June 25, 2015
Contact: Lynne Ide, Director of Program & Policy 860-215-0206
Today the Supreme Court upheld a measure of the Affordable Care Act that allows states without health insurance marketplaces to keep federal subsidies. Today's decision means millions of American families have continued access to affordable health care coverage.
"This ruling is on the right side of history," said Frances G. Padilla, Foundation President. "It sends a clear message that we will not return to a day when people chose not to have health insurance because they couldn't afford it."
At the heart of the King v. Burwell case was a challenge to the use of federal tax credits to subsidize the cost of premiums in states where governors chose not to establish their own health insurance exchanges and whose residents instead got insurance through the federal exchange. The use of the word “state” in the Affordable Care Act law was used to make the case that the legislation intended to subsidize coverage only in states that established their own exchanges.
A decision in the other direction would have eliminated subsides for millions of Americans who rely on them to pay for health care insurance. According to FamiliesUSA, “in the second open enrollment period [in 2015], around 7.5 million people in the federally facilitated states received premium tax credits. All of these individuals would [eventually] lose their tax credits, and most of them would not be able to afford health insurance.”
Although Connecticut has its own health insurance exchange, a decision against subsidies on the federal exchange would have signaled the unraveling of the Affordable Care Act and Connecticut would not have been spared its effects. "The latest distraction to the goal of transforming the health care system was struck down," Padilla added, "we will aggressively continue the work."
The Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut serves as a catalyst that engages residents and communities in shaping a health system that provides universal access to quality health care and promotes health in Connecticut. We believe that health care is a fundamental right and that our work is part of a broader movement for social and economic justice.