WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against a legal challenge to President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare legislation today and upheld the eligibility and dispense of subsidies for health insurance in more than 30 states.
Challengers said that the subsidies many individuals receive to help pay for their health insurance through the exchanges established by the Affordable Care Act should only be available to people enrolled in state-established exchanges. Those challengers contended that in states like Missouri — where lawmakers declined establishing an exchange — subsidies for healthcare should not be available.
The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in favor of the ACA.
Missouri politicos on both sides of the aisle weighed in on the decision:
“Today’s ruling is good news for hundreds of thousands of working Missourians who will continue to have access to affordable health coverage through the federal exchange. However, it is important to note that there are hundreds of thousands more Missourians who continue to be denied access to affordable health care due to the Missouri legislature’s inaction on Medicaid. Today’s ruling by the Roberts Court to uphold the Affordable Care Act a second time removes all doubt that the ACA is and will remain the law of the land. There are no more excuses for continuing to send our tax dollars to other states and denying 300,000 working Missourians the opportunity to access affordable health care coverage through Medicaid expansion. I look forward to working with the General Assembly next session to finally bring our tax dollars home and provide affordable health coverage to hundreds of thousands of hard-working Missourians through Medicaid expansion.” – Gov. Jay Nixon
“The Affordable Care Act has succeeded at adding hundreds of thousands of Missourians to the rolls of the insured, and continues to reduce costs. But its effect on Missouri’s economy could be even more beneficial. Studies have estimated it could create up to 24,000 jobs in our state and generate billions in labor income. This is why Republicans like Kit Bond and business groups like the Chamber of Commerce support Medicaid expansion. Today’s ruling was a positive step forward. The subsidies are an important part of building our health care infrastructure and providing affordable care to low- and middle-income families. I hope our state legislature will now see the economic value in Medicaid expansion and bring Missouri’s tax dollars back to our state.” – Attorney General Chris Koster
“I am very gratified that the high court has upheld this essential funding mechanism for the Affordable Care Act, landmark legislation which I helped shape, that is now working well for over 16 million Americans. The ACA is now the settled law of the land. And the endless, politically motivated attempts to weaken or overturn it must end. Now is the time to fully implement the law, especially in states like Missouri where the state legislature continues to throw away $5.4 million a day in federal funds that taxpayers have already sent to Washington by refusing to expand Medicaid under the ACA.” – U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay
“For more than five years, I’ve heard from countless Missouri workers, seniors, and families who are facing higher costs and fewer choices due to the president’s health care takeover. And Missourians recently learned more bad news when the Obama Administration announced premium rate increases for our state in 2016 of up to 34 percent. This law has been one false promise after another. First, the president promised people if they liked their health care, they could keep it. He insisted that not having coverage would result in a penalty, not a tax, and he promised affordable health care to millions of Americans who now find they cannot afford it. While I’m disappointed that the Court didn’t ultimately accept what the law actually said, I’ll keep fighting to protect Missourians from the president’s flawed health care plan and replace it with a patient-centered system that lowers costs, increases choices, and provides greater access to quality care.” – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt
“The health insurance discounts available to consumers with qualifying incomes have finally made health insurance affordable for millions of Americans who had gone without coverage for years. Today, the Court did the right thing by upholding these discounts for the families who have come to rely on them. We encourage Missourians who have not yet visited the Health Insurance Marketplace for affordable health insurance to do so when Open Enrollment begins again this fall.”– Jen Bersdale, Missouri Health Care for All
“I strongly disagree with today’s ruling, but it does not change my resolve to fully repeal Obamacare. The president’s health care law has led to higher costs, fewer jobs, and tremendous uncertainty for families and small businesses. What’s worse, Obamacare takes healthcare decisions out of the hands of patients and doctors and leaves them up to bureaucrats in Washington. Regardless of the outcome of this ruling, I will continue working to replace Obamacare with patient-centered, free market reforms that protect Americans from this harmful law.”– U.S. Rep. Sam Graves