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For Immediate Release: June 28, 2012

Supreme Court Ruling Provides Tremendous Benefit to Sonoma County

Santa Rosa, CA – (June 28, 2012) The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a profound step toward ensuring everyone in the Country has access to health care. Not only does this decision expand access, it also ensures that mental health and substance use services are emphasized and covered in parity with physical health.

Board of Supervisors Chair, Shirlee Zane heralded the decision saying “Today, the Supreme Court assured 60,000 more people in Sonoma County will have health care insurance and access to care which will move us toward becoming the healthiest county in California by 2020.”

Sonoma County’s Health Officer, Dr. Lynn Silver-Chalfin agreed, adding “Today’s decision is a step forward towards a healthier nation. Fewer people will die, fall ill, or lose their homes because the lack health insurance.”

Even before this decision, the County has actively engaged with local, regional, and state partners to plan for achieving the goal of health care reform – increased access, decreased costs, and improved quality. Sonoma County Health Services has been actively working with our partners in the local health system to integrate primary and clinic care, embracing the National Prevention Strategy which recognizes the importance of preventative services and investing in local communities to keep people healthy.

“The opportunity for lasting health care reform is now a reality, including a strong focus on prevention and keeping people healthy” said Director of Sonoma County Health Services, Rita Scardaci.“In Sonoma County health care providers, community organizations and individuals have been working collaboratively to revision our health care systemin preparation for this decision.”

Sonoma County’s Behavior Health Director, Michael Kennedy, noted “therecognition of parity for mental health and substance use disorder treatmentis a huge benefit for our community.”

The Supreme Court’s decision affirms Sonoma County’s ongoing reform efforts, and will open the door for local communities to improve the access and quality of care, along with efforts to address systemic issues that impact community health – like education, transportation, and the environment.

The County will continue to provide leadership and support implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Collaborating with partners throughout the community to ensure the increase demand for services can be met. While the full impact of the increase has not yet been determined, we are committed to doing all we can to promote access to quality health care for all Sonoma County residents.

Contact Information

Director of Health Services
Public Health Division
Sonoma County Department of Health Services
County of Sonoma
(707) 565-4700 Work