Yesterday, in the highest court ruling yet, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that last year’s health reform law is constitutional and should remain in place. The law allows more people to be covered by Medicaid, provides subsidies to help people buy health insurance, gives young adults the opportunity to stay on a parent’s health insurance plan until the age of 26, and stops insurers from discriminating against people with preexisting conditions. Ultimately, the law provide millions of people with access to quality, affordable health care.
This was a court’s biggest vote of confidence yet for health reform. All of the other rulings have come from lower courts, and many people dismissed the rulings as biased by party politics. But this ruling was from judges appointed by Republicans and Democrats and shows that the benefits of health reform can survive legal challenges no matter who sits on the bench.
Health reform’s fight through the legal system isn’t over, though. Even with all of its benefits, the law has been challenged by 27 states in courts across the country. There are three more appeals court decisions coming soon, and we’ll be closely watching new rulings on the law. Most people think health reform is headed for the Supreme Court, possibly as early as next year. Hopefully the Supreme Court justices will also see how important this law is and will uphold the ruling of the 6th Circuit.