* This ruling means Illinois doesn’t have to change any laws, which, among other things, gets our GOP governor out of a potential jam…
The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that President Obama’s health care law may provide nationwide tax subsidies to help poor and middle-class people buy health insurance.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote the majority opinion in the 6-to-3 decision. The court’s three most conservative members — Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. — dissented.
The case concerned a central part of the Affordable Care Act, Mr. Obama’s signature legislative achievement. The law created marketplaces, known as exchanges, to allow people who lack insurance to shop for individual health plans.
Some states set up their own exchanges, but about three dozen allowed the federal government to step in to run them. Across the nation, about 85 percent of customers using the exchanges qualify for subsidies to help pay for coverage, based on their income.
The opinion is here.
…Adding… The IHA explains…
The Illinois Hospital Association (IHA) applauds today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the legality of subsidies for hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans and millions of Americans that have enabled them to obtain health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Because of these subsidies, more than 230,000 low- and moderate-income Illinoisans are able to afford health insurance, ensuring that they have access to the health care they need when they need it. These Illinoisans now receive more than $49 million a month in subsidies (nearly $600 million on an annualized basis).
The subsidies also help stabilize the overall cost of health insurance premiums in the state so that even those who do not currently receive subsidies have affordable premiums in the individual health insurance market. With health insurance, patients are able to seek care for serious health conditions at the right time in the right setting, leading to better health outcomes and lower costs for the health care system.
IHA and the Illinois hospital community have been long-time supporters of health insurance coverage. We are strongly committed to working every day to continue transforming the health care delivery system to ensure and maintain access to quality health care for all Illinoisans.
* Illinois State Medical Society…
In reviewing the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision, the Illinois State Medical Society is primarily concerned with the interests of our patients and their ability to access care. The Court’s decision validating subsidies for low-income patients who buy insurance through the federal marketplace provides important peace of mind for thousands of Illinois patients insured under Affordable Care Act plans. This decision does not represent the final word on accessing health care in Illinois. ISMS remains committed to addressing other crucial challenges, such as advocating for adequate financial resources for our Medicaid program and promoting a robust physician workforce to treat Illinoisans.
* Sheriff Tom Dart…
Today’s ruling allows people in Illinois to continue receiving both physical and mental health care.
Since Illinois’ Medicaid expansion went into effect, we have enrolled more than 11,000 detainees who came through the Cook County Jail. These detainees, with their new insurance cards, are now being treated for their physical and mental health problems and are less likely to be coming back to the jail as guests of Cook County taxpayers.
Too often in recent years we have seen detainees with mental health challenges re-offend soon after being released because they tell us the Cook County Jail is the only place they can get help. That is wrong on many levels and the new health care plan – combined with our own ground-breaking efforts to arrange mental health after-care for our detainees who are released – should help change that dynamic in the long run.
Now that these 11,000 people can rest assured that their insurance will not be abruptly taken from them, state and local legislators should focus their energies on appropriately funding mental health services and providing forums where these individuals can apply that insurance for the treatment they badly need. Until government gets it right on this issue, the shameful criminalization of mental illness will persist within our community.