Arthritis Foundation Applauds Supreme Court Ruling to Uphold the Affordable Care Act

The Arthritis Foundation applauds today’s Supreme Court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the landmark health care law passed over a decade ago.

June 17, 2021 — Today, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the landmark health care law that was passed in 2010. The 7 to 2 ruling puts an end to a three-year battle over the future of the ACA and provides assurance that the key features we know many people with arthritis rely on will remain intact — such as Essential Health Benefits like prescription drugs, annual out-of-pocket cost limits, the ability of young people to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26, and a prohibition on discrimination based on pre-existing conditions.  

“For arthritis patients, this means that the protections of the ACA will remain in place regardless of where they live or get their coverage from,” says Dennis Ehling, the Arthritis Foundation’s national advocacy committee co-chair. “This includes protection from being denied coverage for a pre-existing condition and guarantees basic minimum coverage.” 

“These protections have been of great value to arthritis patients and their caregivers,” Ehling continues, “especially for parents of children with arthritis, so they can continue to access the care they desperately need and limit further damage to their bodies. I hope all arthritis patients and families can breathe a little easier knowing there’s more certainty about the protections the ACA provides.” 

“Today’s ruling will help so many patients living with arthritis,” adds Suzy Szasz Palmer, a member of the Foundation’s national advocacy committee. “As someone who is fortunate to have had insurance coverage all my life, I know how significantly this has helped me manage the progression of my systemic lupus over the last 50 years. Insurance and access to health care allows me to focus on living with my disease, not worrying about whether my condition will be covered or how I’ll pay for my care. For millions of other Americans, continued access to the ACA affords them the same hope.”  

A ruling in the opposite direction would have created a major ripple effect and caused massive disruptions in health care. Many provisions that are now cornerstones of the health care market — like Health Exchanges and Medicaid expansion — stem from the ACA. There are many other provisions that are lesser known but also vital to the arthritis community, such as the creation of a pathway to approve biosimilar products, of which three are now on the market for arthritis.  

While we recognize the law is imperfect, this ruling allows us to shift our focus to strengthening the law and ensuring it is working to improve the care of people with chronic diseases like arthritis. 

To learn more about how the Arthritis Foundation is advocating for and with arthritis patients, visit arthritis.org/advocate. 

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