After months of uncertainty, the U.S. Supreme Court today announced its decision on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA). The Court ruled that the law is constitutional by a 5-4 vote.
H. Stephen Lieber, CAE, HIMSS President and CEO, stated that, “HIMSS, like the rest of the country, is relieved that questions about the healthcare reform law have now been settled and the nation can move forward with the essential work of transforming healthcare in America. Health information technology is critical to the ongoing transformation in our nation.”
As the Chicago-based HIMSS has emphasized in the past, while there are many potential implications for health IT in the ACA, the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records Incentive Program was never in jeopardy regardless of the outcome of this case; that program was authorized by the HITECH Act, which was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, and not ACA, which was separate legislation passed in 2010.
Dave Roberts, MPA, FHIMSS, HIMSS Vice President, Government Relations, said, “Now that the uncertainty around ACA has been settled, it is critical that we continue the momentum to transform healthcare, including the use of information technology.”
Roberts continued, “We are pleased that congressional support for nationwide adoption of health IT on both sides of the aisle remains strong, and has been unaffected by the debate on the healthcare reform law. Despite differences of opinion on the Healthcare Reform Law, members of both parties in Congress recognize the need to transform healthcare in this country, and the important role health IT will play in that transformation. We anticipate that the benefits of health IT will continue to receive bipartisan support as our nation establishes the infrastructure necessary for improving patient care and take strides to enhance the cost effectiveness of care delivery in the U.S.”
The Supreme Court decision in the ACA case is posted on the Court’s website. HIMSS offers several resources on the case, including a Fact Sheet and a July 12th webinar.