International Community Health Services (ICHS) officials say the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold tax subsidies authorized by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will result in broader options and more affordable health care for all Americans.
Today (6/25/15), in a 6-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a challenge to President Obama’s signature health care law, which made tax subsidies for health insurance available to all states.
“We are very pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court made a decision that looked past political differences and instead on the intent of the law, which is to extend health care to all Americans,” ICHS CEO Teresita Batayola said.
ICHS is a member of the Action for Health Justice (AHJ) and joined over 60 organizations in the filing of an amicus brief (literally, “friend of the court”) for the King v. Burwell case. The brief, which supported ACA tax subsidies, illustrated the lack of affordable health care options, access to services, as well as health disparities facing Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders, and highlighted some of the individual lives that would have been affected by the elimination of tax subsidies.
In praising the upholding of the law, Batayola pointed out that enactment of the ACA has benefitted ICHS and its patients in many ways, including:
— Reducing the number of uninsured patients and expanding the number of patients who receive health care. Last year, ICHS outreach teams reached out to more than 17,600 people about the Affordable Care Act and enrolled more than 10,000 of them into low-cost health insurance.
— Creating better access for patients to receive specialty care, since patients no longer have to worry about health insurance coverage.
— Allowing ICHS to open new clinics in Bellevue and Shoreline because of the demand for more health services brought on by more people receiving coverage.
For more information about ICHS, please visit: www.ichs.com
Photo caption: ICHS officials say the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the health care insurance tax subsidies authorized by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will mean better access to health care for all Americans. In this photo, ICHS community advocate Jiwon Kim (left) discusses the ACA with a resident at a recent ACA outreach event.
Founded in 1973, ICHS is a non-profit community health center offering affordable primary medical and dental care, acupuncture, laboratory, pharmacy, behavioral health WIC, and health education services. ICHS’ four full-service medical and dental clinics — located in Seattle’s International District and Holly Park neighborhoods; and in the cities of Bellevue and Shoreline — serve over 20,000 patients each year. As the only community health center in Washington primarily serving Asians and Pacific Islanders, ICHS provides care in over 50 languages and dialects annually. ICHS is committed to improving the health of medically underserved communities by providing affordable and in-language health care. For more information, please visit: www.ichs.com