The following is a statement from Sr. Patricia Chappell, SNDdeN, Executive Director of Pax Christi USA, on the Supreme Court’s ruling regarding the Affordable Care Act.
The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is an important step toward the ultimate goal of achieving quality, affordable health care for all of our citizens. While the ACA is not a perfect piece of legislation, it has moved our society closer to asserting that healthcare is a basic human right and that everyone should have access to it, regardless of one’s ability to pay. We are encouraged by the fact that the ACA will lead to health care coverage for millions of Americans who have not previously been able to afford it or who fell outside of the social safety net provided by Medicaid and other government programs. But the Supreme Court’s decision is not the end of this struggle. We must continue to work for a healthcare system that recognizes the basic human dignity of every person and assures that our most vulnerable and impoverished citizens are cared for. This is central to who we are as people of faith, and it is a vision for our world to which the best of our religious traditions call us. The Court’s decision is a step in the right direction, but more work remains to be done. With this victory, let us pledge ourselves anew to work for a society that reflects our most deeply-held values.