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Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare

The Supreme Court rules in favor of Obama's health care plan—and 40 million addicts in the US are likely to benefit.

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Supporters of the bill convene at the capital.
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By May Wilkerson

06/28/12

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A landmark Supreme Court ruling today found in favor of Obama's health care law—a victory that may reap major benefits for the addiction community. There are an estimated 40 million addicts in the US today—but only 10% of those reportedly receive any treatment at all. With this ruling by the Supreme Court, this could soon change. Last month, The Fix reported that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)—or “Obamacare”—contains four provisions that will help make addiction treatment and prevention more accessible to Americans. First, and perhaps most significantly, the ACA will mandate health insurance to treat mental health and addiction comparably to other health conditions. Second, the law will allow parents to keep their kids on their health insurance up to the age of 26—an important tool in helping prevent and treat addiction since “almost everyone who develops an addiction to alcohol or tobacco or to other drugs does so in adolescence or in young adulthood,” says Stanford mental health expert Keith Humphreys. Third, the ACA will lift a ban that prevents some people from receiving health care if they have prior health conditions—this has created a barrier for many addicts seeking treatment. And finally, the act contains provisions geared towards targeting signs of addiction and substance abuse before it becomes full-blown—providing insurance for early intervention and treatment.

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