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Health issues affect us all and determining the best means of addressing them is an important part of my work in Congress.
As you may know, on June 28, 2012, the Supreme Court upheld the majority of the Affordable Care Act which was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama in March 2010. By a decision of 5-4, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the individual mandate – the provision that requires all Americans to purchase health insurance. The Court held that Congress had the authority to enact this provision under its power to collect taxes.
However, the Court also restricted the Affordable Care Act's provision to expand Medicaid. Medicaid, the government run program that provides health insurance for low income and disabled individuals, was expanded to include more people under the Affordable Care Act. The Court decided that Congress did not have the power to penalize states that did not want to expand their Medicaid programs by cutting of funding for existing Medicaid programs.
Because of healthcare reform, millions of seniors are getting free preventive services, children are not being denied coverage, and young adults are covered under their parents' plan. These are big and important differences helping millions of Americans focus on their jobs and quality of life, instead of worrying about what will happen if they and their family members get injured or sick. However, while the Supreme Court's decision was an historic day for this country, it is important that we don't use this decision to deepen our divisions or throw up our hands and say our work is done. For all Americans, Republicans and Democrats, the states and the federal government must continue to work together to make sure healthcare is functional, full, and fair.
For more information concerning my work and views on Health issues, please contact my Washington, DC office.
I look forward to your feedback.