Supreme Court ruling on ACA tax credits comes as relief for many Delawareans
More than 19,000 Delawareans will be able to keep their tax credits to help pay for healthcare, thanks to Thursday's Supreme Court Obamacare ruling.
For weeks, the Justices had been considering how to interpret a rule in the Affordable Care Act that would decide whether tax subsidies would be valid for all Obamacare marketplaces or only those that are exclusively state-run. Delaware currently operates its marketplace in partnership with the federal government.
The U.S. Supreme Court voted 6-3 in King v. Burwell to uphold federal tax subsidies for all Obamacare marketplaces. Senator Tom Carper applauded the ruling.
"We have a moral obligation to the least of these in our society, and that includes trying to ensure all American families have access to the affordable health care they deserve," said Carper in a statement. "Doing that by providing tax credits to Americans on a sliding scale is a good idea and I’m glad the Supreme Court has embraced it."
Delaware Health and Social Services secretary Rita Landgraf says this ruling comes as a relief, especially to the low to middle income residents who depend on the subsidies to afford health insurance.
“The last thing that Delaware wanted to do was to add more costs to the premiums, the copays, the deductibles in order to sustain an information technology platform," said Landgraf.
Senator Chris Coons also saw the outcome as a step forward for improving Americans' access to affordable healthcare.
"Now that the Supreme Court has once again rejected a politically motivated legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act, it is my hope that we can turn the page and focus on ways to continue improving the law and ensuring every American has access to quality, affordable health care coverage," said Coons in a statement.
Earlier this month, the state applied for conditional approval to run a state-run marketplace, which it received last week. While King v. Burwell placed pressure on considering a state-run exchange, state officials will still examine all of Delaware’s options.
“This was weighing heavy on my mind but indeed it’s still worth the exercise to look at
if this state-federal partnership model the best model for Delaware at this time, when we have an opportunity to review with a supported state based marketplace," said Landgraf.
State officials are confident they’ll settle on a direction going forward by the end of July.