay and slow the progression of diabetes... Upholding the law is a major step forward in our continued fight as we work toward full implementation of the Affordable Care Act. People with diabetes, and all Americans, will no longer be denied access to the health insurance they need, will not have their insurance run out when they need it most and cannot be discriminated against based on pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes.”

The ADA also has an on-line Q&A, updated to reflect the Supreme Court decision.

For the past few years, many politicians have been deliberately confusing the American public about the alledged disadvantages of this much-needed law, which finally will bring the USA up to the standard of providing healthcare for almost everyone. But fortunately the politicians could not bamboozle 5 of the most important citizens in the USA, 5 members of the Supremes.

In the upcoming political fight for the White House, we can expect lots of blather and misinformation from opposing politicians about how the law needs to be removed/replaced, and lots of baloney about its excessive costs – see for example, Mitt Romney’s nonsensical claim about ‘Obamacare’ -- which was awarded Four Pinocchios by the Washington Post.

But finally, the US now has a program, imperfect as it might be, that will provide care for millions of Americans who otherwise would be unable to afford healthcare. And that's a good thing.

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