Supreme Court ruling helps ensure that school children have access to quality health care, NEA president says

Ruling especially important to Wisconsin residents

The United States Supreme Court building in Washington DC.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding a key provision of the Affordable Care Act “will let millions of Americans breathe a little easier knowing that their health insurance is secure and will remain affordable,” NEA President Lily Eskelsen García said Thursday. The ruling was especially important to Wisconsin residents because it allows people to continue receiving federal subsidies for insurance through a federal exchange in states – like Wisconsin – that did not set up their own state-run exchanges.

The court issued a 6-3 decision in King v. Burwell, approving one of the Affordable Care Act’s most significant innovations — premium tax credits that have already helped more than 6 million people nationwide obtain quality, affordable health insurance in the 34 states with federally facilitated insurance exchanges. These tax credits help low- and moderate-income individuals and families with household incomes of 100-400 percent of the federal poverty line buy health insurance.

Echoing arguments made in NEA’s amicus brief, the Supreme Court ruled that the overall context and structure of the Affordable Care Act demonstrate that Congress intended financial assistance to be available to residents of all states, regardless of how states’ exchanges are managed.

About 183,000 Wisconsinites have insurance through the federal exchange, and 166,000 of them help pay their premiums with federal subsidies. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, those residents receive an average of $315 per month, and would face a 252 percent increase in the average premium without the subsidies.

“Congressional Republicans pushed a politically motivated lawsuit to repeal health care for millions of Americans. They lost and the American people won,” said U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin. “Over 6 million people would have had their premium tax credits repealed; including 166,000 Wisconsinites, but this decision protects their health care security. The Affordable Care Act is working to provide affordable coverage to millions of people, to allow young adults to stay in their parents’ health plans, and to make sure insurance companies can no longer discriminate against sick people, or charge women more for their health care.”

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