Today, the Supreme Court upheld nearly all of the Affordable Care Act. The Oregon Medical Association has reviewed the US Supreme Court’s ruling and is pleased to see that the decision will allow the important insurance reforms that were included in the ACA to continue to move forward. These reforms will end coverage denials based on pre-existing conditions and prohibit rate differences due to race or gender, among other things.
While the Court did uphold the individual mandate, it limited the Medicaid expansion provision explaining that the federal government couldn’t penalize states by withholding Medicaid funds from those states that do not expand their Medicaid populations. The budget implications of the Medicaid provision will be interesting to watch moving forward.
The OMA was neutral on the ACA when it passed because it left out meaningful liability reform and failed to fix the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate formula that plagues our Medicare system. We will continue to work on these and other issues to further refine the ACA as we move forward.
While the ruling does settle some of the uncertainty surrounding federal health reform, whatever the court decided, the reform efforts in Oregon were not going to see many impacts. OMA’s members will continue to move forward with the implementation of health reform in Oregon. The work that the policy makers, physicians and other stakeholders have done thus far to create an Oregon Health Insurance Exchange and Coordinated Care Organizations will continue and Oregon’s physicians will continue to work to improve Oregon’s CCO system and make sure that the new CCOs are committed to quality patient care and services within a cost effective system.