Thursday, June 25, 2015

Women Applaud Supreme Court Decision in ACA

NEW YORK (PR) - Today, the Supreme Court announced its decision in King v. Burwell to uphold the Affordable Care Act’s provision of federal tax credits, or “subsidies,” which help offset health insurance premium costs for low and middle-income Americans. The removal of these subsidies would have placed insurance coverage out of reach for millions of low-income and middle-income individuals. 

National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum Executive Director Miriam Yeung issued the following statement in response:  

“The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) applauds today’s Supreme Court decision, which will continue meaningful access to health care for many Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women. At NAPAWF, we have long supported and celebrated the health equity provided by the Affordable Care Act and today’s decision is aligned with justice for our communities. However, though NAPAWF is celebrating today, many AAPI and immigrant women still face barriers to accessing the health care they need. We will continue our work to ensure access to culturally and linguistically competent quality health care for all AAPI women and families.”

Chief Justice Roberts delivered the opinion of the Court. (Excerpt)

“The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act adopts a series of interlocking reforms designed to expand coverage in the individual health insurance market. First, the Act bars insurers from taking a person’s health into account when deciding whether to sell health insurance or how much to charge. 

“Second, the Act generally requires each person to maintain insurance coverage or make a payment
to the Internal Revenue Service. And third, the Act gives tax credits to certain people to make insurance more affordable.

“In addition to those reforms, the Act requires the creation of an “Exchange” in each State—basically, a marketplace that allows people to compare and purchase insurance plans. The Act gives each State the opportunity to establish its own Exchange, but provides that the Federal Government will establish the Exchange if the State does not.

This case is about whether the Act’s interlocking re-forms apply equally in each State no matter who establishes the State’s Exchange. Specifically, the question presented is whether the Act’s tax credits are available in States that have a Federal Exchange. 

“In a democracy, the power to make the law rests with those chosen by the people. Our role is more confined—“to say what the law is.” Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch 137, 177 (1803). That is easier in some cases than in others.

“But in every case we must respect the role of the Legislature, and take care not to undo what it has done. A fair reading of legislation demands a fair understanding of the legislative plan.

“Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them. If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter. Section 36B can fairly be read consistent with what we see as Congress’s plan, and that is the reading we adopt.

The judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit is Affirmed.”

Justice Scalia, Justice Thomas and Justice Alito join the dissenting judgement. 

Up to two million Latinas retain access to affordable health coverage

WASHINGTON, DC (PR) - Today, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) applauds the Supreme Court decision confirming that premium tax credits were intended by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to help consumers in every state afford health insurance, and protecting access to affordable health coverage for millions of women and Latino/as in states with federally facilitated marketplaces.

Jessica González-Rojas, executive director of NLIRH, issued the following statement:

“The Supreme Court has confirmed what we already knew: Premium tax credits were intended to help people in every state afford health coverage. Thanks to this ruling, hundreds of thousands of Latinas will retain their health insurance, and up to two million will retain the opportunity to access affordable coverage, now and in the future.

“Before the Affordable Care Act, more than 1 in 3 Latinas had no health insurance at all, and millions of others struggled with overpriced coverage and inadequate care. Thanks to the gains of the ACA, more Latinas than ever have access to quality, affordable care, and we will not stop until that promise is fulfilled. Latinas will not go back.”

Hospital Association

Statement from Georgia Hospital Association President and CEO Earl Rogers on King vs. Burwell Decision:

The Georgia hospital community is extremely pleased with today’s Supreme Court decision to uphold the federal subsidies.  Georgia has the second highest percentage of uninsured people in the country and disallowing the subsidies would have jeopardized current health coverage for more than 400,000 state residents, making a bad public health problem much worse.

This decision gives these Georgians peace of mind that they will continue to have access to vital health care services without the fear of an unexpected medical condition resulting in financial disaster.

Today’s ruling also allows Georgia policy makers to focus their efforts on a solution to ensure health care coverage for the hundreds of thousands of Georgians who remain uninsured.   Data shows that people with health insurance are healthier and are more likely to seek preventive care and avoid chronic, expensive health conditions that everyone ultimately pays for.

In short, an insured population is a more productive population and will make our state an even better place to live.

GHA and the entire Georgia hospital community look forward to being part of this critical discussion.  
Earl Rogers
President and CEO
Georgia Hospital Association

$274 Average in Tax Credit for Georgians

Dante McKay, Georgia State Director of Enroll America, issued the following statement regarding today's Supreme Court ruling on King v. Burwell, which affirmed that financial assistance will continue to be available to millions of Americans in federally-facilitated marketplace states:

“Today’s decision from the Supreme Court is a victory for the more than 412,000 Georgians who receive financial help to pay for their coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. In fact, 91% of Marketplace enrollees in Georgia receive these tax credits, and the average tax credit in Georgia is $274 per month. After finally being able to access quality, affordable health coverage, these consumers can now be certain that the promise of that coverage remains there for them and that they can get the care they need.

“Consumers should know that nothing has changed; financial help to pay for their plans will be available. And for those who remain uninsured, they should know that financial help for health insurance is available and here to stay. We and our partners here in Georgia are hard at work preparing for the next open enrollment period when we plan to get even more Georgians covered. Although we’ve always felt confident about the outcome of this case, it’s a relief to finally be able to move past these arguments and continue our work making sure Georgians know about the health insurance options available to them.”


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