‘Had the decision gone the other way millions of Americans would have seen their premiums rise by 500 percent’
By John Crabtree
The U.S. Supreme Court recently announced their decision upholding tax subsidies to help people purchase individual health insurance plans through a federal health insurance marketplace.
The Supreme Court made the right decision, preserving provisions of the Affordable Care Act that have been so crucial in providing access to more affordable health care coverage to millions of Americans.
The court focused on interpreting the intent of Congress to create a health insurance marketplace for every eligible American, either through state exchanges or a federal exchange. Incentives for low- and moderate-income families to help make their insurance coverage more affordable was part of that intent.
The decision protects the progress we have made as a nation in providing affordable health insurance coverage for the millions of Americans who were uninsured prior to passage of the Affordable Care Act – 6.5 million Americans received tax credits to make their health coverage more affordable as of this year.
Clearly the ACA’s health insurance marketplaces are working, making health insurance more affordable for families that use the marketplace. Those individuals would have seen their premiums increase by nearly 500 percent in the federal exchange states if the Supreme Court decision had gone the other way.
Now it’s time to get on with providing affordable healthcare coverage for everyone and finishing the job of expanding Medicaid for the nearly 4 million low-income uninsured adults who fall into the “coverage gap” resulting from state decisions not to expand Medicaid.
John Crabtree is with the Center for Rural Affairs, a non-profit organization working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and rural communities.