State Applauds Supreme Court Ruling On Subsidies

More than 16,000 Alaskans will keep their health insurance subsidies under a ruling issued Thursday by the United States Supreme Court. The Court ruled 6 to 3 in favor of the argument that the Affordable Care Act allows residents in states like Alaska to access federal subsidies on healthcare.gov.

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Lawyers for the plaintiffs in the King v. Burwell case argued the law only allowed for subsidies in states that established their own health insurance exchanges.

Lori Wing-Heier directs Alaska’s Division of Insurance. She’s relieved by today’s decision.

“We were prepared we think with anyway the Supreme Court would have ruled, with a backup plan, but are very pleased that they ruled in favor of Burwell,” she said.

About 90 percent of Alaskans who buy insurance on healthcare.gov receive a subsidy that averages more than $500 dollars a month.

In a press release, Sen. Lisa Murkowski says she’s glad Alaskans won’t lose their subsidies, but maintains the Affordable Care Act is bad for the state.

Sen. Dan Sullivan calls today’s Supreme Court decision disappointing. Congressman Don Young says the court made the wrong choice. In written statements, both lawmakers focused their comments on their opposition to the law as a whole, rather than their position on the subsidies.

 

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Annie Feidt is the Editor and Producer of Alaska News Nightly, and is also a frequent contributor to the show. Her reporting has taken her searching for polar bears on the Chukchi Sea ice, out to remote checkpoints on the Iditarod Trail, and up on the Eklutna Glacier with scientists studying its retreat. Her stories have been heard nationally on NPR and Marketplace. Annie’s career in radio journalism began in 1998 at Minnesota Public Radio, where she produced the regional edition of All Things Considered. She moved to Anchorage in 2004 with her husband, intending to stay in the 49thstate just a few years. She has no plans to leave anytime soon. afeidt (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8443 | About Annie