Obamacare upheld, Rural America benefits

The U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
The Center for Rural Affairs has said from the beginning, the Affordable Care Act is a perfectly legal response to the health care and health insurance challenges facing millions of Americans and rural Americans in particular. The Supreme Court’s ruling will continue the already existing benefits and protections helping young adults, Medicare beneficiaries, children, and every one of us from unreasonable health insurance rate increases.

The Supreme Court decision also authorizes states to implement the system that allows Americans to purchase affordable, comprehensive health insurance coverage beginning in 2014. For those of us living in rural America, where we are more likely to be uninsured or underinsured, and where local economies are even more dependent on self-employment and small business, this ruling is a true victory.

It is now time to move forward in implementing the Affordable Care Act and the federal Department of Health and Human Services as well as the states should take action to fully implement the Act and immediately establish health insurance marketplaces with serious consumer protections and a robust governing board. Congress should also continue investing in access to medical professionals in medically underserved rural areas and maintaining rural hospitals.

Now that the legal wrangling is complete, it’s time to bind up the nation’s political wounds and get about the business of resolving the health care challenges facing the nation and its people.

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