Washington, DC—Mark S. DeFrancesco, MD, President of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), released the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s decision in King v. Burwell:
“ACOG applauds the Supreme Court decision to uphold Affordable Care Act subsidies, which help millions of Americans afford insurance coverage through the federal marketplace.
“As women’s health physicians, we understand the importance of our patients having reliable insurance coverage that allows them to get the care they need – from preventive care that helps them stay healthy to acute care that allows them to treat emerging health conditions.
“Historically, for too many Americans, cost has been a barrier to access. Without insurance coverage, millions of patients have had to forego the care that they need to prevent or control illness. This has been especially true for low- and moderate-income Americans, thus creating health disparities among U.S. patients – disparities that, in many cases, could have been avoidable.
“The data have shown that the ACA has helped a large number of Americans get insurance coverage, many for the first time. According to a year-old survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation, 57 percent of enrollees who purchased coverage through the health insurance marketplace were previously uninsured.
“Importantly, recent data have shown that newly insured adults under the ACA were more likely to be women. Those who did gain coverage through the ACA reported better access to health care and better financial security from medical costs.
“Without question, many of women enrollees were able to purchase health insurance coverage due, in part, to the ACA subsidies that helped make this purchase affordable. In fact, government data have suggested that roughly 85 percent of health exchange enrollees received subsidies.
“If the Supreme Court had overturned this important assistance, approximately 4.8 million women would have been unable to afford the coverage that they need. The impact also would have been widespread; as these women were forced to leave the insurance marketplace, it is likely that premiums throughout the marketplace would have risen dramatically.
“Instead, patients – especially the low- and moderate-income American women who have particularly benefited from ACA subsidies – will continue to have the peace of mind that comes with insurance coverage.
“The goal of the ACA was to improve the health of all Americans by improving access to reliable insurance coverage. As the physicians who treat America’s women, we are pleased that today’s Supreme Court decision will protect that access in the future and will allow us to continue our shared mission of keeping America healthy.”
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College), a 501(c)(3) organization, is the nation’s leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of more than 58,000 members, The College strongly advocates for quality health care for women, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women’s health care. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a 501(c)(6) organization, is its companion organization. www.acog.org