Best headline on SCOTUS ACA decision: “Six million sighs of relief”

By | 2015-06-25T12:24:32+00:00 June 25th, 2015|3 Comments

The American Public Health Association (APHA) takes the prize for the best headline in response to today’s Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act (ACA): “Six million sighs of relief.”

APHA’s executive director Georges Benjamin, MD elaborated:

“We are pleased the court understood the legislative history and intent of this law… We know that when people can’t afford health insurance, they don’t get health care — and get sicker as a result. …APHA and the public health community rejoice in today’s decision, and look forward to working with the administration and Congress to realize the ACA’s full potential.”

Reaction from other health groups include the following:

The American Nurses Association:

“We are gratified that the Supreme Court ruling will avoid the loss of subsidies that have allowed millions of people to get healthy and stay healthy,” said the president of the American Nurses Association, Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN. “The share of adults without health insurance dropped to its lowest level in seven years in 2014 as the ACA took full effect. Without the tax credits, many people would have been unable to obtain health insurance, thus limiting their access to routine preventive care and causing insurance costs to rise due to a sicker population.”

The president of the American Medical Association, Steven J. Stack, MD, said:

 “The American Medical Association (AMA) is relieved that today’s Supreme Court decision will allow millions of patients to continue accessing the health care they need and deserve. Physicians know that the uninsured live sicker and die younger…  The subsidies upheld today help patients afford health insurance so they can see a doctor when they need one and not have to wait until a small health problem becomes a crisis.”

The American Hospital Association’s president and CEO Rich Umbdenstock said:

“…[we] welcome today’s Supreme Court decision. In the short time the subsidies have been available, hard-working people who are sick, need care for chronic conditions, or want preventive care have been able to seek care more easily. Most significantly, providing access to primary and preventive care helps improve the health and well-being of individuals, family and communities.”

The National Association of Community Health Centers call the Supreme Court’s 6-3 ruling “a victory for Americans.” Community Health Centers (CHC) are located in all 50 States and provide primary healthcare to 23 million patients. [Full disclosure: I am on the Board of Directors of the San Antonio-based CommuniCare Health Centers which has 10 clinics serving Bexar County and Hays County, Texas. I am also one of their patients.]

After giving APHA my award for the best headline, I give NACHC the award for the best sentiment about today’s decision by the Supreme Court:

“We know that many new patients coming to health centers now hold an insurance card for the first time in their lives. Yet, many of them previously delayed seeking the care they so desperately needed, resulting in complex health conditions that could have been prevented with timely access to care. Today is their day. They can keep their coverage and continue to afford life-saving care, whether at a health center or another healthcare provider. Whether or not they should get their care is no longer a choice they have to make. Their coverage now allows them to choose where to get the care they need, and that is a good prescription for our nation’s health.”


About the Author:

Celeste Monforton, DrPH, MPH
Celeste Monforton is a fellow in the Collegium Ramazzini; a lecturer at Texas State University; and professorial lecturer at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University. She receives funding from the Public Welfare Foundation.


  1. See Noevo June 25, 2015 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    The other “six million sighs of relief” may come from the mentally-challenged lawyer-wannabes who now realize you don’t need to know the law or the Constitution or even how to read to become a “lawyer” or even a Supreme Court “justice”.

    All you need is the Liberal/Progressive insistence on getting your ends regardless of the means.

    For insistence, it really doesn’t matter if the law says ‘subsidies will be available through an Exchange established by the State’, nor that the architect of the law says it was deliberately written that way to incentivize states to establish exchanges (although only 14 states ultimately did so establish exchanges).

    So, if he law says ‘subsidies will be available through an Exchange established by the State’,
    what it REALLY means is that ‘subsidies will be available through an Exchange established by the State, OR NOT. Whatever’.

    Maybe in these days, if you THINK you’re a lawyer, or even THINK you’re a Supreme Court justice, then you ARE a lawyer or even a Supreme Court justice.
    Kind of like how Caucasian Rachel Dolezal THINKS she’s Black, so, she’s Black.

    Maybe in these days we will do away with laws altogether. Instead, we’ll be a nation of feelings.

    But you better have the “correct” feelings.

  2. Celeste Monforton, DrPH, MPH
    Celeste Monforton, DrPH, MPH June 26, 2015 at 10:50 am - Reply

    We post comments that disagree with our points of view, except for those that use offensive terms or characterizations of individuals. If you don’t see your comment posted, you may re-submit it sans the offensive term(s).

  3. Mary O'Grady June 27, 2015 at 12:21 pm - Reply

    I am one of the people sighing with relief. For years my significant other and I were not able to buy effective health insurance because of minor, fully controlled pre-existing conditions. We were gouged for junk insurance instead. Those days seem to be over, unless the Republicans have their way in 2016.

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