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Elaine K.  
Floresville  
June 28, 2012 3:25pm
 
From the Center for Rural Affairs

Lyons, Nebraska - Today, the United States Supreme Court announced their decision upholding the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

“We applaud the Supreme Court’s decision and, as we have said from the beginning, the Affordable Care Act is a perfectly legal response to the health care and health insurance challenges facing millions of Americans and rural Americans in particular,” said John Crabtree of the Center for Rural Affairs. “We are pleased the Supreme Court’s ruling will continue the already existing benefits and protections helping young adults, Medicare beneficiaries, children, and everyone from unreasonable health insurance rate increases.”

According to Crabtree, the Supreme Court decision also authorizes states to implement the system that allows Americans and American families to purchase affordable, comprehensive health insurance coverage beginning in 2014.

“For those of us living in rural America, where we are more likely to be uninsured or under-insured than our urban neighbors, and where our local economies are even more dependent on small, main street businesses as well as family farms and ranches, this ruling is a true victory,” added Crabtree. “The reforms that have already been implemented, and the health coverage marketplaces that are soon to be established as a result of the Affordable Care Act offer real hope of access to affordable health care for millions of rural Americans and a better future for our rural communities.”

Crabtree explained further that since the Supreme Court ruling that the Affordable Care Act is a legal response to the health insurance challenges facing millions of Americans, it is time to move forward in implementing the Act.

Key steps include:

The federal Department of Health and Human Services should immediately act to fully implement the Affordable Care Act.
States should take the legislative and administrative steps that are necessary to fully implement state responsibilities in the Affordable Care Act.

States should immediately establish the health insurance marketplaces called for in the Affordable Care Act. These marketplaces should contain serious consumer protections and a robust governing board.

Congress should continue to approve appropriations to carry out provisions of the Affordable Care Act, including those provisions to establish health care professionals in medically underserved rural areas and to maintain hospitals in rural areas.

“Now that the legal wrangling is complete, it is time to bind up the political wounds that our country has endured and get about the business of resolving the health care challenges facing the nation and its people,” concluded Crabtree.

###

<i>Established in 1973, the Center for Rural Affairs is a private, non-profit organization working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities through action oriented programs addressing social, economic, and environmental issues.</i>
     
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