Durbin Statement on Supreme Court Decision Upholding the Affordable Care Act

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today after the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act:


“In one of the most closely followed decisions in its history, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that President Obama’s Affordable Care Act was clearly constitutional.”


“This decision means that we can move forward to address the unsustainable increase in health care costs and expand the protection of health insurance coverage to over 30 million Americans – including millions in Illinois.”


“Those who opposed any change in the law and dismissed the constitutionality of this measure were rejected by the actions of Congress and the opinion of the Chief Justice.”


“It is also noteworthy that after two controversial, activist decisions in Bush v. Gore and Citizens United, the Chief Justice, in both the Arizona immigration law and the Affordable Care Act cases, appears to be working to reestablish the political neutrality of this court. That is a positive development.”


The Affordable Care Act has impacted the lives of millions of families across Illinois. From helping seniors save on their prescription drug costs, to young adults being able to stay on their parents’ insurance, to making preventive services like cancer screenings more accessible, the law addressed some of the most glaring gaps in America’s health care system. Our health care system and our economy are better off today as a direct result of this important law.


  • $210 billion: Amount by which the Affordable Care Act will reduce the deficit over the next 10 years. The bill is projected to save over $1 trillion in the second decade.
  • $278 million: Amount saved by over 228,000 businesses nationwide through small business tax credits to help manage health insurance costs.
  • $155 million: Amount Illinois seniors and individuals living with disabilities have saved on prescription drugs. During the first five months of 2012, 26,000 people with Medicare in Illinois saved over $16 million on prescription drugs in the “donut hole” coverage gap for an average of $636 in savings this year.
  • $61 million: Total amount the approximately 300,000 Illinois residents received from “Medical Loss Ratio” rebates. The law requires insurance companies to spend at least 80 cents of every premium dollar on medical care –rather than advertising, overhead, and executive compensation.  
  • $31 million: Amount Illinois and Illinois based organizations have received to support preventative care programs such as: tobacco cessation, HIV/AIDS prevention, and promoting the public health workforce.
  • 4.6 million: Number of individuals in Illinois, including 1.2 million children protected from insurance companies imposing lifetime dollar limits on health benefits.
  • 2.5 million: Number of young adults who have been able to stay on their parents’ insurance plan until age 26, including 102,000 young people in Illinois, who otherwise might have no insurance at all.
  • 1.3 million: Number of people on Medicare in Illinois who have received free preventive services. The Affordable Care Act made a major improvement to Medicare by making preventive health services, such as mammograms and cholesterol screening, available to beneficiaries with at no cost. The law also allowed 2.3 million people with private health insurance in Illinois to receive preventive care at no cost to them.
  • 2,200: Illinoisans are enrolled in Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan program. The Affordable Care Act created the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan program. The program makes health insurance available to Americans denied coverage by private insurance companies because of a pre-existing condition.