Betsy Ryan is president and CEO of the New Jersey Hospital Association. Her blog, Healthcare Matters, examines the many issues confronting New Jersey's hospitals and their patients. Readers are encouraged to join the discussion, because healthcare matters - to all of us.

Today, A Sigh of Relief for the Future of Healthcare

I’m an attorney, and I’ve spent virtually my entire career in the realm of healthcare policy. I admit to a bad case of the nerves heading into today. But I am quite thrilled to say the pundits were wrong on this one. Hardly anyone predicted it, but today the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the Affordable Care Act by a 5-4 vote.

The ruling is great news for uninsured Americans and healthcare consumers across the country. While the Affordable Care Act has its supporters and its detractors, there’s widespread agreement that our healthcare system is unsustainable on its current course and changes are needed to reduce healthcare costs and preserve healthcare quality. That work to reform our healthcare system can now continue with the reassurance that the Affordable Care Act will provide the policy foundation to support those efforts moving forward.

Nearly 1 million uninsured New Jerseyans will be added to the insurance rolls over the next two years, thanks to this law. (Although the law will not apply to nearly 400,000 uninsured residents.) Millions more Garden State residents will enjoy protections like access to insurance regardless of pre-existing healthcare conditions and no more lifetime limits on insurance coverage. The law also includes funding, demonstration projects and other innovative efforts to help hospitals, physicians and other healthcare providers reinvent healthcare delivery so it is higher in quality and lower in cost. In short, healthcare reform will help us bring value to healthcare. And that’s important for all of us who count on the reassurance that the care we need will always be there.

Written by Betsy Ryan at 17:02

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