Once again, the Supreme Court has rejected a partisan attempt to undermine the health protections provided by the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. As a result of today’s decision in King v. Burwell, 13 million Americans in 34 states across the country can go to bed tonight knowing that they will wake up tomorrow insured and able to take care of their family’s medical needs.
Opponents of Obamacare have tried since its passage to repeal, dismantle and erode this landmark bill. In King v. Burwell, a group of conservative lawyers cherry-picked one phrase in an attempt to argue that Congress did not mean to provide tax credits to all eligible households. A ruling in favor of Obamacare’s detractors would have eliminated nearly $30 billion in subsidies to 13 million residents of the 34 states that use federally-run exchanges. According to a recent study by Avalere Health, premiums in these states would have increased by an average of 255%. Meanwhile, nine states would see premium increases of more than 300%, including Florida and North Carolina. Alaska and Mississippi would see the largest increases, at about 449% and 774% respectively.
Today’s Supreme Court decision means that these 13 million Americans, and millions more in the years to come, can continue to receive assistance. The Supreme Court quite rightfully rejected the tortured argument before it and, instead, looked at the entire law and relied on clear congressional intent.
The court’s ruling today is a huge victory. Now it is time that the Republicans in Congress and their allies stop their constant assaults on a law that is clearly working. People across the country are healthier — and lives are being saved because of Obamacare. Parents know that their children can never be turned down because they were born with a disability and can never outlive their benefits. Women know that they cannot be charged higher premiums because of their gender, and that maternity coverage will always be included. And all Americans know that they can get preventive services without cost sharing, so that they can catch any problems when they are treatable. What’s more, health care spending growth has fallen to the lowest rate on record, and health care price inflation is at the lowest rate in 50 years. As a result, for the first time in more than a decade, the share of Americans who report having trouble paying their medical bills has dropped.
The U.S. Supreme Court has now acted twice to uphold Obamacare. It is time to end the baseless lawsuits and ceaseless attacks and votes in Congress. It’s time to let the law work.