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Press Release: NETWORK’s Executive Director and U.S. Catholic Sisters Sign Amicus Brief to Supreme Court Supporting Medicaid Expansion

February 28, 2012                                                                           

CONTACT: Stephanie Niedringhaus, 202-347-9797 x224,

Washington: Sister Simone Campbell, NETWORK’s Executive Director, took a leadership role in organizing the distribution and signing of an amicus brief concerning Medicaid expansion, which was just filed in the U.S. Supreme Court. NETWORK’s involvement came out of NETWORK’s decades-long advocacy for healthcare access for all people, especially those at the economic margins. As part of this history, NETWORK played a significant role in the passing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, and Sister Campbell was invited by President Obama to be present during the celebration following his signing it into law.

The amicus brief was filed in the Supreme Court in support of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (State of Florida et al. v. United States Department of Health and Human Services). The question concerned expansion of Medicaid eligibility under the ACA so that certain people with incomes up to 133% of the federal poverty level would be covered as of 2014. By passing the ACA, Congress responded to the national problem of millions of people unable to purchase health insurance or receive healthcare services, and expanding Medicaid in this way answered an urgent need.

The signers included Catholic Sisters in leadership positions from religious congregations across the U.S. (A complete list is included at the end of the brief.) As noted in the brief, the work of these Sisters includes serving those without access to affordable healthcare. They submitted the brief “to explain how the Medicaid expansion helps to resolve this problem and therefore serves the general welfare of the United States. Amici’s work with the uninsured compels their conclusion that the Medicaid expansion will greatly improve the lives of millions of Americans—and their relatives and communities—by providing them with access to quality healthcare.”