WASHINGTON—The National Health Law Program (NHeLP) issued the following statement following today’s oral arguments before the Supreme Court in King v. Burwell, the case challenging the availability of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) tax credits in federal health insurance Marketplaces.
“Today’s arguments demonstrate how politically driven this attack on the Affordable Care Act is, and how divorced the challengers are from the lives of people relying on the health care made possible because of the law,” said Elizabeth G. Taylor, NHeLP executive director.
“The health and well-being of nine million people hang in the balance in this case,” added Jane Perkins, NHeLP legal director. “Taking away the health care that they have finally been able to afford will only make our country sicker and our health care cost more.”
NHeLP, in partnership with AARP, filed an amicus brief in King supporting the availability of the ACA’s tax credits in all Marketplaces. The brief focuses on the importance of the ACA to pre-Medicare older adults, and details how the availability of tax credits is crucial to achieving the ACA’s mission of providing near-universal health care coverage. In passing the ACA, Congress sought to advance this purpose by coupling coverage expansions with key private insurance reforms and financial assistance to encourage people to purchase coverage and promote a diverse pool of insured persons. The premium tax credits were designed to make it possible for individuals to participate in the individual health insurance market. Limiting financial assistance only to plans offered in state-run Marketplaces, as the challengers in King argue, is contrary to the text and structure of the ACA and Congress’ express purpose.
NHeLP is committed to full implementation of the ACA and has supported and defended the law since its passage, including filing a number of amicus briefs in the federal courts.