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In a strong 6-3 decision written by Chief Justice Roberts, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a key component of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that helps make insurance affordable in all 50 states, regardless of the type of health insurance marketplace in the state.

This ruling will ensure affordable health insurance for 6.4 million low- and middle-income women and families across 34 states, who can now rest assured that affordable health care will not depend on their zip code.

“Today’s ruling is a victory for millions of low- and middle-income women and families, who can now rest assured that their affordable health coverage will not be stripped away," said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. "This case was clearly another political attempt to undermine the progress we’ve made thanks to the Affordable Care Act. If the plaintiffs had been successful it would have hurt millions of American women and families."

Obamacare Works

The result of the ruling further establishes the Affordable Care Act in the fabric of the U.S. health care system.  For politicians who have spent the past five years trying to take away affordable coverage for millions of people, it’s time to move on. 

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, more women than ever have access to high-quality affordable health care and coverage for the full range of reproductive health services, including birth control, maternity and prenatal care, mammograms, and other critical preventive health care without a copay — and they’re not willing to go back.

The real-life impact of today’s Court ruling is powerful — just read the stories of the people who benefit from Obamacare with the help of subsidies, and whose affordable coverage is protected through today's ruling. Here's just one: Delma Limones, 22, a college student in Austin, Texas, has health insurance for the first time in four years as a result of the ACA. “Latinos in Texas comprise one of the highest uninsured groups in the nation, but thanks to the ACA, I now have a primary care physician. Health insurance used to feel like a luxury, but with the help of a financial subsidy, the care I need is no longer inaccessible. After I enrolled for my plan with a Planned Parenthood enrollment counselor, I immediately gained a sense of security because I don’t have to choose among rent, educational expenses, or a visit to the doctor anymore. Because of the ACA, I can stay healthy.” 

All About the Case

In King v. Burwell, the Supreme Court looked at whether or not federal financial assistance under the ACA — in the form of premium subsidies or tax credits — should be available in all 50 states or only in the 16 states and the District of Columbia that have established their own state-based Marketplaces.  The vast majority (about 87 percent) of people signing up for Marketplace insurance have received premium subsidies to help afford coverage, with an average subsidy of $263 per person per month to help afford health insurance premiums.

  • Thanks to today’s decision, millions of women and families in all 50 states can continue to access financial assistance that has helped them afford health coverage – many for the first time – including access to affordable birth control, maternity and prenatal care, and mammograms.
  • About 6.4 million people are enrolled in affordable health insurance in the 34 states that were at issue in this case and can continue to receive financial help to afford their coverage. Approximately 4.1 million women, including 1.4 million women of color, have enrolled in affordable coverage with financial help in the 34 states that would have been effected by a ruling in favor of King.
  • The availability of financial assistance to help women and families afford health coverage is a popular element of the Affordable Care Act and research shows that a large majority of American voters believe that premium tax credits under the ACA should be available to people in all 50 states.  
  • Seventy-one percent of voters favor a Supreme Court decision that continues the availability of financial assistance in all 50 states and 63 percent would object to a decision that limits the ACA’s tax credits to only the 16 states that operate their own state-based Marketplaces.

Here for Patients — No Matter What

Planned Parenthood organizations have provided information about health insurance enrollment and benefits to 3.5 million individuals and helped nearly 230,000 people begin the enrollment process. And as the nation’s leading women’s health care provider and advocate, Planned Parenthood knows that the U.S. health care system only really works if it works for everybody.

Everyone — no matter where they live or how much money they have — should have access to basic health care. That’s why pro-women's health advocates fought so hard for the Affordable Care Act in the first place, and why Planned Parenthood will always be here for the patients and the communities it serves — no matter what.


Tags: Affordable Care Act, Supreme Court, King v. Burwell

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