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American Thoracic Society Applauds Affordable Care Act Ruling

June 25, 2015 -- The American Thoracic Society applauds today’s Supreme Court decision that affirms access to federal health insurance subsidies for Americans in all states of the nation. The ATS hopes today’s Supreme Court decision will put to rest the relentless Congressional and legal challenges that have plagued the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and that the nation can now turn its attention to the important work of ensuring that access to health insurance translates into access to quality health care.

For far too long, our nation’s policy leaders have been distracted by political fights surrounding the Affordable Care Act and have failed to pay attention to major challenges facing our nation’s health care system, including continued health disparities, training the next generation of providers and researchers, rural access to care, end of life care, and useful quality measures that truly drive care improvement – not fruitless data reporting and controlling costs.

The ATS played an active role in helping the court reach its decision. The ATS submitted an amicus brief in support of the ACA. The ATS brief urged the court to rule in favor of continuing federal subsidies to those who purchase health insurance through federal exchanges. The ATS brief summarized for the court the many studies that show health insurance improves health and pointed out the likely adverse health impacts for patients should the court rule against federal subsidies.

“Today’s court decision will save lives,” says ATS President Atul Malhotra, MD. “Millions of Americans will keep their affordable access to the vital services provided by our nation’s health care system.”

With the Supreme Court’s decision now firmly establishing the Affordable Care Act as the law of the land for all Americans, the ATS looks forward to working with state, local, and federal policy makers to provide quality care for all Americans.