Requiring Basic Level of Health Care Coverage is Important for Healthy People and Communities

On Nov. 10, the United States Supreme Court is considering oral arguments in two cases related to the requirement that all Americans maintain health insurance coverage. The health impact of this straightforward governmental mandate is broad-reaching and should be maintained in the interest of protecting the health of Americans, advises Robert N. Golden, MD, Dean, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs.

“From both a medical and a public health perspective, it is vitally important that everyone has at least a basic level of health coverage and ready access to healthcare and preventive services,” Golden said. “This not only advances the well-being of individuals, it also serves the best interests of communities and our nation.”

Abandoning the requirement and potentially leading to loss of coverage for millions of people during the worst pandemic in over a century would be unconscionable, explains Golden. “Health care coverage during a pandemic is essential in addressing the needs of those who are stricken with illness, and abandoning the requirement could also put at risk those who are recovering from the acute phase of the illness and need ongoing treatment for persistent complications.”

“We hope the court allows the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to continue. This legislation brings coverage to millions of Americans and ensures all Americans, regardless of pre-existing conditions, have access to coverage and care,” said Golden.