It’s official: PPACA’s subsidies are here to stay.
The Supreme Court ruled
6-3 Thursday that the subsidies are legal on the federal exchange, upholding a major tenet of the health care law that enables millions of Americans to keep the tax subsidies that help them buy and afford health coverage under the law.
The ruling was another major win for the administration, who had repeatedly defended an IRS rule that interpreted the law as allowing subsidies nationwide.
While the administration applauded the decision as a common sense ruling, reactions varied throughout the benefits industry. Here is a sampling of reactions to the King v. Burwell ruling.
Repeal hope is gone.
“This gives the government extreme confidence, in light of the overwhelming majority, to stop delaying other provisions, and perhaps expedite the delay of provisions already in a holding pattern. This will likely dash any hopes of a repeal.”
— David C. Contorno, CEO of Lake Norman Benefits and Benefits Selling’s 2015 Broker of the Year
Photo: Associated Press
“It doesn’t surprise me the court ruled in favor of the administration, showing they would take a politically liberal stand. As I predicted, the majority of justices are not inclined to upset the apple cart on PPACA.”
— Mark Roberts, a health and accident insurance agent in all 50 states
Important work ahead
Today’s decision is a victory for consumers who are eligible for tax credits. Now that SCOTUS is clear, we can focus on the important work ahead. There is so much still to be done on educating consumers on how to get affordable coverage, how to understand the coverage options, and simplifying the purchase process. There is still a persistent lack of information out there.
There are a couple of things I think consumers want from their insurer and from agents [in today’s healthcare market]. One is the best value for their money in terms of an insurance plan that is affordable and that has a good network of providers that meets their needs. They also want convenience and simplicity in working with their insurance company; we expect that of healthcare now, just as we expect that from other vendors. The role of brokers is important in being that educational source for consumers. Brokers will continue to ensure that consumers can get access to coverage. So much about insurance is still quite complex, and brokers play an important role.
—Sally Poblete, CEO, Wellthie
Image: Eliza Shirazi of Washington, a “college associate” with Fox Business, runs to report the Supreme Court opinions outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, Thursday June 25, 2015. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Focus on quality, cost.
“With the certainty provided by the Supreme Court’s decision, now is the time to focus on what matters most to consumers — ensuring access to affordable coverage and high-quality health care. Health plans will continue to lead in advancing this goal.”