Obamacare Supreme Court Case: Latinos Risk Health Care Insurance Loss But President Obama 'Optimistic' With SCOTUS Ruling
More than 6 million Americans may lose their health insurance pending a U.S. Supreme Court decision, but President Barack Obama is confident the highest court in the country will rule in favor of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
During a press conference on Monday, Obama spoke about the King vs. Burwell case, which could see the end of federal subsidies for people enrolled through the federal health insurance marketplace, Healthcare.gov. As Latin Post reported, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) stated the nationwide uninsured rate in the Latino community dropped 12.3 percent since the ACA's first provisions went in effect in 2010. Since 2010, more than 4.2 million Latinos gained health insurance.
"Frankly, it (Supreme Court) probably shouldn't even have been taken up," said Obama about the King vs. Burwell lawsuit, from Krün, Germany, noting that it is "important" to assume the Supreme Court will rule similar to most legal experts -- in favor of the Obama administration and maintaining the federal subsidies for more than 6 million Healthcare.gov enrollees.
"If, in fact, you have a contorted reading of the statute that says federal-run exchanges don't provide subsidies for folks who are participating in those exchanges, then that throws off how that exchange operates," continued Obama.
"It means that millions of people who are obtaining insurance currently with subsidies suddenly aren't getting those subsidies; many of them can't afford it; they pull out; and the assumptions that the insurance companies made when they priced their insurance suddenly gets thrown out the window. And it would be disruptive -- not just, by the way, for folks in the exchanges, but for those insurance markets in those states, generally."
Obama said the Supreme Court's decision should not be based on "twisted interpretation" of four words in the "couple-thousand-page" ACA legislation. The president reiterated the success the ACA has brought and acknowledged there have not been negative ACA stories since 16 million people, including the state-based health insurance marketplaces, gained medical insurance.
"The overwhelming majority of them (the 16 million enrollees) are satisfied with the health insurance," Obama said.
"It hasn't had an adverse effect on people who already had health insurance. The only effect it's had on people who already had health insurance is they now have an assurance that they won't be prevented from getting health insurance if they've got a preexisting condition, and they get additional protections with the health insurance that they do have."
Obama said he is optimistic about the Supreme Court's pending decision. He did note that if the Supreme Court rules against him, then Congress "could fix this whole thing with a one-sentence provision."
Despite the gains in Latino enrollment, Latinos are still the largest uninsured ethnicity group.
"Since the passage of the ACA almost five years ago, about 16.4 million uninsured people have gained health coverage -- the largest reduction in the uninsured in four decades," said HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell in a statement in March following.
For the latest updates, follow Latin Post's Michael Oleaga on Twitter: @EditorMikeO or contact via email: email@example.com.
Subscribe to Latin Post!
Sign up for our free newsletter for the Latest coverage!