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High Court Upholds ACA Health Care Subsidies for Iowans

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the legality of the Affordable Care Act subsidies for those in Iowa and nationwide. Credit: Ted Eytan/Flickr.
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the legality of the Affordable Care Act subsidies for those in Iowa and nationwide. Credit: Ted Eytan/Flickr.
June 26, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa - Saying that Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health-insurance markets, not destroy them, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the subsidies available to those in Iowa and across the nation for plans available through the federal marketplaces.

Among those applauding the 6-3 decision from the high court was John Crabtree, media director for the Center for Rural Affairs.

"They did the right thing because they stuck to the sort of job of the Supreme Court, which is to interpret the intent of Congress," he said. "Congress clearly intended to create health-insurance marketplaces for every eligible American, not just people in states that happen to set up their own exchanges."

The ruling allows the 34,000 Iowans and the 6.4 million people nationwide who rely on the tax credits for their marketplace insurance plans to keep them.

Crabtree noted that the Affordable Care Act and the available subsidies are especially important in rural states such as Iowa.

"Before the Affordable Care Act, if you lived in rural or small-town America, you were more likely to be uninsured than our cousins off in urban centers were," he said, "and today, many of those people have been able to go to the marketplace for an insurance policy that meets their families' needs and receive the tax credits that make those policies affordable."

In Iowa, just three carriers currently offer plans in the exchange, but that will soon be expanding with five health insurance companies submitting proposals to sell individual coverage for 2016.

The high court's decision is online at supremecourt.gov. More information on rural health is at cfra.org.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - IA