The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Thursday morning to uphold a critical part of the Affordable Care Act that allows people buying health insurance through the federal exchanges to access federal subsidies is getting mixed reviews from Minnesota’s representatives in Washington.
The 6-3 ruling was written by Chief Justice John Roberts.
Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, the court’s three most conservative members, dissented.
The court’s decision had no bearing on Minnesota’s health insurance exchange either way. That’s because the plaintiffs argued that four words in the law said subsidies shouldn’t be available to people buying insurance on the federal exchanges. Minnesota is among the states that have built their own.
Here’s a rundown of where key Minnesota politicians stand on the ruling. We will update the list as we get more reaction:
Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar:
Millions of Americans can breathe a little easier today knowing that the health care they count on has been affirmed by the highest court in our land. The Supreme Court’s decision will allow 6.4 million Americans to maintain the health care coverage they need.
Now that the Supreme Court has spoken, we must keep working to ensure that the Affordable Care Act helps families across the country with access to the high-quality health care that they deserve.
Democratic Sen. Al Franken:
The Supreme Court made the right decision today by again upholding the Affordable Care Act. This is a huge victory for millions of people across the country who can continue to have access to affordable health coverage.
We know that the Affordable Care Act is working: people with pre-existing conditions can’t be denied coverage, women can’t be charged more than men for health insurance, young Americans can stay on their parents’ insurance plans until they’re 26, and there’s no more cap on lifetime and annual limits.
And in Minnesota, the uninsured rate has dropped by over 40 percent, and now 95 percent of people in our state have health insurance.
1st District Democratic Rep. Tim Walz:
The goal of the Affordable Care Act is to provide all Americans with health care. It simply doesn’t make sense, nor was it the authors’ intent, to provide subsidies only to people in states that created their own exchanges, and I’m glad the Supreme Court agreed.
While the law is not perfect, it is working; more Americans have health insurance today than ever before. Since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, the nationwide uninsured rate has been cut by about 30 percent.
In Minnesota, the effects have been even more profound, cutting the uninsured rate nearly in half, from 8.2 percent to 4.9 percent. In other words, because of the Affordable Care Act, 95 percent of Minnesotans now have health insurance.
2nd District Republican Rep. John Kline:
Today’s decision does not change the fact that the law is fundamentally flawed, and it doesn’t change our resolve to repeal it.
Our nation desperately needs a patient-centered health care system, one that provides working families and employers more choices, greater flexibility, and affordable coverage. That is precisely what we will continue to fight for on behalf of the American people.
3rd District Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen:
Today’s Supreme Court ruling does not change the fact that the President’s health care law has meant fewer options and increased costs for hardworking Americans.
We still need better patient-centered solutions to help families that face barriers in accessing affordable, quality care. For instance, repealing the burdensome medical device tax would spark innovation and increase investment in critical life-saving and life-changing products.
5th District Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison:
The Affordable Care Act provides coverage to millions of previously uninsured Americans.
The Supreme Court decision in King v. Burwell brings relief to Americans who can now continue their coverage. The ruling means kids won’t miss checkups, seniors will get the medicine they need, and Americans won’t break the bank by going to the hospital when they get sick.
DFL Gov. Mark Dayton reacted during a Minnesota news conference:
We need a period of stability now where we can improve upon the system that’s been established. I really hope the critics will recognize now that this is the system has been enacted. It’s federal law, and we’re going to work to make it better.