(Note: This post will be updated with reactions from Tennessee advocates, organizations and elected officials throughout the day)
The United States Supreme Court has ruled that the Obama administration’s interpretation and implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is close enough for government work.
Writing for the court’s 6-3 majority, Chief Justice John Roberts acknowledged that the plain wording of the ACA relating to whether or not participants in federal health insurance exchanges should receive subsidy tax credits “is properly viewed as ambiguous.”
But despite the ambiguity, the court concluded that the Internal Revenue Service validly interpreted the law when it deemed that all Americans are potentially eligible for the coverage subsidies, regardless of whether they are enrolled in state- or federally run exchanges.
An estimated 6.4 million Americans will hence get to keep their subsidies if they obtained government-approved medical insurance through Healthcare.gov.
“In a democracy, the power to make the law rests with those chosen by the people. Our role is more confined — ‘to say what the law is’,” wrote Roberts, citing the seminal Marbury v. Madison case, an early 19th Century Supreme Court opinion that’s generally regarded as the cornerstone of judicial review. “That is easier in some cases than in others. But in every case we must respect the role of the Legislature, and take care not to undo what it has done. A fair reading of legislation demands a fair understanding of the legislative plan.”
Roberts concluded that the Democratically controlled Congress that passed the Affordable Care Act did so “to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them.”
“If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter,” continued Roberts, who back in 2012 provided the swing vote in favor of upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act’s individual insurance mandate.
In the King v. Burwell opinion released Thursday, Roberts concluded that, taken in the context of the whole law, the disputed provision of the ACA that seems to grant subsidies only for participants of state-run exchanges can in fact “fairly be read consistent with what we see as Congress’s plan, and that is the reading we adopt.”
Critics of the Affordable Care Act, which became law in March of 2010, argued that the phrasing of the ACA clearly indicates health-insurance subsidies should be available only to participants of health insurance exchanges “established by the State” — and by extension, not the federal government’s exchanges.
During congressional debate over Obamacare, it was anticipated that most if not all states would create their own online exchanges for citizens to purchase subsidized insurance. In fact, though, only 13 states now run their own exchange “marketplace” websites for individual health insurance coverage.
Tennessee is among the 18 states that have left creation of an exchange entirely to the federal government. In total, 36 exchanges are administered in some capacity by the federal government under the Affordable Care Act.
In a derisively worded dissent joined by conservative justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia wrote that the court’s majority had essentially added words to the statute, and in so doing expanded the scope of the law beyond its established limits.
“The Court holds that when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act says ‘Exchange established by the State’ it means ‘Exchange established by the State or the Federal Government’,” declared Scalia. “That is of course quite absurd, and the Court’s 21 pages of explanation make it no less so.”
Later in his dissent, Scalia wrote:
“Words no longer have meaning if an Exchange that is not established by a State is ‘established by the State.’ It is hard to come up with a clearer way to limit tax credits to state Exchanges than to use the words ‘established by the State.’ And it is hard to come up with a reason to include the words ‘by the State’ other than the purpose of limiting credits to state Exchanges.”
In the majority’s opinion, Chief Justice Roberts wrote that “the meaning of the phrase ‘an Exchange established by the State under (the ACA)’ may seem plain” on its own. But such a reading is “untenable” when weighed against the entirety of the law.
“In this instance, the context and structure of the Act compel us to depart from what would otherwise be the most natural reading of the pertinent statutory phrase,” wrote Roberts.
Below are some reactions to the Supreme Court’s ruling from Tennessee politicians and organizations:
Press release from the Democratic Party of Tennessee:
Nashville, Tenn. (June 25, 2015) — Tennessee Democratic Party Chair Mary Mancini released the following statement after the Supreme Court’s ruling on King v.Burwell regarding the Affordable Care Act:
“We are relieved for the nearly 200,000 Tennesseans who will continue to have access to affordable health care. It’s clear that the Supreme Court justices did the right thing in looking at the intent of the law rather than siding with a twisted interpretation of individual phrases.
The Affordable Care Act has saved lives and will continue help build a healthier America. The TNDP will continue to work to ensure every Tennessean has access to affordable health care, especially those in the “insurance gap” left by the Republican failure to pass Insure TN. For Democrats, the fight for strong families and effective government is not over, even with this ruling.”
