Thursday, June 25, 2015

Supreme Court upholds health insurance subsidies

Posted By on Thu, Jun 25, 2015 at 11:00 AM

In a 6-3 decision released this morning, the Supreme Court upheld federal subsidies for insurance plans purchased through its exchanges.

Vox has a good summary of the case, King v. Burwell, and some analysis of the decision's impacts. In short, the case had the potential to eliminate a key provision of Obamacare, which was aimed at making insurance more affordable in states that didn't set up their own exchanges. It hinged on disputed language in the Affordable Care Act, which Congress passed in 2010.

House Representative Louise Slaughter, who has been a vocal supporter of the Affordable Care Act, released this statement on the ruling: 

“The Supreme Court’s opinion is a victory for our healthcare system, and a victory for the millions of Americans who have health coverage thanks to subsidies in the Affordable Care Act. Our nation’s health law has expanded health coverage to 16.4 million Americans who were previously uninsured, regardless of where in the country they live or the size of their paycheck.

“The heart of the Affordable Care Act was to protect the health of American families and expand insurance access to the people who need it most. I am so very glad that the Court affirmed the clear intent of the statute, and that we will not go back to the days when health insurance was an unaffordable luxury, or when a catastrophic health event could send families into bankruptcy.

“I am proud that my home state of New York has set a gold standard with our state-based insurance marketplace. I am also pleased that the 6 million residents of those 34 states which chose to have exchanges facilitated by the federal government can now rest assured that their premiums will not suddenly skyrocket, and force those Americans to choose between medical care and financial stability.

“In 2009, I brought the Affordable Care Act to the floor of the House of Representatives as Chairwoman of the Rules Committee, and I have been proud to stand by it as law. The Affordable Care Act is working. We have seen incredible strides in our healthcare system in just a few years with free preventive care, record-high levels of insured Americans, coverage for those who had been previously denied due to a pre-existing condition, and the end of gender rating where women paid more for the same coverage as men.

“Republicans in Congress have tried again and again and again to destroy a law that is helping so many Americans, but it’s time to move on. The Supreme Court has again given the Affordable Care Act clearance to keep working, and there is even more we can and should do to expand its benefits to every single American. I will do all I can to continue building upon the Affordable Care Act's success.”

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