May 15, 2015, SEATTLE, Wash. — Today, the U.S. Supreme Court has supported, with a 6-3 vote, the federal government’s right to set up health insurance exchanges and subsidize individual health insurance premiums.
“Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them,” Chief Justice Roberts wrote in the majority opinion. “If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter.”
Because Washington State has a state-based health insurance exchange, the ruling does not affect Washington state residents directly. However, Washington’s hospital leaders are extremely pleased by the verdict.
“This decision ensures that millions of people in our country will be able to retain their health insurance—and thus, their access to basic health care. For too long, people have suffered and died from diseases and conditions that could have been treated and managed with health care. If we are to improve the health of our communities and build a sustainable health care system, access to affordable health insurance is a foundation,” said Cassie Sauer, Washington State Hospital Association senior vice president, advocacy and government affairs.
To read WSHA’s analysis of the case, sent to members before the ruling, visit: http://eepurl.com/bq0bZj.