Press release from the Republican Party of Tennessee:
NASHVILLE, Tenn.–Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Ryan Haynes released the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s decision in King v. Burwell:
“ObamaCare was created, passed, and implemented on a party-line basis. Democrats essentially shoved this down the throats of Americans and it is disheartening to see the Court develop another avenue to keep this hurtful law alive. Individuals and businesses are struggling under this law. Republicans are going to continue offering solutions to actually drive health care costs down and make quality health care accessible once again—which is the exact opposite of what Americans have gotten under this flawed law.”
Statement from U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee:
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 25 – Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement on the Supreme Court’s decision in King v. Burwell:
“It’s unfortunate that the Supreme Court didn’t read the law the way that Congress wrote it. The 36 percent increase in some individual health care rates announced recently should remind Tennesseans that Obamacare was an historic mistake. It gave Americans higher health care costs while reducing our choices of health plans, doctors and hospitals. Republicans are ready to reduce the cost of health care so more people can afford it, put patients back in charge, and restore freedom and choice to the health care market.”
Statement from U.S. Sen Bob Corker, R-Tennessee:
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) released the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s decision on King v. Burwell.
“Today’s ruling affirms that it is up to Congress to come together around a responsible solution that provides relief from the damaging effects of the president’s health care law, including policies to provide far greater choice in the marketplace so affordable plans that meet the actual needs of Tennesseans can openly and effectively compete for their business,” said Corker.
Corker voted against passage of the health care law and has voted for legislation to repeal it.
Statement from U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tennessee 1st District:
WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN) released the following statement on the King v. Burwell Supreme Court ruling:
“The president’s health care bill is so deeply flawed it cannot be fixed, and today’s ruling does not change that fact. Folks around the country are still struggling because of ObamaCare, and I will continue the fight to bring certainty to the American health care system and to transition away from this monstrosity to a patient-centered, market-based health care system.”
Statement from U.S. Rep. John Duncan, R-Tennessee 2nd District:
“The President and his supporters assured us many times that Obamacare would save the average family $2,500 a year. Instead, most people have seen their premiums and other health care costs go way up. Unfortunately, this ruling leaves Obamacare in place and preserves the status quo of rising prices and a declining quality of medical care for everyone. The only way to really bring costs down and make health care affordable for all is to go totally in the opposite direction away from government-run health care.”
Statement from U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tennessee 3rd District:
Fleischmann Agrees Supreme Court’s Ruling is Absurd
This morning, the Supreme Court released its ruling on King v. Burwell, upholding that subsidies are allowed in the federal marketplace despite language in Obamacare explicitly stating otherwise. After the decision, Rep. Fleischmann released the following statement.
“I agree with Justice Scalia that this decision is ‘quite absurd.’ While I am disappointed in the Supreme Court’s ruling, the decision today confirmed what we have said all along: Obamacare is a poorly written law that was not read by the Members of Congress who passed it. Although this is a setback, it is by no means the end of our fight. I will continue to work to repeal Obamacare and replace it with true free market healthcare reform that benefits hardworking families and businesses in East Tennessee.”
Press Release from U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tennessee 4th District:
Congressman Scott DesJarlais, M.D. (TN-04) released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court of the United States’ decision in King v. Burwell upholding tax subsidies issued by federally run exchanges:
“I am terribly disappointed in the Supreme Court’s ruling. As I have said from the beginning, this issue goes well beyond the Affordable Care Act and to the very heart of our constitutional separation of powers. The Supreme Court has further expanded executive power to the point where the White House now believes it has the ability to unilaterally change laws – a power exclusively reserved for Congress. Though subsidies have been preserved for less than 5 percent of individuals, it does not change the fact that the vast majority of Tennesseans will continue to face unaffordable premiums and deductibles, which are set to increase by double-digits next year. That is why it is imperative we continue in our efforts to repeal this law and replace it with patient-centered solutions that meet the needs of Tennessee seniors, small business owners, and middle-class families.”
Statement from U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tennessee 5th District:
Cooper Praises Supreme Court’s Health Care Ruling;
Says state must take next step and pass Insure Tennessee
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-5) today praised the Supreme Court for preserving federal subsidies that help an estimated 6.4 million Americans – including nearly 200,000 Tennesseans – pay for health insurance.
