The following is a release by Mike Kreidler, Washington Insurance Commissioner:
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision today upholding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) preserves vital subsidies for more than 6 million individuals, ensuring them access to coverage they can afford. A decision against federally-run exchanges would’ve thrown our health insurance system into chaos and jeopardized vital coverage for millions.
I’m relieved the court, again, saw fit to look past the political rhetoric and do what’s in the best interest of individuals and families who have finally found affordable health care.
Despite the ongoing court challenges, I’m proud that Washington state has never wavered in its work to implement health care reform in a way that reflects the needs of our consumers. Our early decisions to create our own state-based exchange and expand Medicaid for adults are two keys reasons behind our early and continued success.
Thanks to these decisions and many more made in the five years since the ACA passed, our uninsured rate has dropped by 40 percent, our health insurance market for individuals and small businesses has improved with increased competition and the lowest premium increases in a decade.
The Affordable Care Act is here to stay, but it still needs some work. There’s much more that we can and must do to improve upon it, including finding ways to lower the cost of health care and increase transparency for consumers. I hope that with this decision behind us, we can find new ways to work together and keep building on the reforms we’ve created and that millions of Americans now enjoy. We all need to work together – in Congress and here, locally.
The court has delivered a powerful message in support of the Affordable Care Act. Now it’s time to get back to the day-to-day work of delivering on the law’s promises.