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AARC’s Statement on the U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

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June 28, 2012

In a five to four decision, the United States Supreme Court today ruled to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA), with one major exception. The Court struck down the Medicaid provisions that would require states to increase the number of poor they cover. However, overall, the ruling effectively means that provisions of the ACA will go forward as planned and that hospitals and providers alike will continue to adjust their operations to meet the requirements of the legislation.

While the AARC will not take a position on the advisability of the Supreme Court decision, we want our members to know that we will continue to advocate for legislation aimed at ensuring access to quality respiratory care services for patients with pulmonary conditions.

As it has over the past few years with its Medicare Respiratory Therapy Initiative, the AARC will work to increase patient access to respiratory therapists in all care settings, and we will continue to be the voice in Congress to position respiratory therapists to deliver the full extent of critical services you are professionally trained to provide.

We will also continue to be a strong advocate for our patients. Our specific goals will be to ensure that:

  • People living with respiratory conditions receive the care and education they need to minimize exacerbations and lead full and rewarding lives.
  • People with respiratory conditions have access to care from qualified respiratory therapists regardless of care setting,
  • Individuals living with respiratory conditions remain a priority of concern for federal, state, and local legislators and chronic disease coalitions across the United States.

As a member of the National Health Council, the AARC will be participating in a briefing that, as of this writing, is scheduled for July 9 in Washington, D.C. to examine the Supreme Court ruling on patients. At that time, and with further analysis of the ruling, we will be able to better report back to you on the impact the decision will have on the profession of respiratory therapy and the pulmonary patients it serves, particularly those who may be affected by the Medicaid portion of the ruling.