Cooper celebrated the ruling’s implications not only for those with federal subsidies, but also the insurance market and the preservation of benefits in the Affordable Care Act. For instance, health care insurers can no longer deny people for pre-existing conditions, and young adults can stay on a parent’s insurance plan until they turn 26.
Cooper also noted that the ruling removes a stated obstacle for passing Insure Tennessee.
“Tennessee legislators said they were waiting for the ruling,” Cooper said. “We now have it. They should finish the job and provide protection for all Tennesseans by passing Insure Tennessee.”
On Monday, Cooper will join a coalition of state and community leaders for a press conference on what’s next after today’s positive ruling.
Statement from U.S. Rep Diane Black, R-Tennessee 6th District:
Washington, DC– Today Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06), a nurse for more than 40 years and member of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, released the following statement on the Supreme Court’s decision in King vs. Burwell:
“Today’s irresponsible Supreme Court decision does not change the fact that Obamacare is a fundamentally broken law that has failed to deliver on its most basic promises,” said Congressman Diane Black. “I am deeply disappointed that the court shirked its duty as a coequal branch of government by not acting to hold this President accountable for following his own laws, but my resolve to erase Obamacare remains stronger than ever. After today, one thing is certain: if this disastrous law is to be stopped, it will require strong leadership from Congress. We as conservatives must redouble our efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare. That is what Americans voted for at the ballot box last November and that is what they expect from us today.”
Press Release from U.S. Rep Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee 7th District:
Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), who serves as Vice Chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee, issued the following statement expressing her disappointment with the Supreme Court’s decision in King v. Burwell.
“While today’s Supreme Court ruling in King v. Burwell is extremely disappointing, it does not change the fact that Obamacare is broken and was passed based on a series of deliberately misleading promises,” Blackburn said. “The president’s health care law has led to higher costs with even higher costs coming. The law has failed to provide affordable healthcare to Americans. It is nothing more than a broken promise – an insurance card but not actual health care. The law is fundamentally flawed, and the court’s decision does not change our resolve to repeal it and replace it with patient-centered solutions that will increase access to affordable healthcare for all Americans. Much like TennCare, Obamacare will have to be fixed by the next Administration.”
Press Release from U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher, R-Tennessee 8th District:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Stephen Fincher (TN-08) released the following statement after the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the President’s healthcare law in the case of King v. Burwell:
“Today’s ruling does not change the fact that Obamacare is still harmful to many Americans,” said Congressman Fincher. “Millions have been faced with higher premiums, lost coverage, reduced paychecks, and many other damaging side effects. My Republican colleagues and I remain committed to repealing this unworkable law and giving the American people what they asked for all along – real solutions that increase people’s access to quality and affordable healthcare.”
King v. Burwell was a case brought before the Court by David King against Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Secretary, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, over subsidies used to purchase health insurance on federally established exchanges. King argued that, as written, Obamacare only provides for tax subsidies to individuals if they purchase health insurance through an “Exchange established by the State.” The Court upheld Secretary Burwell’s argument, allowing citizens of states without a state based exchange to utilize federal subsidies to purchase health insurance.
Statement from U.S. Rep Steve Cohen, D-Tennessee 9th District:
WASHINGTON, DC] – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) issued the following statement reacting to the Supreme Court’s King v. Burwell ruling that upheld the health insurance subsidies provided to millions of Americans through the Affordable Care Act:
“This ruling affirms that the subsidies provided by the Affordable Care Act to our citizens are legal,” said Congressman Cohen. “I am pleased the Supreme Court has reaffirmed the law which is working and making health coverage affordable for millions of Americans, including more than 230,000 Tennesseans who are receiving an average of $213 each month through the law. I hope that this ruling will help the nation to see that the Affordable Care Act is a federal law that is keeping Americans healthy and alive, and that it is here to stay. I also remain hopeful that the Tennessee General Assembly will finally act to expand Medicaid so that our citizens can access the same benefits of the law that residents of other states do.”
“Number one, I’m surprised,I thought they would rule the other way.
“Number two, I’m disappointed in the sense that I really did think this would be an opportunity to fix some things in the law that were broken.
“Third, though, I am pleased for those folks who have insurance subsidies now and for the insurance companies that have a more predictable environment to operate in.
“So while philosophically I did not agree with the ruling, in terms of the smoothness of the market and people being able to obtain insurance in a predictable way, it’s good.”
