Affordable Care Act
The Supreme Court Saves Obamacare, Again
Published on June 25, 2015
In a win for millions of consumers who receive health insurance subsidies, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of Burwell, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in King v. Burwell on June 25, 2015. This marks the second time the Affordable Care Act (commonly referred to as “Obamacare”) has survived a Supreme Court challenge.
In an earlier decision from 2012, the Supreme Court upheld the legality of Obamacare’s “individual mandate,” requiring most Americans to have health insurance or else face possible penalties on their federal tax returns.
In the most recent case, King v. Burwell, the Supreme Court upheld the validity of health insurance subsidies distributed through Healthcare.gov, the federally-run health insurance exchange which serves consumers in more than 35 states.
Had the Supreme Court ruled differently, as many as 7 million consumers in these states could potentially have lost their subsidies, making coverage unaffordable for many and forcing them into the ranks of the uninsured.
eHealth CEO and Chairman Gary Lauer had this to say about the Supreme Court’s decision in King v. Burwell:
“As an early and vocal supporter of the Affordable Care Act, we applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to maintain access to subsidies for individuals living in states that have not built their own health insurance exchanges. Maintaining access to consumer subsidies is critical to many families and to the continued viability of the Affordable Care Act.”
Obamacare still face serious challenges but the private market can help
Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling, the Affordable Care Act continues to face serious challenges both at the federal and state levels.
The most notable threat on the horizon is the challenge faced by government-run exchanges to become financially self-sustaining. The law requires government exchanges to meet that benchmark within the next one to two years.
Unfortunately, many government exchanges reported lackluster enrollment figures after the 2015 open enrollment period, despite spending millions of dollars on marketing and consumer education. Without improving enrollment numbers, government exchange will have difficulty meeting their financial goals.
eHealth Can Help
At eHealth, we believe we can help boost enrollment numbers.
In the states that use the federal exchange Healthcare.gov, private licensed health insurance marketplaces like eHealth.com are already set up and enrolling people in health insurance plans with subsidies.
Through greater cooperation from state governments, these private exchanges like eHealth.com could provide an additional path to enrollment for millions of Americans in states not served by Healthcare.gov – at no cost to government or the taxpayer.
On Thursday, after the Supreme Court’s ruling, eHealth issued a formal statement asking lawmakers and policymakers to come together with private enterprise to achieve the goal they all share: to help all Americans find the quality, affordable coverage they need for themselves and their families.
eHealth can help find the right health plan for you, simply enter your zip code where requested on this page to see a quote.