Views on today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upheld a key element of the president’s health care law — the part that gives tax subsidies to people who buy health insurance on the Affordable Care Act’s federal marketplace.
Statement from JPS Health Network President and CEO Robert Earley on Supreme Court’s ACA ruling: “JPS Health Network is in the business of taking care of people, every day. We are aware of the court’s ruling, which is a continuation of our current practice. We look forward to the opportunity to continue to provide quality care to Tarrant County residents.”
From Texas Health Resources’ CEO Barclay Berdan:
“The Supreme Court’s decision in King versus Burwell is good news for more than one million Texans who received subsidies to buy insurance through the marketplace. It’s also good news for every other insured Texan because the larger pool of insured people helps control the costs of rising premiums.
“With access to coverage, people are more likely to seek care in a timely manner. We know that access to prevention and early intervention can improve well-being and overall health.
“By catching potential health problems early, we can also better manage the cost of care.”
From Mike Stahl, senior vice president of independent health care marketplace provider HealthMarkets, based in North Richland Hills:
“With this ruling it looks like the ACA is here to stay. There will be future Congresses and future presidents and probably some legal challenges and maybe some minor ones that filter through, but for anyone anxious or nervous as to the core aspects of the ACA, they shouldn’t be worried.”
From appellate specialist with Houston-based litigation boutique Hicks Thomas LLP:
“The court’s decision departs from the plain, obvious and rational meaning of the words ‘exchange established by the state,’” said Eric Grant, who filed an amicus brief on behalf of legal scholars Jonathan Adler and Michael F. Cannon supporting the challenge to subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.
“The court rules that those words mean what the Affordable Care Act’s supporters wanted the statute to say, but didn’t have the votes to get there. That ruling is a defeat for the rule of law and a victory for those who thought the American people were ‘too stupid’ to understand the Act. It is difficult to see how any future challenges to the law could be successful,” Grant said.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott:
“The Supreme Court abandoned the Constitution to resuscitate a failing healthcare law. Today’s action underscores why it is now more important than ever to ensure we elect a President who will repeal Obamacare and enact real healthcare reforms.”
Rep. Michael C. Burgess, R-Lewisville, representing the 26th Congressional District:
“As I continue to focus on the details of this decision, I am deeply disappointed that the Supreme Court did not stop this statute from being used beyond its constitutional boundaries,” Rep. Burgess said. “I still believe that the president broke the law – plain and simple. But regardless, President Obama’s health care law is still hurting millions of families and patients. I remain fully committed to preventing its further disruption in the health market, creating more freedom for states and patients to avoid federal health mandates, and replacing its most egregious intrusions into the doctor-patient relationship.”
Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, representing the 33rd Congressional District:
“I applaud the decision put forward today by the Supreme Court on the issue of subsidies established by the Affordable Care Act. Today, millions of Americans can continue enjoying quality affordable healthcare coverage made possible by the Affordable Care Act. Now that this ruling has been cemented in stone by the highest court of the land, it is my hope that House Republicans can finally move past their partisan obsession with obstructing and dismantling the Affordable Care Act and begin to work with House Democrats on responsible and bipartisan efforts to lower health care costs, create jobs, and strengthen our economy.”
Steven J. Stack, president, American Medical Association:
“The American Medical Association (AMA) is relieved that today’s Supreme Court decision will allow millions of patients to continue accessing the health care they need and deserve.
“Physicians know that the uninsured live sicker and die younger so the AMA has been a leading voice in support of expanding health insurance access to ensure patients can get the care they require.
“The subsidies upheld today help patients afford health insurance so they can see a doctor when they need one and not have to wait until a small health problem becomes a crisis. The subsidies provide patients with peace of mind that they will not risk bankruptcy should they become seriously ill or injured and experience catastrophic health care costs.
“With this case now behind us, we hope our country can move forward and continue strengthening our nation’s health care system.”
Society of Human Resource Management statement:
“Today the Supreme Court reaffirmed the constitutionality of a key element of the Affordable Care Act. While this provision of the statute remains intact, other challenges in the ACA remain for employers. SHRM pledges to work with policy makers to address these challenges, including the definition of a full-time employee for coverage mandate, the pending excise tax on high-value health care plans, and employer flexibility in offering wellness programs.”
David Hogberg, senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research in Dallas:
“The Supreme Court’s ruling in King v. Burwell means Americans will have to wait longer for greater liberty in their health care system.
“The Court has had two chances to stand up for freedom and against ObamaCare and has blown them both,” Hogberg said. “This won’t change the fight for health care freedom. It will just take more time to move toward a free-market based health care system.”
Statement from Associate Director Anne Dunkelberg of the Center for Public Policy Priorities, Austin:
“Today the Supreme Court handed down its decision in King v. Burwell, protecting the rights of consumers in all states – including those like Texas that did not set up their own health insurance marketplaces – to receive tax credits that make health insurance affordable. This ruling means that the 832,000 Texans whose subsidies pay 75 percent of the cost of their premiums on average will continue to have access to affordable health insurance.
“The Supreme Court’s decision today is a victory for Texans, who are among those who benefit most from subsidies to make health insurance affordable,” said Dunkelberg. “With this case settled, it’s time for Texas leaders to make affordable health care accessible to a million more Texans by accepting federal dollars to expand Medicaid.”
“The Affordable Care Act is broken and a burden to not only Texas, but our entire country. This failed federal mandate will continue to bring increased costs to states and individuals. We need more flexibility, not mandates, to improve our health care system.” —Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.
“While today’s ruling is disappointing, Obamacare remains one of the broadest overreaches of federal authority in our nation’s history and we must continue to call on our leaders in Washington to step up and put an end to this job-killing law,” —Attorney General Ken Paxton.
“Today’s decision in King v. Burwell is judicial activism, plain and simple. For the second time in just a few years, a handful of unelected judges has rewritten the text of Obamacare in order to impose this failed law on millions of Americans.” —U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, now running for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.
“While I disagree with the ruling, it was never up to the Supreme Court to save us from Obamacare. We need leadership in the White House that recognizes the folly of having to pass a bill to know what’s in it. We need leadership that understands a heavy-handed, one-size-fits-all policy does nothing to help health outcomes for Americans.” —Former Gov. Rick Perry, now running for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.
“With more than 1 million Texans purchasing private health insurance coverage through the federal marketplace, Texas hospitals can breathe a sigh of relief now that the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Burwell. Texas still leads the nation in the number of uninsured and we have significant work to do to increase access to coverage. But there is little doubt that hospitals’ financial challenges would be even greater if more than 1 million Texans were added to the rolls of uninsured,” Texas Hospital Association President Ted Shaw.
“We look forward to the day Gov. Abbott and the Republican-controlled Legislature put partisan games aside. It’s time for Texas to accept the billions in federal Medicaid funds to close the coverage gap so every Texas family has a doctor and a chance to live a healthy life.” —Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa.
“Unfortunately today’s decision doesn’t change the fact that Obamacare is broken. Texans are faced with the reality of skyrocketing premiums that could rise as much as 64% next year as a result of this law. Democrats can celebrate today, but they do so at the expense of millions of hardworking Americans who have suffered because of Obamacare.” —Texas Republican Party Chairman Tom Mechler.