Statement from Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville:
The Supreme Court today provided mere short-term relief to a long-term problem. While the Supreme Court decision will not result in millions losing their health coverage immediately, it is clear to everyone that deep and fundamental flaws in the law remain. I look forward to 2016 and electing a president who can appropriately assess the damage and chart a course away from Obamacare.
Statement from Tennessee House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh, D-Ripley:
No more excuses on Insure Tennessee
Nashville, TN: House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh released the following statement on the Supreme Court decision in King v. Burwell:
“Regardless of your feelings about the Affordable Care Act, one of the most conservative courts in the history of this country has ruled–again–that it is the law of the land. There are no more excuses for this legislature or its leadership to ignore the 300,000 working men and women waiting on health care. We have work to do. It is my hope that the Governor and our speakers will call legislators back to Nashville immediately to work on passing Insure Tennessee.”
Statement from Tennessee Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman Jeff Yarbro of Nashville:
Supreme Court decision means 155,000 Tennesseans can keep their insurance, and one less excuse not to pass Insure Tennessee
The United States Supreme Court rejected another challenge to the Affordable Care Act today. That’s great news for two reasons.
First, Tennesseans can continue to receive tax credits and cost assistance when they purchase health insurance on the federal exchange. More than 155,000 individuals and families use that help to pay for their coverage.
Second, now that it is clear that the Affordable Care Act will continue to be the law of the land, there is a much better chance of passing Insure Tennessee.
Opposition to Insure Tennessee has always been part of a national effort to overturn the ACA. In fact, the leaders of the opposition to Insure Tennessee signed onto a brief urging the Supreme Court to gut the law. Now that we know the law will survive, we can hopefully do what is right for Tennessee.
- Will we continue to force over 250,000 to go without insurance?
- Will we continue to reject the infusion of $1 billion into the Tennessee economy — without one additional penny of taxes on Tennesseans?
- Will we continue to put Tennessee hospitals and the jobs of our health care workers in jeopardy?
- Will we continue to force doctors and hospitals to provide uncompensated care to the uninsured and pass those costs along to everyone else who has insurance?
We all understand that there is opposition to the ACA. But today’s decision confirms that it will continue to be the law. And it’s increasingly unlikely that Congress will repeal it. Repeal in part or in full has been proposed and rejected more than 50 times.
Study after study demonstrates that states that have expanded Medicaid have seen significant budget savings, revenue gains, and made greater health coverage gains while saving money.
You can rest assured that some opponents will find a new excuse to oppose Insure Tennessee. It’s like a bad game of whack-a-mole. Some will say that now we should wait until a new President is inaugurated – 19 months from now. But serious people should recognize that continuing to oppose the expansion of health coverage in Tennessee at this point isn’t remotely what’s in the best interest of Tennessee.
No more excuses. Contact our legislators and let them know it’s time to get serious about Insure Tennessee.
Press Release from the Republican Caucus of the Tennessee House of Representatives:
Below are statements from House Republican leadership following today’s King V. Burwell decision by the United States Supreme Court:
“The Supreme Court’s decision is both surprising and disappointing. However, there will be no interruption for Tennesseans who have insurance through the federal exchange and no major disruption to the state’s insurance marketplace. The Supreme Court’s ruling shows the Affordable Care Act is a federal program, and this gives the U.S. Congress the opportunity to address the significant problems with the law. With Tennessee’s TennCare waiver up for renewal next year, I hope HHS will be in a different posture to consider additional flexibility for our state Medicaid program and will consider block grants.” — Speaker Beth Harwell (R–Nashville)
“Obviously, I am disappointed with today’s Supreme Court ruling. ObamaCare has been a failed law from the start, and it is unfortunate that it has survived another legal challenge. I am hopeful that our elected officials in Washington will take action to repeal this law and replace it with something that will be beneficial for all citizens.” — Majority Leader Gerald McCormick (R–Chattanooga)
“As the Speaker stated, this decision from the Supreme Court is both surprising and disappointing. Now, more than ever, it is time for us to stand firm and tell Congress that it needs to clean up its own mess. ObamaCare is Washington’s problem and it needs to be repealed by Washington. Here in Tennessee, we will continue our fight against federal government mandates in our personal lives as we look for additional ways to protect our state from this flawed law.” — Caucus Chairman Glen Casada (R–Thompson Station)
Tweets from Senate Minority Leader Lee Harris, D-Memphis:
“I’m glad the Supreme Court rendered a ruling that preserves health insurance subsidies that hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans rely on.”
