Ron Pollack of Families USA speaks outside Supreme Court

Ron Pollack, Executive Director of Families USA, speaks outside the Supreme Court on Thursday after the U.S. Supreme Court voted in a 5-4 decision to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. “Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a clear, unambiguous, and complete victory for long-overdue health care reform. It sends an unmistakable message that the building of a better, fairer health care system will continue to move forward,” Pollack said. Photo by Nicole Softness, APHA.

In a 5-4 decision Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court of the United States voted to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a 2010 law to improve the health of Americans and control health care costs. Writing in the majority ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts said “Nothing in our opinion precludes Congress from offering funds under the ACA to expand the availability of health care, and requiring that states accepting such funds comply with the conditions on their use.”

Leaders from numerous organizations quickly weighed in on the Supreme Court’s decision. Among the responses:

“Whatever the politics, today’s decision was a victory for people all over this country whose lives will be more secure because of this law and the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold it.” — President Barack Obama

This is an important victory, as now millions of women and their families can be ensured better health care and preventive services. It is worth noting that the Supreme Court is only 33 percent women, but women made the difference in this decision.” — Terry O’Neill, President of the National Organization for Women

“Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a clear, unambiguous, and complete victory for long-overdue health care reform. It sends an unmistakable message that the building of a better, fairer health care system will continue to move forward. Implementing health reform will provide peace of mind for our families – the peace of mind that only comes when our loved ones are sure to receive the health care they need when they need it.” — Ron Pollack, Executive Director of Families USA

“We are pleased that the Supreme Court found the majority of the Affordable Care Act constitutional. We look forward to the continued implementation of this critically important legislation so that millions of Americans can continue to receive the benefits it provides.” — A. Barry Rand, Chief Executive Officer of AARP

In upholding the health care reform law today, the Supreme Court has preserved essential disease prevention initiatives that will help reduce the staggering health and financial toll of tobacco use.” — Matthew L. Myers, President of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

“The ruling is a victory for people with cancer and their families nationwide, who for decades have been denied health coverage, charged far more than they can afford for lifesaving care and forced to spend their life savings on necessary treatment, simply because they have a pre-existing condition.” — John Seffrin, CEO of American Cancer Society

Health reform is here to stay, and our active engagement will make it a success.” — Prevention Institute

For the 122 million Americans with pre-existing conditions, including the 7.3 million with some form of heart disease or stroke who are uninsured, this decision will likely be met with a great sigh of relief.” — Nancy Brown, CEO of American Heart Association

“This law takes significant steps to ensure the public has increased access to free preventive services that improve health, prevent disease and lower long-term costs.” — Ethan A. Bergman, President of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

“For these people and the millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions, the uncertainty is over.” — Jim Guest, President of Consumer Reports

“Now is the time for viable solutions, not angry rhetoric. We urge the administration and members of Congress from both parties to swiftly launch a substantive national dialogue on how to move forward – together with the private sector – on transforming our health care system. — Julie Barnes, Director of Health Policy at Bipartisan Policy Center

“The Supreme Court ruling today upholding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as the law of the land is a significant victory for people with HIV infection and the public health of our nation. The ACA corrects the injustices of our current health system, which often denies health insurance coverage to those who need it the most. Too many of our patients have died prematurely despite the availability of effective HIV treatment due to late diagnosis and poor access to health care services.” — Judith A. Aberg, Chair at HIV Medicine Association

“The end to HIV in the United States is in our sight. The Supreme Court’s ruling upholds the ACA’S pivotal provisions that keep us on the course that has been outlined by the first-ever National HIV/AIDS Strategy and by the significant treatment and prevention advances that we’ve seen over the last year.” — Victor Barnes, Interim President and CEO of AIDS United

Regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision, it does not change the mission of emergency physicians. We pledge to be there for our patients.
However, while there are provisions in the law to benefit emergency patients, it is clear that emergency visits will increase, as we have already seen nationwide. There are physician shortages and there are also drug shortages and serious mismatches between patient needs and available resources.” — David Seaberg, President of the American College of Emergency Physicians

“This day will go down in history as the day when Americans lost a part of their freedom – the freedom to choose what to buy with their money.” — Karen Harned, Executive Director of National Federation of Independent Business

“Unfortunately, the Supreme Court’s decision has completely unshackled the federal government of virtually any remaining limits on federal power over states and private individuals so long as Congress defines it as a ‘tax’. This was not what our Founding Fathers intended.” — Roberta Combs, President of Christian Coalition of America