Lung Association: Supreme Court Decision Upholding Affordable Care Act is Good News for those with Lung Disease

(July 5, 2012)

The American Lung Association of the Northeast praised the United States Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act, stressing that the court’s decision will benefit millions of Americans with asthma, COPD, lung cancer and other lung diseases. In addition to ensuring that young adults with asthma and other conditions may remain on their parents’ insurance, the Affordable Care Act makes certain that seniors save millions of dollars on their prescription drugs, and many more smokers have access to treatments that can help them quit.

“Our mission is to save lives by preventing lung disease and improving lung health,” said Jeff Seyler, president and CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast.  “The Supreme Court’s decision upholding this law is vitally important to the health and wellness of those living with debilitating lung diseases here in the Northeast and throughout the country.”

Seyler said the court’s decision will mean that most people who couldn’t get health insurance before the passage of the Affordable Care Act will now be able to since coverage denials for pre-existing conditions are prohibited under the law.   It also means that coverage can’t be taken away from people when they get sick. What’s more, insurance companies are no longer allowed to limit the amount of money they will spend on a patient during his or her lifetime.  When limits are allowed, patients with serious diseases like lung cancer can sometimes meet these limits and be denied further coverage for that condition.

The Lung Association also noted that the Affordable Care Act stresses important prevention measures by offering people with Medicare the option of having an annual, free wellness visit focused on health promotion, including tobacco cessation when necessary. Smoking continues to be a major contributor to lung disease and the leading cause of preventable death in the nation.

“The bottom line is that the Affordable Care Act will benefit the treatment and prevention of lung disease,” said Seyler.  “A sick person fighting lung disease needs to be focused on getting well, not worrying about whether their health coverage will be dropped or if they’ll be able to afford the next round of medication they need.  The Affordable Care Act will reduce the burden of lung disease and save lives.”

To learn more about the 10 lung health benefits of the Affordable Care Act, visit the Lung Association’s website at