“Now that the SCOTUS has ruled, there are few excuses for not bringing Insure Tennessee for a debate and vote on the floor.”
Tweet from State Sen. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown:
“For the 2nd time, the Sup Ct has rewritten ACA to uphold it. It will take the new Congress & a new pres to repeal the flawed ObamaCare law.”
Statement from State Rep. Bryan Terry, R-Murfreesboro:
“The Supreme Court has saved Obamacare yet again. In this ruling, they have given the IRS the power to rewrite laws passed by Congress. Absolutely ridiculous, not to mention dangerous.”
Statement from State Rep. John Ray Clemmons, D-Nashville:
“The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled on King v. Burwell, and budget deficit arguments, as well as other reasons for opposition, have proven baseless. No more excuses – we must act now on Insure Tennessee. Further delay is harmful and inexcusable. While the Governor and the majority in the state legislature sit on their hands quixotically awaiting political winds to change, hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans continue to needlessly suffer without access to affordable healthcare. Thousands of Tennessee families sit around their dinner tables praying this week’s paycheck will not be their last. Dozens of hospitals across the state remain in budgetary limbo doing whatever it takes to keep their doors open.
As elected officials, we have a duty to serve all the people of Tennessee. Let us not forget that this is a duty each of us voluntarily placed upon our own shoulders. The inexcusable failure to act immediately and effectively on this issue constitutes a breach of our public duty, and those responsible for this failure should be held accountable.”
Obamacare Subsidies Upheld by Supreme Court
Today, the Supreme Court determined that the IRS’s interpretation of the subsidy provision of the Affordable Care Act was lawful. Even though the plain wording of the Act provides that tax subsidies are available only for individuals who enroll “through an Exchange established by the State,” the IRS interpreted this provision to apply equally to states like Tennessee, where the federal government operates the exchange.
This decision underscores the need to continue working to make healthcare more affordable, effective, and protected from the arbitrary decisions of the IRS. It also means that thousands of small businesses and low-income Tennesseans who opt out of purchasing insurance will continue to be penalized by fines stemming from the individual and employer mandates—a scenario that could have been prevented if the Court had overturned the IRS rule.
Beacon CEO and attorney Justin Owen stated, “Despite the ruling today, we must find ways to make healthcare more accessible to all Tennesseans. Allowing the IRS to change the law to apply subsidies and penalties in states with no exchange means that the true cost of healthcare will continue to be disguised from consumers and shifted to someone else.”
Owen went on to note, “Obamacare has been proven to be unaffordable, unworkable, and unfair. We should not invite further consequences of this already failing law into our state by expanding Medicaid. Instead we should focus on real solutions that will help all Tennesseans obtain quality healthcare and the insurance plan they like. Examples include repealing the costly insurance mandate for all Americans, expanding charity care, embracing innovations such as telemedicine, and reforming the existing Medicaid program for those truly in need.”
Statement by Walter Davis, Executive Director of the Tennessee Health Care Campaign:
The Supreme Court was right to recognize that health reform provides tax credits for consumers in all states. Now it’s time for people on both sides of the aisle to accept that the law is working and take important steps to fully implement it.
Today is a good day for Tennesseans and all Americans. It is time for state and federal legislators to realize that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the law of the land. More than that, it is a law that is working for the good of all Americans. Fewer uninsured. Calming of price increases. Preventive care available to millions reducing the costs and lessening the risk of serious diseases.
The Supreme Court was right to recognize that health reform provides tax credits for consumers in all states. Now it’s time for people on both sides of the aisle to accept that the law is working and take important steps to fully implement it.
The Court made the right decision on the law, which is good for millions of people, including the Tennesseans who have gained coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s federal health insurance marketplace.
The Supreme Court found what should have been obvious from the beginning… the intent of Congress was clear and the ACA is clear that subsidies are available in both federal and state exchanges.
Millions of people, including 220,000 in Tennessee, would have lost their subsidies and been at risk of losing their coverage, and insurance markets would have been destabilized had the Court invalidated the subsidies contrary to what Congress intended when it passed the Affordable Care Act.
