WASHINGTON, DC - Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) released the following statement applauding the Supreme Court’s ruling to uphold the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

 “The Supreme Court decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act care is a victory for every family, including the parents whose children would otherwise be without insurance. This is a victory for seniors who have saved more than $4 billion on their prescription drugs. In 2014, those with pre-existing conditions will no longer be discriminated against by health insurers. I am still reading the scope of the Court’s determinations, but the core concept is simple: America wins. Affordable health care is a right, not a privilege.

 “The Affordable Care Act is already paying dividends for millions of Americans including 25 million women who now have access to important preventive services such as mammograms, screenings for cervical cancer, prenatal care, flu and pneumonia shots, and regular well-baby and well-child visits all without co-pays or other charges.

 “Furthermore, starting in 2014, being a woman can no longer be treated as a pre-existing medical condition in the eyes of insurance companies. For example, insurers will be barred from denying coverage for those who have had cesarean sections, survived domestic violence, or who are pregnant. 

 “Nationwide, health insurers will no longer be able to charge women higher premiums than they charge men of the same age, including regularly charging female nonsmokers more than they would male smokers.  In short, today marks a turning point in America’s long struggle to make a dream into reality - the dream of affordable health coverage for every American. Work remains, but the goal line is in sight.

 “I also want to laud Chief Justice Roberts who has demonstrated that the Court can be fair and balanced. The Roberts Court has done far more to benefit America than to simply uphold a law.”