PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Health insurance was preserved for millions of Americans Thursday when the Supreme Court upheld nationwide tax subsidies under Obamacare.
Along with the 8.7 million people who are able to receive healthcare under the Affordable Care Act, the decision was met with praise from many local leaders.
Below are the statements they released Thursday:Gov. Gina Raimondo:
“Everyone deserves access to quality, affordable health care – and today’s Supreme Court decision preserves the gains we’ve made across the country. In Rhode Island, we embraced the Affordable Care Act by creating our own state exchange. Last year, thousands of Rhode Islanders took advantage of almost $70 million in tax credits to gain the coverage they need to live healthy and productive lives. I applaud the Supreme Court for ensuring these benefits won’t be taken away from Americans across the country.”Elizabeth Roberts, Secretary of Executive Office of Health and Human Services:
“With partnership from the General Assembly, Rhode Island has established HealthSource RI to ensure all Rhode Islanders have access to affordable health coverage. We are proud to have a well-functioning exchange that meets the unique needs of our state’s population. Today’s Supreme Court decision guarantees that all Americans will have the same access to affordable healthcare that we had already secured in Rhode Island by taking quick action to establish a state level exchange. I agree with Chief Justice Roberts that the Affordable Care Act was designed to expand access to affordable health care and am proud to have worked with a diverse community of Rhode Islanders since 2011 to guarantee that here in our state.”HealthSource RI Director Anya Rader Wallack:
“Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court is a win for the millions of Americans who would have been affected by this decision. The loss of subsidies that have helped make health coverage affordable in those states using the federal exchange would likely be devastating. Fortunately, Rhode Island established its own state-based exchange, HealthSource RI-a move that, in the end, protected the state from this decision. This means the approximately 35,000 Rhode Islanders who have gained coverage through the exchange with the help of tax credits and cost sharing reductions, and others who may be eligible in the future, are secure in their coverage and remain unaffected by today’s decision.”Congressman David Cicilline:
“Access to affordable health care is a necessity for all Americans, and I am proud that President Obama’s historic health care reform law, which I strongly support, has been upheld by the Supreme Court – this decision ensures that nearly 15,000 Rhode Island seniors will continue to save on their prescription drug costs, more than 7,500 young adults in our state will be able to stay on their parents’ plans until they are 26, and insurance companies will not be able to deny coverage to as many as 54,000 Rhode Island children who live with pre-existing conditions.”
“Today, I’m especially mindful of folks like Rita Manley, a senior living in Central Falls who was recently diagnosed with cancer. This decision means that millions of people like Rita, if they get sick, will not be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition.”
“Now that our nation’s highest court has settled this debate, we should all work together to ensure that that this law is implemented so that it provides real benefits for American families.”U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse:
“Today, once again, the Supreme Court affirmed that the Affordable Care Act is here to stay. That’s good news for the millions of Americans who might have lost their insurance if the tax credits had been eliminated – and of course a relief for Republicans who for years sought the law’s repeal without ever once coming up with a serious plan to replace it. Now that these legal challenges are behind us, it’s time to recognize – and celebrate – three simple facts: one, the Affordable Care Act has helped more than 16 million Americans, including over 100,000 Rhode Islanders, gain affordable health insurance; two, seniors have saved big on prescriptions and with other benefits; and three, the ACA framework for reform has been taken up by Rhode Island doctors like Coastal Medical and the RI Primary Care Physicians Corporation to provide better care at lower cost. It is making a real difference in the lives of our fellow citizens, and I am proud to have worked on it.”U.S. Sen. Jack Reed:
“People’s access to affordable health care was on the line and I’m pleased the Supreme Court beat back another dubious legal assault on the Affordable Care Act. If this portion of the law had been overturned it would have been a real setback for millions of working families, businesses, and our health care system. It would have hurt our economy and essentially raised taxes on low- and moderate-income families in many communities.
“The Affordable Care is five years old and it is working in Rhode Island. Thanks to the law, thousands of Rhode Islanders are getting better health coverage at a better price and benefitting from stronger consumer protections. The ACA ensures parents can keep their kids on their insurance longer, makes prescription drugs more affordable for seniors, mandates that 80 percent of consumers’ premium dollars be spent on medical care and not on administrative costs or profit, and it means that being a woman no longer qualifies as a “pre-existing condition.”
“Governor Chafee and the General Assembly made the right decision and successfully built and launched a state-run exchange, and I commend Governor Raimondo for her leadership to continue that progress. Due to their efforts and provisions in the ACA, nearly 26,000 Rhode Islanders who purchased insurance on the exchange are eligible for $75 million in annual federal tax credits to help make health coverage more affordable.
“I am willing to work with my colleagues to make commonsense changes to mend or strengthen the law, but it is time Republicans stop cynically trying to end it. Congress needs to break the cycle of manufactured crises and work together so all Americans may have access to better, more efficient, and affordable health care.”Congressman Jim Langevin:
“Today’s Supreme Court decision in King v. Burwell is a victory for the millions of Americans who now have health insurance and access to quality health care thanks to the Affordable Care Act. The ruling preserves benefits for more than 6 million people across the country, reaffirming our commitment to supporting middle-class and low-income families that rely on tax subsidies to afford the health insurance that can make the difference between life and death. All Americans deserve access to health care, regardless of where they live.
“Despite repeated attacks and more than 50 attempts by House Republicans to repeal or undermine this landmark law, the Affordable Care Act is working. More than 16 million Americans have gained coverage thanks to the law, and the nation’s uninsured rate is at its lowest level ever. Moreover, we are seeing a slowed growth in health care costs, a sign that this law is successfully reforming health care in this country.
“I applaud the Supreme Court’s decision, and I hope it once and for all ends the unnecessary, costly battle against the Affordable Care Act and against the interests of the American people.”Congressman Joe Kennedy III:
“Today the Supreme Court reaffirmed a simple idea this country has spent generations fighting for: access to affordable health care is a right for all, not a privilege for the few. Tomorrow, the fight to expand access to care continues as we work to fully implement the Affordable Care Act, strengthen it even further, and bring coverage to the millions of Americans who remain out of this law’s reach due to their state’s refusal to expand Medicaid.”