U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today released the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act:
"The Supreme Court's ruling today confirms what many people of goodwill believed all along -- that Congress' historic efforts to provide a more affordable and equitable system of health care for our nation is within its constitutional prerogatives.
After months of heated debate throughout 2009 and 2010, Congress approved a public-private delivery model relying on the "individual mandate' that requires all Americans to maintain health care coverage while providing subsidies to individuals and businesses who are unable to afford their full premiums. These graduated subsidies will be provided for individuals and families whose incomes are up to 400 percent of the poverty level, or $14,404 to $43,320 for individuals and $29,326 to $88,200 for a family of four in Louisiana.
There were three other paths available for Congress to consider, including the public option, a single-payer system known as "Medicare for All,' and an employer mandate, an expansion of what is common among companies now. The individual mandate was chosen because it represents a combination of personal responsibility and community support, which allows and in fact encourages competition in the marketplace and avoided a direct mandate on businesses at a time of economic downturn.
I am proud of my work to make this law a reality. Its benefits are clear. It reduces the deficit by more than $1 trillion over 20 years, provides security to millions of middle class and low-income Americans who need and depend on affordable health care that now cannot be taken away, and over the long run, will improve health outcomes for our entire population.
Now that the Supreme Court has made this clear by its ruling, it is the obligation of the states to fully implement and expedite the Affordable Care Act."
Benefits of the Affordable Care Act in Louisiana
* No child in Louisiana can be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition.
* No citizen can be denied coverage because lifetime coverage limits have been outlawed.
* More than 53,000 young adults in our state between the ages of 18 and 26 gained coverage as a result of being able to remain on their parents' insurance plans.
* 275,000 Louisiana women now have access to free preventive services, including mammograms, bone density scans and cervical cancer screenings.
* Seniors in Louisiana have saved more than $53.8 million on prescription drug coverage.
* More than 60,000 small businesses in Louisiana are eligible for tax credits to make health coverage for their employees more affordable.
* More than 500,000 working adults in Louisiana will be covered by the expansion of Medicaid, reducing emergency room use and eliminating the uncompensated care that is draining resources from our hospitals, doctors and other providers.
* The national deficit will be reduced by over $1 trillion over 20 years, according to a nonpartisan analysis from the Congressional Budget Office.