Obamacare supporters everywhere are celebrating a win from the U.S. Supreme Court. With a 6-3 vote, the court decided Thursday that Americans who buy coverage through health care exchanges run by the federal government can continue to receive subsidies.
“It’s just a happy, happy day,” said Rosemarie Day, who was the first chief operating officer of the Massachusetts Health Connector, the state exchange that’s seen as a precursor to Obamacare.
The Supreme Court’s decision has no direct impact for Massachusetts.
“Because Massachusetts operates its own health benefits marketplace, in contrast to those states relying on the federally facilitated marketplace, to our understanding there is no direct impact expected to Massachusetts as a result of [the] decision in King versus Burwell,” Massachusetts Health Connector Director Louis Gutierrez said in an interview before Thursday’s ruling.
The case before the Supreme Court, King v. Burwell, claimed that offering tax credits through health insurance websites run by the federal government was not legal.
But many in Massachusetts who worked on the state law that became a blueprint for Obamacare say Thursday’s decision is a victory for Massachusetts.
“Massachusetts led the way when we piloted health reform back in 2006,” said Day, who now runs the consulting firm Day Health Strategies. Now people across the country “are starting to get used to the idea that health care coverage should be something everyone has, regardless of whether they have a job with health insurance.”
A ruling against Obamacare would have meant that exchanges in at least 34 states (and as many as 37 states) and subsidies for almost 6.5 million people were no longer legal.