US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions

Harkin Statement on Supreme Court Health Care Ruling

Thursday, June 28, 2012

WASHINGTON—Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act:

“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court is a rigorous, resounding confirmation of the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.  It is great news for America’s families and businesses, and for our economy.  This decision keeps consumers, rather than insurance companies, in the driver’s seat, and protects the more than $1 trillion in deficit reduction included in the ACA. Today’s decision allows us to continue our work replacing the current sick care system with a genuine health care system – one focused on wellness, prevention, and public health, keeping people out of the hospital in the first place. 

“I am heartened to see that the hundreds of millions of corporate dollars poured into the effort to kill the Affordable Care Act did not win. This law is a critical step in the right direction; I have likened it to a starter home, suitable for improvement.  I look forward to working with my colleagues to make sensible changes as we continue to implement the law.  I invite them to bring their tool kits, rather than their sledgehammers, so we can work together to improve the law.

“The choice is to go forward, or be dragged backward.  I believe the great majority of Americans want to go forward – and today the Supreme Court made clear what we have long known: that the opposition is standing on the wrong side of history.  Now let’s get back to work building a health care system that works not only for the healthy and wealthy, but for all Americans.”

Under the Affordable Care Act:

  • More than 3.1 million young adults who would have gone uninsured are now covered by their parents’ health care plans
  • The Patients’ Bill of Rights puts Americans back in charge of their health care decisions, protects those with pre-existing conditions, eliminates lifetime coverage limits, ends arbitrary policy cancellations by insurers, and improves accountability and transparency
  • 45.1 million women have access to breast and cervical cancer screenings, prenatal care, and well-child visits with no out-of-pocket costs
  • Over 5.1 million people on Medicare saved over $3.2 billion on prescription drugs thanks to discounts on both name brand and generic drugs donut hole over the past two years
  • 86 million Americans have already received one or more preventive services, like cancer screenings and check-ups, at no cost
  • 360,000 small businesses have used the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit to help insure 2 million workers

For a list of Iowa benefits under the new law, please click here: http://www.healthcare.gov/law/resources/ia.html

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