Thursday, June 28, 2012

Court Upholds Health Care Reform Law

The Supreme Court today ruled to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, including the individual mandate, by a vote of 5 to 4. The  decision was a victory for President Obama and Congressional Democrats, with conservative Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., joining the majority in affirming the central legislative pillar of Mr. Obama’s presidency.

The Court ruled that the so-called individual mandate, which requires that nearly all Americans obtain health insurance, fell under Congress’s power to tax. The court’s ruling is a crucial milestone for the law, allowing most of its far-reaching changes to roll forward.

In a statement released today, APA President Dilip Jeste, M.D., called the health care reform law “especially significant because, when fully implemented along with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, it will protect the rights of individuals with mental illnesses to have access to appropriate care.”

Jeste added, “The American Psychiatric Association is committed to working to ensure that health insurance coverage and access to mental health care is available for all individuals with mental health needs (including intellectual developmental disorders and substance use disorders). The financial and human cost of untreated mental illness is enormous, and much work remains to ensure adequate mental health coverage and access to care. APA will continue to work with members, allied health organizations, and others to advocate for patients and physicians.”

More information about the health care reform law can be found in Health Care Reform: A Primer for Psychiatrists, published by APA.

(Image: Brian Bourdages/


The content of Psychiatric News does not necessarily reflect the views of APA or the editors. Unless so stated, neither Psychiatric News nor APA guarantees, warrants, or endorses information or advertising in this newspaper. Clinical opinions are not peer reviewed and thus should be independently verified.