Supreme Court decision means health care access for Latinas
Today the Supreme Court of the United States affirmed the constitutionality of the historic Affordable Care Act (ACA). The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) applauds this decision as a significant victory for Latinas, who are more likely than other groups to face structural barriers that prevent them from accessing health care and preventive services.
“Latinas have historically faced a disproportionate number of barriers to basic health care, and we can now envision a future where those barriers begin to crumble,” said NLIRH executive director Jessica González-Rojas. “Everyone has a fundamental right to quality, affordable health care. Today’s Supreme Court decision is an important step toward making that right a reality.”
Since it took effect, the ACA has already helped more than 736,000 young Latino/as retain health care coverage under their parents’ plans until they reach the age of 26 and has eliminated discrimination by health insurers against children with pre-existing conditions. In the coming months and years, ACA provisions will expand access to life-saving cervical cancer screenings and other preventive health services, increase support for community health centers and increase Medicaid coverage. Beginning in August, the ACA also provides access to contraception without expensive co-pays, ensuring that every woman can plan the timing and spacing of her children.
“The Affordable Care Act is a breakthrough in access to health care for Latinas,” said González-Rojas. “Today’s Supreme Court decision ensures that Latinas can make the healthiest decisions for themselves and their families.”
While the gains achieved in the ACA are a step in the right direction, much work remains to be done. The law leaves many immigrants without access to essential care. In addition, opponents of expanded health care access continue to launch attacks on numerous benefits included in the law, particularly on the provision for contraception without co-pays. The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health will continue to advocate for solutions that close these gaps in health care.