HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — How will the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Car Act affect us here in Connecticut? John Thomas, Professor of Law and Public Health at Quinnipiac University, says it is status quo for those who signed up for Obamacare through the state-run health insurance marketplace.
The Supreme Court decision allows nearly 9 million Americans to keep their healthcare subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.
“These are people who earn too much to get their health insurance through Medicaid, and earn too little to be able to afford it,” said Thomas.
He says the ruling affects people living in 34 states with federally-established insurance exchanges.
“Connecticut was one of the 16 states that had a state-established exchange for people to buy subsidized health insurance, and those were never at risk,” the professor said.
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But had the justices rejected the nationwide tax subsidies, it could have indirectly impacted the state.
“We could, imagine for instance if the people who lived in the states that had federally-established exchanges lost their insurances, they might want to come to Connecticut to be able to get the subsidized insurance through Connecticut,” Thomas said.
So for now, Obamacare is here to stay.
“I think what the Supreme Court did here was to say Congress didn’t do a very good job drafting it, it was very complicated, they rushed it through at the last minute, but we looked through what the intent was and the intent is to have it operate as it is operated, so it is here unless the legislature, which is Congress, can revoke it,” Thomas said.
He says the prediction is that by 2017, when the next president takes office, some 25 million people will be buying insurance through the health exchanges, which he says will make it challenging for opponents to replace or repeal the Affordable Care Act.