By Rep. Andrew Falk
June 28 was a truly historic day in our country. The United States Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including the individual mandate on a 5-4 decision. The ruling means the provisions of the ACA already in effect will remain and those yet to be implemented can move forward. Below are some of the highlights of the Supreme Court’s ruling and what it means for Minnesotans.
The Affordable Care Act will improve the lives of middle-class Minnesotans
•No one can be denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition.
•Eliminates co-pays for check-ups and preventative care.
•Women can no longer be charged more for coverage.
•Private insurance companies are now required to spend 80 percent of premium dollars on health care and quality improvements—not overhead or executive salaries.
•Congress is now required to get healthcare coverage from the same plans as everyone else.
Minnesotans are already benefiting from the Affordable Care Act
•Young adults are allowed to stay on their parents’ health plan until age 26. Already over 32,000 young adults in Minnesota have received coverage as a result of this policy.
•244 individuals with pre-existing conditions now have health care coverage.
•Over 1 million Minnesotans received preventative services with no-co-pays including mammograms, colonoscopies and other life-saving preventative care.
•More than 57,000 seniors saved an average of $1,384 on prescription drugs in Medicare.
•$8.9 million will be returned to Minnesota consumers, an average of $160 per family.
While the Supreme Court ruling has clear benefits for Minnesotans, our work is not done. The next step is for our state to move forward in establishing a Health Insurance Market Exchange so individuals and small businesses have an effective, user-friendly tool in finding the best, most cost effective coverage.
As an early backer of the Affordable Care Act, I was proud to join other legislators from across the nation in an amicus brief (friend of the court) in a show of support; I am very pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision.
Looking ahead, we must work together to build a better health care system for all Minnesotans.
Please feel free to contact me with questions or concerns.
Rep. Andrew Falk is the State Representative for District 20A, representing Big Stone, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Swift and Yellow Medicine counties. He can be reached at 651-296-4228, 1-800-682-1388 or by email at email@example.com