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Reaction by Internal Medicine Physicians to Supreme Court Opinion

American College of Physicians (ACP) Applauds SCOTUS for Upholding Subsidies

(Washington, June 25, 2015) The American College of Physicians - the nation's largest medical specialty society and second largest physician group - applauds today's opinion of the Supreme Court of the United States in the King versus Burwell case.

In an opinion issued today, the Supreme Court ruled that the premium subsidies created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which are essential to making coverage affordable to millions, will continue to be available in states where the federal government manages their health insurance marketplaces.

ACP President Dr. Wayne J. Riley, MPH, MBA,MACP said, "we are thrilled and gratified by the Court's ruling, which affirms that the citizens of all 50 states will have the opportunity to access either a state or federal exchange to obtain subsidies to purchase health insurance policies which benefits themselves, their families and loved ones."

In March, the College joined with other health advocacy organizations in an amicus brief urging the court to uphold the subsidies, because of the grave danger a ruling against them would pose for patient care and the health and well-being of all Americans.

Dr. Riley further added that "the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act of 2010 is now more than ever, the law of the land and we urge the Congress to work with this and future administrations to improve it in the years ahead."

To illustrate, had the Supreme Court ruled with the petitioners in King versus Burwell and overturned the subsidies, the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates 6.4 million people would have been in immediate danger of losing their premium tax credits, and subsidized enrollees would have seen a 287 percent average premium increase. The Urban Institute/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation estimates the number of uninsured would have increased by 8.2 million.

For many years, ACP has advocated for every American to have access to affordable coverage, knowing that uninsured people live sicker and die younger than those with insurance. By upholding the ACA's premium subsidies in all states, the Supreme Court decision will ensure continued coverage for many millions of Americans-and as a result, better health for them.

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The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include 141,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.

Contact: David Kinsman, (202) 261-4554
dkinsman@acponline.org