WASHINGTON—In a decision that further solidifies the Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court today ruled that the law’s financial help in the form of tax credits and subsidies is available in all Marketplaces, regardless of whether the Marketplace is state- or federally run.
“Today’s ruling is a vindication of the Affordable Care Act, which has been subjected to countless attacks in the courts and in Congress,” said Elizabeth G. Taylor, NHeLP executive director. “The Court’s analysis—applying settled principles of statutory construction to find that the statutory scheme includes tax subsidies on all Exchanges—means that this issue is decided once and for all. The Affordable Care Act is here to stay. We now have the ability to fulfill the promise of the Affordable Care Act and ensure those in our community get the coverage they need and keep it.”
Thirty-four states, with about 75 percent of the people nationwide who qualify for premium subsidies, depend on the federal Marketplace.
“More than eight million Americans can now breathe a sigh of relief knowing that the law—not ideology—carried the day,” said Jane Perkins, NHeLP legal director. “Now let’s get back to work. There are 21 states where low-income people could be insured under the Medicaid expansion, but politics are standing in the way of that care. It’s time to put health before politics.”
NHeLP, in partnership with AARP, filed an amicus brief in King v. Burwell supporting the availability of the ACA’s tax credits in all Marketplaces. The brief focused 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 argued, is contrary to the text and structure of the ACA and Congress’ express purpose.
NHeLP has supported and defended the ACA since its passage, including filing a number of amicus briefs in the federal courts.
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