Harris County Democratic Party
Supreme Court Upholds Health Care in Victory for President Obama & All Americans
The Harris County Democratic Party cheers President Barack Obama and his administration in its second straight landmark victory in the Supreme Court of the United States. Following the triumph over discrimination in Arizona v. US, the president scored for millions of middle-class, working families and small businesses restoring security in their health coverage.
The Supreme Court upheld President Obama’s signature legislative achievement, the Affordable Care Act, in a 5-4 decision effectively securing health coverage to 34 million Americans who prior to its passage in 2009, had no access. It also guarantees that no one will be denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition. Young adults can stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26, which since the law has been in effect, 2.5 million have gained coverage. Small businesses are eligible for a tax credit that will cover 50% of their premium costs for health care.
No place in country was the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act more crucial than right here in the greater Houston area. Nearly half of Harris County’s Latino population is uninsured, more than any other group. 1 in 5 area women received no prenatal care during their pregnancies. Both groups cite high cost as the No. 1 reason they lack health insurance.
This was a hard fought victory that did not begin at the steps of the Supreme Court, but at the kitchen table when families had to choose between paying their medical bills or their mortgage. This fight began when the Republican Party decided gut Medicare, and when they decided to cut off low-income women from their only source of basic health care at Planned Parenthood. This fight began when Americans, who previously thought they were safe in their employer-based coverage, started getting dropped due to the skyrocketing health insurance costs to businesses.
The fight did not begin at the Supreme Court, nor did it end there. Already the forces of the Republican Party are rallying to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They have declared that intent if they are successful in taking Congress and the White House this fall.
The Democratic Party will continue to push for universal health care for all Americans, because at its essence, health care is a basic human necessity. As the late great Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy said, “this is the cause of my life — new hope that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American — north, south, east, west, young, old — will have decent, quality health care as a fundamental right and not a privilege.”