Once again, the Supreme Court ruled this morning to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on a 6-3 vote in the King v. Burwell case, which challenged the subsidies available in the states that have federally facilitated marketplaces under the five-year old federal law. The case was based on four words of Section 1311 of the ACA, which argues (contrary to any literal and contextual reading of the law) that subsidies are only available to people in state-based exchanges.
ACA IS HERE TO STAY: Now that the Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act once again, we hope we can stop debating a five-year old law and discuss additional ways to reduce health costs and provide more health and financial security for American families. Californians never needed to worry, since our exchange is state-based, even as we were concerned about the impact on millions of Americans in other states. This ridiculous challenge should have never been taken, since it was based on a hyper-literal willful misreading of four words of the Affordable Care Act, going against virtually all evidence of Congressional intent and judicial precedents.
CALIFORNIA MOVING FORWARD: While this case attempted to rewrite history, California has been looking to the future in implementing and improving health reform. Previously the epicenter for the uninsured crisis in America, California have already cut our uninsured rate in half, and provided new consumer protections for million. In one of many efforts to not just implement and improve upon the Affordable Care Act, California just committed to cover all children regardless of immigration status. Pending bills would use the ACA as a platform to provide additional consumer protections against unfair out-of-pocket costs. California shows how we need to be discussing additional steps to provide health and financial security for all Americans, and not re-debating a five-year old law.