Future Physicians Applaud Supreme Court’s Landmark Health Care Reform Decision; Disappointed Medicaid Expansion Not Mandatory

Sterling, VA—Today, the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Affordable Care Act, including the individual mandate, is constitutional. The American Medical Student Association (AMSA) commends this decision but laments the Court’s ruling allowing states to opt out of the expansion of Medicaid eligibility.

Although the Supreme Court ruled the overall legislation is constitutional, the Court held states that choose not to participate in Medicaid expansion may not be penalized. “Medicaid expansion is one of the most important parts of the law and, in light of this decision, it is essential that states embrace expansion,” says AMSA National President Elizabeth Wiley, MD, JD, MPH.

If fully implemented, Medicaid expansion would have provided coverage to 16 million more Americans by expanding eligibility to individuals up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level -- whether unemployed or the so-called working poor -- starting in January 2014. What remains to be seen is how many states will choose to opt out of expansion.

Research shows that future physicians support the Supreme Court’s decision. In a study released last year, “Healthcare Reform and the Next Generation: United States Medical Student Attitudes toward the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”, researchers found that four out of five medical students support the Affordable Care Act with almost 95 percent of students agreeing that the health care system needs reform.

For more than 60 years, AMSA has been fighting for a quality, affordable health care system that works for patients and physicians. AMSA believes the best solution to our health care crisis is a publicly financed, federally administered, privately delivered system of health care for all.

About the American Medical Student Association

AMSA is the oldest and largest independent association of physicians-in-training in the United States. Founded in 1950, AMSA is a student-governed, non-profit organization committed to representing the concerns of physicians-in-training. To learn more about AMSA, our strategic priorities, or joining the organization, please visit us online at

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Joshua Caulfield, IOM
Executive Director

Pete Thomson
Dir of Publications & TNP Editor
45610 Woodland Road - Suite 300
Sterling, Virginia 20166

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