SAHM Statement on the Affordable Care Act Supreme Court Decision

June 28, 2012

“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court of the United States to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a victory for the health of adolescents. This historic law will improve and expand access to health care for millions of American adolescents. The Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM) commends the court for its ruling.

“The ACA is essential for adolescents, a priority population too often left behind in our health care system. Adolescents are among those least likely to have access to health care. They have the lowest rate of utilization for primary care services of any age group in the United States, despite being at risk for numerous health conditions.

“Already, three million young adults have gained health insurance coverage as a result of the ACA requirement that insurers offer dependent coverage up to age 26. The court’s ruling protects this provision. The opinion also preserves several other provisions to expand access to adolescents, including an expansion of the Medicaid program, new subsidies for insurance policies offered in state-based exchanges, and a ban on pre-existing medical condition exclusions. Also preserved are provisions that prohibit cost sharing for coverage of important preventive services for adolescents, including contraceptives.

“SAHM will continue to work in the coming months and years to ensure that the implementation of the ACA benefits all adolescents and those who care for them.”

Founded in 1968, the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine is a multidisciplinary organization committed to improving the physical and psychosocial health and well-being of all adolescents through advocacy, clinical care, health promotion, health service delivery, professional development and research.

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