"No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions." --Thomas Jefferson to John Tyler, 1804.

Supreme Court and the ACA (I)

Two posts here on the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”); one on Oregon and Washington, the other (to follow) on Idaho, these two areas living in separate worlds on the subject.

Oregon and Washington each have been moving actively on a track to try to change and, officials hope, improve the health care system in their states. How successful they will be we will know only a few years from now, but the effort at least is being made. And these haven’t been entirely partisan affairs; much of the Oregon health program, in particular, has gotten significant Republican as well as Democratic support.

Many of those efforts in both states have had some reliance on passage and enactment of the ACA, so you can sense some real relief in the governor’s offices (among other places) in these states.

From Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, who may have been moving more aggressively on health reform than any other governor the country:

And a statement from Washington Governor Chris Gregoire:

“I applaud today’s Supreme Court decision. Since the Affordable Care Act was signed by the President, we have worked tirelessly to implement it in our state, with my firm belief that it was constitutional and would ultimately withstand legal challenge. I’m extremely pleased that the majority of the Court agreed on the merits of the law highlighted in the briefs that I and others submitted on its behalf.

“The real winners today, however, are the millions of Americans and Washingtonians who have and will now continue to benefit from this Act. Among them are more than 50,000 young adults in our state who have gained insurance coverage through their parents’ plan, our more than 60,000 seniors who’ve annually received assistance to purchase needed prescription drugs, and the millions here that are no longer subject to unfair practices by insurance companies. And with this cloud of legal uncertainty removed, I look forward to the day not long from now when more than 800,000 people in our state will be able to use our Health Benefit Exchange to get the health insurance that they need but currently must go without.”

Both states are far from done on the work in the area, but the decision today will probably give them a boost to accelerate their efforts.

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