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SCOTUS: Health Care Exchange Subsides Stand for Arizonans

PHOTO: The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that nearly 130,000 Arizonans will get to keep their tax credits for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act marketplace. In a 6-3 decision in the landmark case of King vs. Burwell, the high court said the intent of Congress was to have the subsidies available through both state and federally run exchanges. Photo credit: Ted Eytan/Flickr.
PHOTO: The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that nearly 130,000 Arizonans will get to keep their tax credits for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act marketplace. In a 6-3 decision in the landmark case of King vs. Burwell, the high court said the intent of Congress was to have the subsidies available through both state and federally run exchanges. Photo credit: Ted Eytan/Flickr.
June 26, 2015

PHOENIX - It was a sigh of relief for the thousands of Arizonans who receive tax credits to help pay for their health-insurance plans through the federal marketplace, as the subsidies were affirmed on Thursday by the U.S. Supreme Court.

In a 6-3 decision, the high court ruled that the Affordable Care Act expressly meant for all insurance marketplaces to work identically, regardless of whether they were run by a state or the federal government. Among those applauding the decision was Bryan Howard, president of Planned Parenthood Arizona.

"We see this as a tremendous victory for average Americans and, in so many cases for Planned Parenthood, young women being able to access quality, affordable health care," Howard said. "That's what the law was designed to do, and it's what has now been preserved."

Thursday's Supreme Court ruling affirmed the subsidies for marketplace insurance plans for nearly 130,000 people in Arizona and some 6.4 million people nationwide.

Howard said the Affordable Care Act and the subsidies available have led to an increasing number of Arizonans being able to access birth control and other preventive care, which he said has a positive impact on health and lives.

"Birth control is really about enabling women and couples to pursue their dreams," he said. "It's about completing an education. It's about getting and keeping that first job. It's about being a parent when you're prepared to be the best parent you can be."

With the high court's ruling that leaves the Affordable Care Act as the law of the land, Howard said the focus now can turn to making sure all of those in Arizona that are eligible are getting enrolled and also educated on how to use their insurance once they have it.

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

John Michaelson, Public News Service - AZ