United Ways of California Commends Supreme Court Decision on Affordable Care Act
June 27, 2012
United Ways of California hails the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act as good news for millions of California children, families, and businesses who will benefit from many of the provisions of this health care legislation, some of which are already helping more children and individuals access health care. UWCA applauds the work that California’s Health Benefit Exchange and other agencies have done to date in California to implement this important law and calls on California policymakers to continue the state’s substantial progress toward implementation and ultimately, comprehensive, affordable health coverage for every child in the state.
Millions of California children have already benefited directly from the Affordable Care Act:
- 576,000 California children with pre-existing conditions like asthma and diabetes no longer have to worry about being denied health coverage;
- 435,000 California young adults have been able to get health insurance through their parent’s coverage;
- 1.6 million California children are receiving expanded coverage of preventive services without co-pays;
- 3.2 million California children no longer face lifetime limits on health benefits; and
- 4.5 million California children with Medi-Cal or Healthy Families have had their coverage protected and strengthened.
“United Ways are deeply connected to our communities and we know firsthand that health, education, and financial stability, the building blocks of a good life, are inseparably intertwined.” said UWCA President & CEO Pete Manzo, “If children aren’t healthy, they cannot go to school and learn, and without a good education, they will not be able to secure a stable job to provide for themselves and their families. Today’s decision helps California children get the care they need to grow and thrive as well as providing access to coverage and care for all eligible Californians.”
The Affordable Care Act also prioritizes the health of our communities by:
- Investing more than $85 million in prevention, so we can keep Californians from getting sick in the first place;
- Prohibiting women being charged higher premiums due to their gender; and
- Expanding Medicaid to include more categories of adults.
Millions more children and families will benefit once the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented. Starting in 2014, the California Health Benefit Exchange will provide a way for millions of Californians to find quality health coverage. The Exchange will also offer tax subsidies to 2.2 million low and moderate income Californians to make insurance premiums more affordable.
Even as we celebrate this positive decision for Californians, we recognize the hard work needed to get all eligible children and individuals enrolled as the law continues to be implemented. We must build upon the substantial progress for children’s health care under the law and work until every child is guaranteed access to comprehensive, affordable health care.
Parents don’t need to wait to enroll their children. California children can be enrolled today in free or low-cost comprehensive health coverage by applying online at www.healtheapp.net, by calling 1-877-KIDS-NOW, or dialing 2-1-1 for more information on options available to them.
United Ways of California improves health, education and financial stability results for low-income California families by coordinating the statewide advocacy and community impact work of 34 member California United Ways.
Peter Manzo, President & CEO