Industry groups react to Supreme Court ruling on healthcare reform After months of uncertainty, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) announced its decision June 28
on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA). The court ruled that the key provision of the law, the individual mandate, is constitutional by a 5-4 vote. The required expansion of Medicaid coverage by states did not fare so well; that provision was struck down 7-2. We feature excerpts of reactions to the monumental ruling below.
HIMSS: Health IT role is critical H. Stephen Lieber, CAE, presi- dent and CEO, HIMSS “HIMSS, like the rest of the
country, is relieved that questions about the healthcare reform law have now been settled and the nation can move forward with the essential work of transform- ing healthcare in America. Health
information technology is critical to the ongoing transfor- mation in our nation.” Lieber’s statement included this health IT reference:
“As HIMSS has emphasized in the past, while there are many potential implications for health IT in the ACA, the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records Incentive Program was never in jeopardy regardless of the outcome of this case; that program was authorized by the HITECH Act, which was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, and not ACA, which was separate legislation passed in 2010.”
AHIP: Watch out
for unintended consequences Karen Ignagni, president and
CEO, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) “As the reform law is imple- mented, health plans will continue to focus on promoting affordability and peace of mind for their benefi- ciaries. The law expands coverage to millions of Americans, a goal
health plans have long supported, but major provisions, such as the premium tax, will have the unintended con- sequences of raising costs and disrupting coverage unless they are addressed.
“Health plans will continue to work with policymakers on both sides of the aisle to make coverage more affordable, give families and employers peace of mind, and promote choice and competition. Health plans also will continue to lead efforts to reform the payment and delivery system to promote prevention and wellness, help patients and physi- cians manage chronic disease, and reward quality care.”
4 August 2012
ANA: Opportunities for nurses grow Karen A. Daley, Ph.D., MPH,
RN, FAAN, president, American Nurses Association (ANA) “Registered nurses are well positioned to lead in providing essential prevention and wellness services and care coordination for individuals and families. The law enhances opportunities for nurse
practitioners and nurse midwives to provide primary care. This will increase accessibility for the growing number of people needing basic health services.” For RNs, Daley notes, the ACA creates more opportuni- ties to lead or participate in innovative, team-based care delivery models, such as accountable care organizations and medical homes, with incentives for nurses’ expertise in care coordination. The law also provides funding to expand nurse-managed health centers and for nursing education and workforce development.
HEALTH MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY www.healthmgttech.com AAMC: Congress must increase
funding for residency slots Darrell G. Kirch, M.D.,
president and CEO, Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) “With 32 million newly in- sured Americans entering the healthcare system, addressing the nation’s physician shortage – projected to climb to more than 90,000 by 2020 – is now more
critical than ever. Medical schools have done their part, increasing enrollments during the last six years in response to these shortage projections. But the overall supply of U.S. physicians cannot expand unless Congress increases the number of federally funded residency training positions, a number that has been frozen since 1997. “We urge Congress to move quickly to provide more federal support for additional doctor training to ensure that Americans have access to care – not just an insurance card.”