Press Releases

American College of Rheumatology Official Statement on King vs. Burwell Ruling

ATLANTA, Ga. – The American College of Rheumatology watched as the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Affordable Care Act subsidies in thirty‐four states. The law has expanded access to patients with rheumatic disease by eliminating pre‐existing conditions and allowing children to stay on their parents insurance until they are 26 years old. Sadly, many patients with rheumatic diseases are still unable to afford the breakthrough treatments needed to avoid disability due to expensive out‐of‐ pocket costs they incur under the “specialty tier” pricing systems health insurers have adopted.

Under specialty tiers, patients who rely on these medications are required to pay a percentage of the drug cost instead of a fixed payment. This results in an average monthly copay of $500 – $5,000 for patients who rely on newer medications like biologics, to treat their condition.

In the spirit of continuing to expand access to care, the ACR is encouraging lawmakers to support the Patients’ Access to Treatment Act (H.R. 1600). This Act limits patients’ cost‐sharing requirements for specialty tier drugs; reduces financial burden for patients; increases their access to life‐saving treatments; and allows patients to lead functional lives and remain in the workforce.  

The American College of Rheumatology is committed to accessible, high‐quality care and will continue to work with Congress and regulatory agencies to protect the interests of rheumatology professionals and ensure sufficient access for their patients.

Jocelyn Givens
404-633‐3777 ext. 810


The American College of Rheumatology is an international medical society representing over 9,400 rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals with a mission to Advance Rheumatology! In doing so, the ACR offers education, research, advocacy and practice management support to help its members continue their innovative work and provide quality patient care. Rheumatologists are experts in the diagnosis, management and treatment of more than 100 different types of arthritis and rheumatic diseases. For more information, visit

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