Washington, as one of the supporting states, moved ahead in preparation for the implementation of Supreme Court’s upholding Affordable Care Act (ACA).
“We’ve tried to ready ourselves on all fronts,” said Chris Gregoire, Governor of WA, at a news conference.
As a multilingual nonprofit health center located in Chinatown/International District, International Community Health Service (ICHS) has been assisting patients in need, consisting of immigrants, low income families, and nearby Asian community, for decades.
“The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is terrific news for our community and for ICHS,” said Teresita Batayola, chief executive of ICHS. “However, it is just the beginning.”
Batayola believes the next governor will have to lead up the implementation, especially to help low income people to get covered with Medicaid and to create affordable health insurance to all income levels.
Even in the beginning of the health care reform, some significant changes have already taken place.
“Young adults under 26 have been covered under their parents’ insurances, and this is important particular under the economic downturn,” said Brad Wong, Marketing Communications Specialist of ICHS.
Meanwhile, ICHS has received $500,000 funding under the ACA. Wong said that the funding will enable the clinic to improve their facilities, including their dental area by adding new chairs and equipment.
Many WA citizens appear to be in favor of the ruling’s passing, but some are still holding concerns regarding tax increase, individual mandate and the like.
“It provides security that everybody will be covered under Affordable Health Act. But in terms of the individual mandate and the consequence of the tax, I am not sure how they will work,” said Liu He Suan, a seventy-six-year-old patient in ICHS.
Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler said he is pleased that the ACA has passed and he will continue to focus on implementing the reforms from now until 2014.
“With the court decision out of the way, we can continue our focus on where it should be – bringing relief to families struggling to find quality, affordable health insurance,” Kreidler said in a press release.
Wong believes that the ACA will definitely benefit the minorities with language barrier where they can get better and more sufficient preventive care.
“People will be having an equal chance coming over here on a regular basis, which is particularly important for low income patients with language barrier,” he said. “For example, they don’t have to wait for the last minute to go to emergency room to get their teeth pulled off. Instead, they will get treated much earlier, which is beneficial health-wise and economic-wise.”
“Before then, not everybody has to get insurance immediately,” said Wong.
The ACA will be starting in 2014.