Big win for Obamacare

The US Supreme Court photo via Flickr/CC/Jeff Kubina
The US Supreme Court photo via Flickr/CC/Jeff Kubina

In a 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court upheld a key provision of the Affordable Care Act, allowing middle to low-income people to continue to receive federal subsidies even if their home state doesn’t have its own health care exchange.

Had the Supreme Court ruled the other way, up to 6 million people could have lost their coverage.

Speaking from the White House Rose Garden, President Obama said, “After nearly a century of talk, decades of trying, a year of bipartisan debate, we finally declared that in America, health-care is not a privilege for a few but a right for all.”

According to a recent report from Health and Human Services, the number of Americans without health insurance fell considerably after the implementation of the health care law, showing a 35 percent reduction in the uninsured rate.

California was an early state to set up its insurance exchange, Covered California, so the ruling would not have had an impact here. However, some in California had worried that undoing this part of the law would have meant more changes ahead.

The LA Times reports that “Nearly 1.4 million Californians are enrolled in the state exchange and nearly 90 percent receive some level of federal subsidy. About 120,000 enrollees pay less than $10 per month after accounting for that assistance.” And state health care groups say there’s still more work to be done.