By Stacey L. Worthy and Marcus A. Garza
After over five years of vigorous debate, more than 50 congressional votes, a presidential election, and two Supreme Court decisions, the fate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has finally been sealed with last week’s King v. Burwell decision. The healthcare law is here to stay. Now, it is time to move beyond the tired debates of the past and look for ways to strengthen the law to make it work better for all Americans.
The ACA has made great strides in promoting access to health care by prohibiting insurers from denying enrollment based on preexisting medical conditions or disability. Under the ACA’s nondiscrimination provision, marketplace health plans cannot discriminate or structure benefits so as to discourage enrollment against certain patient populations. Yet, there is still much more work to be done to address abusive practices by insurers that are seriously affecting access to treatment. These cost-saving measures often discriminate against patients with critical and chronic illnesses, who often have the greatest needs for health care coverage. Read the full article here. »