The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act 5-4 in a long-anticipated decision this morning. The court ruled that the individual mandate was constitutional, paving the way for the implementation of a law that will provide health coverage to many millions of additional people across the country.
CHI is gratified by the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act. CHI’s highest priority is access and coverage for all, and the Affordable Care Act is a huge step in that direction.
While the law is not perfect, it goes a long way toward helping us all care for those who are most vulnerable and who need our help the most.
With or without the Affordable Care Act, significant delivery system change is underway in health care in this country. And, CHI will continue to participate in delivery system reforms that provide coordinated, efficient care; reduce costs; improve health outcomes; and tie payments to value provided as we continue to do everything we can to increase access to affordable care for all.
CHI will work with the Catholic Health Association, the American Hospital Association and other groups to champion health care reform that protects life, makes coverage available and affordable and puts our system on a path to reducing costs while providing better and safer care.
CHI remains concerned with one key component of the law, which would require contraceptive coverage for all employees of Catholic organizations. CHI has indicated to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that the only acceptable approaches are to broaden the definition of “religious employers” excluded from the coverage mandate to exempt Catholic hospitals; or to have the federal government provide the coverage itself. CHI remains hopeful that CMS will not infringe on the religious liberty of church-affiliated organizations.
About Catholic Health Initiatives: Catholic Health Initiatives is a national nonprofit health organization with headquarters in Englewood, Colo. The faith-based system operates in 19 states and includes 76 hospitals; 40 long-term care, assisted- and residential-living facilities; two community health-services organizations; two accredited nursing colleges; and home health agencies. In fiscal year 2011, CHI provided more than $612 million in charity care and community benefit, including services for the poor, free clinics, education and research. With annual revenues of more than $10.5 billion, CHI is the nation's second-largest Catholic health care system.