Capital New York
June 25, 2015
New York Hospital Chiefs Applaud ACA Decision
By Dan Goldberg
Hospital executives in New York praised the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, saying that the law has had a positive impact on health care in the state and throughout the country.
"It's not just about New York," said Dr. Ram Raju, president and C.E.O. of the city's Health and Corporation. "It's about the value for public systems around the country." Raju said the Affordable Care Act, which he has long supported, is "a moral issue," and the consequences of millions of Americans losing subsidies would be devastating.
Dr. Steven Safyer, president of Montefiore Medical System, echoed Raju's theme, saying health care is a right, not a privilege. "The overwhelming and clear decision by the Supreme Court to continue a policy that ensures coverage is the right thing to do," Safyer said in a statement. "Better health care coverage leads to a healthier nation, which is a hallmark of a strong democracy."
Raju and Safyer both said the decision will allow the nation to continue reforming how care is delivered without worrying as much about access.
These reforms, said Michael Dowling, C.E.O., of North Shore-LIJ, began before the A.C.A, and "the U.S. Supreme Court's decision ... to uphold the health insurance subsidies that are a centerpiece of the Affordable Care Act will enable health care providers to continue reform efforts." Raju said he hopes an end to court challenges will encourage doctors and other providers to move forward with lasting reforms.
Referring to an oft-used analogy in which providers have one foot on the boat of reform but the other remains planted on the dock, Raju said, "this will convince us to take the leg off the dock."
After the Court's decision was announced, President Obama proclaimed that “the Affordable Care Act is here to stay."
The President then used the opportunity to remind Americans of some of the law's most popular provisions, many of which were not going to be impacted by the Supreme Court's decision, regardless of how it ruled. But Obama made a broader case, saying that his vision is now reality.
"This is health care in America," Obama said. "This is not an abstract thing any more. This is not a set of political talking points. This is reality."
Had the Court ruled the other way, about six million Americans would have likely lost access to the subsidies that helped them purchase health insurance.
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