Government, Public Health

Supreme Court says ‘yes’

July 1, 2015

Health care and gay marriage

I am so thrilled that the Supreme Court said “yes” to marriage equity and Affordable Care Act subsidies. Marriage equity is absolutely the right thing, and polls of the public have shown that, although there are regional and religious differences, the majority of Americans approve of marriage equity. I do. Love should define marriage, not gender preference.

Regarding the Affordable Care Act decision, in the Washington Post’s June 28 “Monkey Cage” political science blog, Jonathan Oberlander and Eric Patashnik wrote:

The Supreme Court’s decision in King v. Burwell is an enormous victory for the Obama administration and the Affordable Care Act. By upholding the provision of subsidies in the 34 states that rely on the federal insurance exchange, the court ensured that 6.4 million Americans would not lose access to affordable coverage. Instead of dealing a devastating blow to Americans with ACA insurance plans, the court handed Obamacare opponents a crushing defeat. The last serious legal challenge to Obamacare is over.

aca image for blog

Photo credit: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA

In a separate statement for the media, with regard to North Carolina, Oberlander, who holds joint appointments in UNC’s Gillings School and School of Medicine, said:

Over six million across the country—including nearly 460,000 North Carolinians—will continue to receive subsidies to help them afford health insurance. The Affordable Care Act has substantially reduced the uninsured population, and the Court’s ruling preserves those gains and sets the stage for further progress. The political fight over the ACA is not over, but Obamacare just cleared the last major legal challenge to its implementation. 

Oberlander has been so good at contextualizing the Affordable Care Act and its journey and helping us understand what each step has meant. Americans deserve health insurance, and it would be hugely complicated and cumbersome to undo the infrastructure that was created to deal with various components of the legislation. It is time to move on from whether there should be affordable care to the many complex issues related to appropriate implementation and care delivery. Even more, how can we work together in communities to improve population health?



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The views expressed in this blog are Barbara Rimer’s alone and do not represent the views and policies of The University of North Carolina or the Gillings School.