Healthcare reform ruling may boost immunizations

The historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Thursday that upheld much of the 2010 healthcare reform law may give a major boost for immunizations and other preventive health services.

The 5-4 decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act's insurance mandate was praised by multiple medical groups, including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Trust for America's Health and the American Public Health Association. The preventive services provision of the ACA may help to grow immunizations on a national level, CIDRAP News reports.

"In certain areas of the country we already have a good immunization rate in patches, but this will make (immunizations) much more widely available for those without insurance and those who have high copays," Macaran Baird, the head of the University of Minnesota's Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, said, according to CIDRAP News.

The HIV Medicine Association also praised the ruling, adding that the ACA will improve HIV patients' health services.

"Today, fewer than 15 percent of people with HIV have private insurance coverage and at least a quarter are uninsured," Judith A. Aber, the chair of the HIV Medicine Association, said, according to CIDRAP News. "The ACA creates a level playing field for them and others with serious and chronic conditions by expanding Medicaid to all low-income individuals and creating regulated state-based exchanges for purchasing insurance. These provisions are made possible by the individual mandate and the other policies upheld today that are vital to offering the more than 50 percent of people with HIV not in care the opportunity to benefit from lifesaving HIV care and treatment."

The ruling allowed for almost all of the ACA's provisions to continue and several of the major provisions have already begun to take effect.