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King v. Burwell: Once Again, US Supreme Court Confirms Affordable Care Act is Law of the Land

Michelle Boyle, RN, on the steps of the US Supreme Court, speaks out on the need for the Court to uphold the Affordable Care Act.

Michelle Boyle, RN, on the steps of the US Supreme Court, speaks out on the need for the Court to uphold the Affordable Care Act.

350,000 Pennsylvanians and 8 million Americans will continue benefiting from quality, affordable healthcare offered through the federal exchange

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In response to today’s King v. Burwell decision in which the Supreme Court ruled that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does have the authority to issue tax credits to millions of working Americans enrolled in the federal healthcare exchange, Neal Bisno, President of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, issued the following response:

“Today’s ruling is a victory for the millions of Americans whose lives have been improved through the Affordable Care Act. King v. Burwell is merely the latest cynical attempt by the same extremist politicians and their well-moneyed allies who have wasted countless hours and tax payer dollars to undermine the ACA, which would strip millions of their coverage and send our healthcare system into a tailspin.  As they did in 2012, the US Supreme Court has once again confirmed that the Affordable Care Act is here is stay.”

Behind the King v. Burwell Supreme Court challenge is an assortment of conservative and libertarian think tanks including the Heritage Foundation, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and the CATO Institute. In September, 2013 the Competitive Enterprise Institute sought out plaintiffs — including David King — to challenge President’s Obama groundbreaking law yet again.

According to healthcare experts, a negative ruling could have cost 8 million Americans in 36 states who rely on tax credits in order to see a doctor, afford lifesaving prescription drugs, and be free of the fear of medical bankruptcy their ability to access to care.

Additionally, healthcare premiums could have increased dramatically  by as much as 35 percent — for many more Americans.

“The Affordable Care Act has given me a chance to lead a happier, healthier life,” said Karen Goroncy from Washington whose $356 premium is reduced to $99 per month because of the federal subsidy. “Words can’t describe the relief I feel by the Supreme Court’s ruling because the subsidy I receive is the only way I can afford the care I need. Fortunately, even if the Supreme Court ruled the other way, I knew Governor Wolf had a plan to make sure we weren’t left out to dry.”

In early June, the Wolf Administration announced it had submitted an application to the federal government seeking authority to move ahead to a state-based marketplace in 2016, which would have prevented 380,000 Pennsylvanians from losing their health insurance and allowed the state to have greater oversight over regulation and outreach. The plan was later granted conditional approval by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

“All along, Governor Wolf has shown he is committed to making sure that all Pennsylvanians can get access to the healthcare services they need and can afford,” said Phyllis Carr from Erie. “Whether it was choosing to expand Medicaid or coming up with a back-up plan to the King v. Burwell decision, Governor Wolf has proven he is willing to listen to our voices and put the needs of average working people first.”

For years, SEIU Healthcare PA members have continually used their expertise and experience to advocate for the Affordable Care Act; in January, A group of healthcare professionals and SEIU members submitted an amicus brief in King v. Burwell to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of working families throughout America.

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