Statement on King vs. Burwell Decision

Contact:        Heather O’Loughlin, 406-868-3438 (cell), holoughlin@montanabudget.org

Today, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in King v. Burwell, affirming the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its provision of tax credits to 6.4 million individuals nationwide to purchase affordable health insurance. The opinion can be found here.

“The Supreme Court was right to recognize that health reform provides tax credits for consumers in all states. In Montana, over 41,000 individuals have gained access to affordable health care insurance through the exchange, and they can now breathe a sigh of relief that their access to affordable coverage will remain intact,” said Heather O’Loughlin, co-director of the Montana Budget and Policy Center.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote the majority opinion in the 6-to-3 decision, joined by Justices Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan. Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito dissented.

The Court recognized that the various components of the ACA are “closely intertwined,” noting that the coverage requirements of the law “would not work without the tax credits,” to ensure affordable access to coverage.

Quotes from the opinion of Chief Justice Roberts:

“Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not destroy them.”

“The tax credits are among the Act’s key reforms, involving billions of dollars in spending each year and affecting the price of health insurance for millions of people. Whether those credits are available on Federal Exchanges is thus a question of deep ‘economic and political significance’ that is central to this statutory scheme…”

“The combination of no tax credits and an ineffective coverage requirement could well push a State’s individual insurance market into a death spiral.”

“Now we need to turn our attention back to finishing the Medicaid expansion process in Montana,” said O’Loughlin. “We still have 70,000 Montanans waiting for affordable health insurance.”

The Montana Budget and Policy Center (MBPC) is a nonprofit organization providing in-depth research and analysis on budget, tax, and economic issues. Our core focus is publishing credible, timely, and easy-to-understand reports on the fiscal policies that most impact low and moderate income Montanans. Our research and analysis then informs public policy, the media and the broader public. To learn more about MBPC, visit our website www.mbadmin.jaunt.cloud.

Here is a printable version of the statement.

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