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Government/Politics

Supreme Court Rules That Over 800,000 Texans Can Keep Their Obamacare Subsidies

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Ryan E. Poppe
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A Supreme Court decision that upholds portions of the Affordable Care Act has over 800 thousand Texans breathing a sigh of relief.   But the ruling also has conservative groups crying foul, stating that the Court has reinterpreted its role in government.

The question that Justices were asked was, “Whether the federal government had the authority to set up and award subsidies to working individuals in 36 states that refused to set up their own exchange?  This included Texas.  Robert Henneke is the Director of the Center for the American Future, a division of the conservative-leaning Texas Public Policy Foundation. Henneke says he’s shocked by the court’s ruling.

“The majority opinion recognizes that the Affordable Care Act did not say what now the administration, looking in retrospect, wished it had said or intended for it to say,” Henneke points out.

Henneke says in this opinion the court inserted itself into the role of Congress by re-writing the law to include the legitimacy of these federal insurance exchanges.  But that’s not how Stacey Pogue with the progressive Center for Public Policy Priorities interprets the judicial ruling.  She says insurance rates in Texas should remain low because of that ruling.

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Credit Ryan E. Poppe
Stacey Pogue, Center for Public Policy Priorities.

“The decision was whether they could continue to get financial help that connects them to coverage. But the fallout would’ve been bigger than just 832 Thousand Texans losing subsidies and losing coverage. It would’ve meant by the end of next year, 1.4 million Texans becoming uninsured because losing subsidies would mean pricing spiking in the individual market or anywhere if people buy insurance directly from an insurance company, not through their job,” Pogue explains.

She points out the impact in Bexar County alone would’ve meant the loss of insurance for over 60 thousand area residents.  Pogue says now that this case has been settled, it’s time for the State to find a solution to draw down federal dollars intended to expand Medicaid services to just over 1 million working Texans.

Governor Greg Abbott, working as the state’s attorney general at the time, filed one of the lawsuits challenging the Affordable Care Act.  Reacting to the ruling, Abbott writes, “Today’s action underscores why it is now more important than ever to ensure we elect a President who will repeal Obama care and enact real healthcare reforms.”