DENVER― By upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, the U. S. Supreme Court has assured that 32 million uninsured Americans, including 510,000 Coloradans, will have the opportunity to gain insurance coverage over the next few years. The decision also assures continued expansion to primary and preventive health care and that consumers will have vital protections and benefits under the law.
The Court’s decision assures expanded access to health care through Medicaid expansions, support for private insurance purchase and through continued growth in the nationwide network of Community Health Centers (CHCs) to more communities across America. In the years ahead, millions of newly insured people in communities identified as medical shortage areas will gain access to the high-quality, cost-effective primary and preventive services provided at CHCs.
Nearly $50 million in grants from the ACA has gone to communities across Colorado to expand existing CHCs and to build new CHCs to care for more people in Colorado. Health Centers are working hard to provide access to high quality, affordable primary health care in underserved communities, regardless of people’s insurance status. The continuation of the ACA means that Colorado CHCs will continue to provide health care homes to the 600,000 people who visit CHCs now – more than one in 10 people in Colorado — and help us move closer to our goal of caring for a million Coloradans through our Access for All Colorado plan.
Now is our opportunity – all of us working together: health care consumers, health care providers, communities, businesses, insurance plans, and government agencies – to make meaningful and lasting improvements to our health care system. It is time to prepare for full implementation of the health reform law. Most of the 16 million people who will gain coverage under Medicaid expansion in 2014, and the additional 16 million who will be able to purchase coverage through the new state Health Insurance Exchanges, live and work in the same communities that CHCs serve.