Reactions to King v. Burwell ruling
Posted June 25, 2015
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a challenge to subsidies for people who bought insurance plans through the HealthCare.gov online exchange set up by the federal government. The 6-3 ruling in King v. Burwell means that thousands of North Carolinians won't lose the tax credits they received to offset part or all of the cost of their monthly premiums.
Following are some reactions to the decision:
"Today’s Supreme Court decision confirms that the Affordable Care Act’s tax credits are available to all eligible Americans no matter where they live. Americans in all 50 states and the District of Columbia can continue to rely on the security and peace of mind that come with affordable, quality health care coverage.
"Over 6 million Americans and their families will sleep easier knowing they will still be able to afford health coverage. Millions more won’t have to worry about an upward spiral in their premiums because of today’s decision, even if they didn’t buy their insurance through the Marketplace, and the law’s financial assistance will be available in the next open enrollment so that others can benefit as well.
"The Affordable Care Act is working to improve access, affordability and quality."
— U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell
“Regardless of today’s decision by the Supreme Court, the fact remains that Obamacare is not working for the American people. While the Court may have ruled on the issue of subsidies in the federal exchanges, this fundamentally flawed law continues to speak for itself in the form of broken promises, government mandates and double-digit premium increases. Obamacare must be repealed and replaced with health care reforms that expand access to quality and affordable health care by empowering individuals in their health care decisions—not Washington bureaucrats.”
— U.S. Sen. Richard Burr
“The President’s health care law has been fundamentally flawed from the beginning, causing premiums to skyrocket and forcing millions of hard-working Americans to lose the very same health insurance plans they were promised they could keep. Regardless of the Supreme Court’s ruling today, the President’s health care law is beyond repair, and I remain committed to finding and implementing a solution. Both parties need to come together to fix our broken health care system once and for all by making it more affordable, accountable and patient-focused and giving families more freedom and choice when it comes to making decisions that work best for them.”
— U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis
“Today’s decision from the Supreme Court is truly regrettable, as it further institutionalizes the President’s fundamentally damaged health care law. It is disappointing to see the Supreme Court prop up this floundering law yet again. Having served as a nurse and cared for the sick, I understand how vital it is that every American has access to affordable and high-quality health care. However, Obamacare has shown us time and time again – at the public’s expense – that its policy is inadequate and unaffordable for the American people.”
— 2nd District Congresswoman Renee Ellmers
“I am glad that the Supreme Court has once again confirmed what we already knew – the Affordable Care Act stands on solid legal ground. We finally have the unfounded legal challenges behind us, and we can focus on continuing to effectively implement the law’s reforms and making progress toward ensuring access to health care for millions of previously-uninsured Americans.”
— 4th District Congressman David Price
“The Supreme Court’s decision does not change that Obamacare is a drain on the economy, and millions of Americans continue to see their insurance premiums and deductibles skyrocketing. Obamacare continues to increase health care costs while also harming access to quality care, especially for our seniors. I will continue to fight for patient-centered solutions that put individuals and families back in charge of their health care decisions.”
— 7th District Congressman David Rouzer
"If the court had ruled that North Carolinians are ineligible for subsidies to help them pay for their health insurance, there would have been chaos in our market. This ruling provides more stability for policyholders and the insurance industry, and I am relieved that hundreds of thousands of people in our state will not lose their coverage."
— North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin
"The Affordable Care Act has forced many North Carolinians to pay higher premiums, has limited personal choice of doctors and coverage and has cornered businesses of all shapes and sizes. Today’s Supreme Court ruling is disappointing but does not change the fact that this flawed policy is doing more harm than good for our State.
"This week, the House passed the 2015 Medicaid Modernization Act in an effort to transition the government-run program to patient-centered, provider-led health care. This reform will allow the State to fully fund enrollment growth and eliminate wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars. Medicaid Reform, not expansion, will remain the priority, and today’s Court ruling will not directly impact North Carolina’s final decision.”
— North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore
“Today’s decision from the Supreme Court is a victory for the 458,000 North Carolinians who receive financial help to pay for their coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. In fact, 93 percent of Marketplace enrollees in North Carolina receive these tax credits, and the average tax credit in North Carolina is $316 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 North Carolina are hard at work preparing for the next open enrollment period, when we plan to get even more North Carolinians 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 divisive arguments and continue our work making sure North Carolinians know about the health insurance options available to them.”
— Sorien Schmidt, North Carolina director for Get Covered America
“Health care consumers and insurers nationwide should not see any changes as a result of today’s Supreme Court decision. The Court’s decision essentially allows consumers in states with federally-run Health Insurance Marketplaces to continue receiving federal tax subsidies through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to offset the costs of monthly health insurance premiums.
“With the uncertainty of this Supreme Court decision behind us, we will remain focused on finding ways to control health care costs and helping North Carolinians prepare for the next annual open enrollment period, which begins Nov. 1.”
— Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina
"In the last five years, we have been pleased that more people have health insurance coverage protecting them in case of injury or illness and hope this trend will continue unabated with the Supreme Court’s decision. As recent opinion polls show, the public agrees no working person should have to sacrifice food on the table for medical care.
"No legislation is perfect, especially one as far-reaching as the Affordable Care Act. We will strive to retain the positive aspects of the law and fix what is broken on behalf of our members and their patients. As the oldest and largest physician association in the state, today representing more than 12,500 physicians and physician assistants, we are committed to continuously improving our health care system’s quality, efficiency and patient service for the people of North Carolina."
— Robert Seligson, chief executive of the North Carolina Medical Society
"We are gratified by the Supreme Court’s ruling today in the King v. Burwell case, as it means health insurance for more than 6 million Americans across 34 states is secure. In North Carolina, more than 400,000 people receive much needed financial help to make health insurance more affordable, and the decision today means consumers will maintain access to these tax credits.
"State leaders should now present a plan to extend the benefit of affordable health insurance to the 500,000 individuals and families left in the Medicaid gap. University researchers estimate that closing this coverage gap would create 43,000 jobs in North Carolina, boost tax revenues for local governments, and stabilize rural health care.
— Adam Linker, co-director of the N.C. Justice Center's Health Access Coalition
"Because Gov. McCrory and the General Assembly have refused to expand Medicaid for more than two years, thousands of people in North Carolina have died or have not had access to necessary screenings, medications or treatments. Their refusal amounts to a modern-day form of Interposition and Nullification.
"Following the U.S. Supreme Court's second vindication of the Affordable Care Act, there remains no question that it is time for Gov. Pat McCrory, Senate leader Phil Berger, Speaker Tim Moore and the rest of the General Assembly to do what is right and expand Medicaid in North Carolina. The Affordable Care Act is here to stay and North Carolina should take advantage of this increased access to healthcare for those who otherwise cannot afford it."
— Rev. William Barber, North Carolina president of the NAACP
“At a time when affordable health care premiums continue to be a major concern for small-business owners, today’s ruling comes as a relief to the millions of mom-and-pop business owners across the country who are complying with the individual mandate requirement but happen to live in a state who declined to establish a state-based exchanges. Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court validates the clear intent of Congress, which was to ensure premium assistance was made available to all Americans, regardless of where they purchased their health care.
“It’s our hope that, after today’s decision, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle move forward and get to work to address the problems that still exist with the new health care law. From providing the self-employed with increased affordability through enhanced coverage tiers to misinterpretation of the applicability of the use of health reimbursement accounts and the calculation of premium assistance, there is still a lot of work left undone.”
— Katie Vlietstra, vice president for government relations and public affairs for the National Association for the Self-Employed