The Other Supreme Court Ruling
Last week was an amazing week for Supreme Court watchers. Not only did the Supreme Court decide marriage equality, but it also decided another, remarkable decision in support of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which has been nicknamed Obamacare.
Earlier in the week, the Court decided that the federal government could provide tax subsidies to help the poor and middle class buy health insurance from the marketplace that the federal government runs, the marketplace that residents of the thirty-six states that have decided not to run their own markets must use for insurance coverage. This will help over 85% of the customers using these exchanges in these states to qualify for subsidies to buy health insurance. That is over six million people. Without these subsidies, most of these six million would not qualify for health insurance and the cancellation of their policies would lead to higher prices for everyone in those markets. Not to mention, six million people would not be able to be insured.
Not only does this make health care more affordable for the people of these states but the ruling endorses the larger purpose of the ACA. As Chief Justice Roberts stated, “Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not destroy them.” This is a great victory for the ACA, and for the availability of health insurance to those who want it, and need it.
- Laura Russell, Episcopal Network for Economic Justice