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Affordable Care Act Decision: “Wisconsin Dodged A Bullet”

PHOTO: Estimates were as many as 184,000 Wisconsinites would have lost their affordable health insurance if the Supreme Court had ruled against the Affordable Care Act. The decision to uphold the ACA averted a crisis in Wisconsin, according to one affordable health-care advocate. Photo credit: cdc.gov
PHOTO: Estimates were as many as 184,000 Wisconsinites would have lost their affordable health insurance if the Supreme Court had ruled against the Affordable Care Act. The decision to uphold the ACA averted a crisis in Wisconsin, according to one affordable health-care advocate. Photo credit: cdc.gov
June 26, 2015

MILWAUKEE, Wis. - Health-care advocates all across Wisconsin had been anxious about the Supreme Court's ruling in the King vs. Burwell case regarding federal tax credits for health-care coverage purchased through the federal health-insurance marketplace.

Wisconsin is one of the states that did not set up its own health-insurance exchange. Robert Kraig, executive director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin, said the court's decision was literally a life-saver.

"People of Wisconsin have really dodged a bullet," he said. "There are 184,000 that were at risk of losing their affordable coverage. These are people with pre-existing conditions, people who've been forced off Badgercare, a lot of people under the age of 65 who don't have access to health insurance coverage at work."

Had the court ruled the other way, Citizen Action of Wisconsin said, people who would have lost their affordable health-care coverage could have seen their health-insurance premiums rise by as much as 300 percent.

Kraig said Gov. Scott Walker's decision not to set up a health-insurance exchange in Wisconsin created a potential crisis.

"The state of Wisconsin under Gov. Walker was going to do nothing, so it is a great relief to health-care advocates and everyone who cares about access to health care that the Supreme Court has made this decision," he said, "and it's spared us from going through what would have been a major crisis."

Kraig said a huge number of affordable health-care advocates all across the nation were worried when the Supreme Court decided to even take up the case.

"Now that they've ruled 6-3 with two conservative justices siding with the more moderate and liberal justices, it tells me that their reading of the case was the same as ours," he said. "It was very anxiety-provoking that they even took the case, and we had to go through these last couple months speculating what the consequences would be if they ruled the wrong way."

The high court's decision is online at supremecourt.gov.

Tim Morrissey, Public News Service - WI