Millions of people breathed a sigh of relief today when the Supreme Court issued its decision in King v. Burwell upholding the Affordable Care Act’s subsidies for health insurance.
The court made the right decision: Although the statutory drafting might be inartful, Congress’s intent was clearly “to improve health insurance markets, not destroy them.” The subsidies are available in all states, no matter which level of government created the exchange.
This is excellent news for those who, having insurance for the first time because of the ACA, were threatened with losing their subsidies. However, despite the ACA’s success, too many people remain without health insurance. Most shamefully, the ACA blocks millions of immigrants from buying insurance on the exchanges at all.
Access to healthcare is a fundamental human right. It is not a commercial commodity reserved to those with means. Nor is it a political commodity that lawmakers can withhold from groups they don’t favor. That is why NOW will continue to work for a single-payer healthcare system — the common sense solution that would guarantee healthcare for all.