NDRN Guide to the Affordable Care Act

Executive Summary

This summary provides practical information about the U.S. Supreme Court decision to upheld the constitutionality of all portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that can help advocates respond to questions from people with disabilities, the media, and state officials.

The Affordable Care Act on the Practical Level: 
What Are the Key Programs of Significance to People with Disabilities? 
What Disability Focused Advocacy is Needed Right Now? 
 
On June 28, 2012, in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius [1], the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of all portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), except for one provision that allowed the federal government to take away a state?s Medicaid funding if it failed to expand Medicaid coverage in the state as the ACA had required. This summary provides practical information about the decision that can help advocates respond to questions from people with disabilities, the media, and state officials.2 This summary will address four questions:
  1. What programs and requirements of the ACA might people with disabilities find of particular value?
  2. What limits did the Court place on the ACA requirement that states expand Medicaid coverage to all individuals under age 65, with incomes between 100% and 133% of the federal poverty level (FPL)?
  3. What information can Advocates offer to state officials and the public to explain why extending Medicaid coverage to a greater number of poor individuals and families makes good economic and political sense?
  4. What are some of the open questions concerning ACA implementation likely to be clarified in federal policy over the next few months?

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