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With the nation on the edge of its seat Thursday morning, the Supreme Court ruled it constitutional for all Americans to have health insurance or face penalties. And with the remaining sections of the ACA staying in place, healthcare reform was deemed to be in full swing, resulting in another victory for the Obama administration.
With that said, we compiled four expert reactions to the Supreme Court's ACA decision.
1. It's a 'historic victory.' Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman felt the decision was a 'win' for all Americans who will be covered by health insurance. "The law's effects will be significant in our state, where over two million people are uninsured. Over a million uninsured New Yorkers will soon have access to affordable coverage," he said. "This law will continue to provide a spectrum of key consumer protections including keeping young adults on their parents' plans, ending pre-existing condition restrictions, and increasing consumer information about health care choices."
2. Healthcare continues to be in a state of change. "It's about creating a sustainable healthcare industry," said Bruce Johnson, CEO of GHX. "Unlike most industries, healthcare is two-dimensional: delivering high-quality care to save lives while running efficient businesses. At the core, healthcare reform is driven by the need to reduce costs while delivering care of the highest quality." The business of healthcare needs to change, continued Johnson, to deliver cost-efficient and effective business processes. "It's all about quality and access — and quality can be improved by healthcare businesses working together to standardize and streamline their processes."
[See also: Q&A: We now have a framework for health reform.]
3. The decision will impact all healthcare providers. "Those who were waiting to see what would happen with healthcare reform can now expect to see a number of changes to their practice," said Claire Marblestone, attorney at healthcare provider firm Fenton Nelson. "For example, there will be additional funds for rural healthcare providers, incentives to adopt electronic healthcare records, and mandatory adoption of compliance and ethics programs for certain facilities." Furthermore, she added, "The changes to Medicare and Medicaid will have an impact on provider reimbursement."
4. The focus will shift to implementing programs as soon as possible. Bart Stupak, former Michigan congressman, said now the ruling is over, "the focus within the executive branch, in the states, and throughout the healthcare industry will be on developing and implementing the programs as quickly as possible." The demand for healthcare is about to explode as baby boomers continue to age. "It will be critical for all parties involved in the healthcare system — providers, hospitals, insurers, and the government — to innovate and develop methods for reducing the costs of delivering quality healthcare,"Stupak added, "so the country will be able to afford expansion."
For more of our politics coverage, visit Political Malpractice: Healthcare in the 2012 Election.