Likewise, Congress should now reject harmful, drastic, structural changes to Medicaid, such as a block grant or “per capita cap” which would be strangling Medicaid access over time.
Now Tennessee policymakers should recognize health reform is working, abandon efforts to undermine it, and instead take advantage of the opportunities that health reform offers to improve lives. The first step should be to expand Medicaid – or accept Governor Haslam’s Insure Tennessee.
States that have expanded Medicaid have seen large gains in the number of adults with health insurance and they are saving money in family budgets. Hospitals in expansion states are treating fewer uninsured patients, and the amount of “uncompensated care” they are providing is declining steeply. Tennessee has already lost nearly One and a Half Billion Dollars since the beginning of the ACA.
Tennessee has failed to expand Medicaid and is falling further behind, leaving thousands of people unnecessarily uninsured and without access to affordable health coverage.
Nationally, 3.7 million people are uninsured and without access to affordable health coverage because of states’ failure to accept available federal funds for Medicaid coverage for their residents.
In short, the Supreme Court got it right. Now it is time for Tennessee’s legislators, starting with the Lt. Governor and Speaker of the House to accept the law of the land. Make sure people needing help get it. Don’t make life more difficult for people who need insurance and now have a path to affording it. Speaker Harwell and Lt. Gov. Ramsey, this time do the right thing.
Press Release from Grant Starrett, Republican Candidate for United States Congress, 4th District:
(MURFREESBORO, Tenn.) – Today, Grant Starrett released the following statement on the King v. Burwell Supreme Court decision:
“I am disgusted that the Supreme Court has continued its tortured analysis of the Frankenstein law known as ObamaCare. This goes to show the importance of vetting and getting the right judges, especially when Republicans appoint them. Unfortunately, Chief Justice Roberts, who pledged to merely be an umpire, has shown that his strike zone varies considerably based on the issue before the court. He himself concedes that the court rejects the “most natural reading” of ObamaCare in order to uphold a law that is unaffordable – both for the government supervising it, and the people regulated by it. This ruling also goes to show the importance of electing the right people to repeal ObamaCare entirely and reorient our healthcare system toward a free market alternative.
“We recently learned that under ObamaCare, individual plans in Tennessee could see drastic premium increases next year. Tennesseans need a free market alternative to this unaffordable law, and they need someone in Washington who will fight for that alternative.
“In short, we need people who will actually do what they say they’re going to do – on the bench, and in Congress.”
Press Release from the Tennessee Medical Association:
TMA Statement on King vs. Burwell
The Supreme Court’s ruling today provides much-needed clarity for healthcare providers and patients in Tennessee.
The uncertainty surrounding tax credits and federal and state health insurance exchanges jeopardized patient care and was a potential disruptor to our healthcare system, especially for the nearly 156,000 Tennesseans who currently use federal subsidies to purchase health insurance on the federal exchange.
We can now all move forward with a continued focus on increasing access, delivering quality care and improving patient health.
Statement from the Tennessee Hospital Association:
“The King v. Burwell case has been one closely watched by hospitals across the country, but especially here in Tennessee. As we continue to provide services to more than 400,000 uninsured Tennesseans, maintaining coverage for the roughly 156,000 people in our state who have insurance through the federal Exchange with subsidized premiums is increasingly important.
“With today’s ruling from the Supreme Court, the future of federal subsidies for this coverage is secured and thousands Tennesseans will rest easier knowing they can continue to afford their monthly premiums.
“Our state’s hospitals are committed to caring for all people in our state, regardless of coverage status. However, in an era of significant reimbursement cuts and financial challenges, widespread insurance coverage is a critical issue for hospitals. As a result, the Supreme Court’s ruling is especially good news for our industry.
“THA and its members are grateful for today’s decision and its implication for the future of insurance coverage in our state and across the nation.”
Press release from the Tennessee Chapter of Americans for Prosperity:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Americans for Prosperity Tennessee issued the following statement in response to today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision on the case King v. Burwell:
“We will not let politics be a distraction in the discussion on healthcare; our focus should be on people” said Andrew Ogles, state director of Americans for Prosperity Tennessee. “Today’s decision only adds to the anxiety of Tennesseans who have already been harmed by Obamacare’s burdensome mandates and out-of-control costs. Our efforts to encourage Congress to bring state-based and patient-focused reforms to healthcare will not stop.”