Supreme Court Decision Opens Way For Potential Denial of Evidence-Based Health Care

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   
Monday, June 30, 2014

Statement attributable to:
Reid Blackwelder, MD
President
American Academy of Family Physicians

“The Supreme Court’s decision allowing companies to deny coverage for important health services sets a precedent that threatens the nation’s health. With this decision, the court has moved health care decisions out of the exam room where patients can consult with their physicians — and where such decisions should be made — and put them into the hands of business owners who base decisions on personal beliefs rather than medical science.

“Denying coverage of contraception for one’s employees sets a dangerous precedent. Potentially, the stage is set for denying coverage for any medical service that conflicts with a philosophy or particular creed. Such a profound change moves American medicine away from decisions based on scientific evidence and data about efficacy of a particular service or medication, toward a dangerous process based on ideological and personal belief systems that often choose to ignore the facts that go against the belief. This shift can have terrible consequences.

“Personal or institutional beliefs should not put Americans’ health and lives at risk, simply because employers control the insurance available to their workers. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court decision opens the gate for just such consequences.

“In the wake of this decision, we must work toward a national consensus on coverage for evidence-based medical care that improves the health and wellbeing of America’s workers.”

 

Editor's Note: To arrange an interview with Dr. Blackwelder, contact Leslie Champlin,
(800) 274-2237, Ext. 5224, or lchampli@aafp.org.

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