Savannah, Georgia – June 25, 2015
by Ian Margol, WSAV-TV
Link to newscast here.
A major victory for the Affordable Care Act; in a 6-3 vote Thursday the Supreme Court upheld nationwide federal tax subsidies under the healthcare law.
It’s the second time in three years that the high court denied a legal challenge that could have halted the program.
But what does the ACA decision mean for you?
Georgia and South Carolina are 2 of 34 states that use a federal marketplace to allow us the purchase of healthcare.
If the decision had gone the other way, anyone who lives in one of those states and needed a tax credit to help them afford their healthcare – would have lost access to those tax credits, potentially stripping them of their health insurance.
“More than 400,000 Georgians probably wouldn’t have been able to afford health insurance,” said Health Access Program Director at Georgia Watch Beth Stephens. “The tax credits were designed to make it easier for people to be able to obtain health insurance.”
But some say the decision is steering our health care system in the wrong direction.
The American’s for Prosperity Georgia group says more federal government oversight will only make things worse.
“The solution’s not just putting an insurance card in everyone’s pocket that has all of these erroneous rules coming down from Washington D.C.,” said state director of Americans for Prosperity Georgia Michael Harden. “We need to get as close to the patient as possible and make sure that the decisions are benefiting these folks and their communities and families.”
To qualify for a tax credit under the ACA, a family must fall within 100%-400% of the federal poverty level; meaning for a typical family of three, the household income would fall somewhere between $20,000-$80,000.
It’s a big win for the Obama administration. In a 6 to 3 decision the Supreme Court ruled that the Affordable Care Act authorized federal tax credits for eligible Americans living not only in states with their own exchanges but also in the 34 states with federal exchanges.
The ruling means that states will not have to scramble to set up their own health care exchanges in order to keep millions from losing healthcare coverage.