Press ReleasesJune 28, 2012
Statement: Supreme Court Health Care Decision Protects Angelenos Struggling With Poverty and Homelessness
LOS ANGELES — Public Counsel and its volunteers have worked for more than two decades to build healthy families in Los Angeles County through Public Counsel’s Connecting Angelenos to Resources and Essential Services program, or CARES. Public Counsel also represents and works with community-based health care clinics and treatment centers that provide front-line care to Los Angeles residents. This statement is from Will Watts, Public Counsel’s Director of Homelessness Prevention:
“The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will help all Americans to obtain health care that covers more and costs less. It is also good news for millions of Americans struggling with homelessness or poverty who can't afford to buy health insurance.
“The Supreme Court's ruling protects the ability of states and local governments to expand quality care to those least able to afford it. Programs such as Healthy Way LA, Los Angeles County's bridge to health-care reform for more than 100,000 individuals and families, are already having an impact in people's lives.
“Through Healthy Way LA, many Angelenos who for years depended on emergency rooms for basic health care needs or suffered in silence can now have a medical home. They will have what every American should have: a doctor who knows them and their family and a chance to prevent illnesses before they become life-threatening. The Supreme Court's decision strengthens Los Angeles' network of public health care and private clinics and will improve care and reduce costs for everyone who lives here.
“This decision comes at a critical time. The California Legislature’s vote yesterday to dismantle the Healthy Families program for 880,000 children shows states continue to struggle with balancing budgets and protecting health care for vulnerable families. State and local governments should use incentives in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to expand health care for those least able to afford it.
“We applaud the decision today on behalf of the hundreds of volunteers in Public Counsel CARES, the many community-based health care clinics we represent, and the thousands of Angelenos who we assist in becoming healthy families every day.”