Health care subsidy ruling hailed by many

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The Supreme Court’s 6-3 ruling that upheld federal subsidies to keep health insurance premiums affordable regardless of whether the state or federal government runs the exchange system was welcomed by the president as well as by several religious organizations and stockholders in health care systems.

The June 25 decision in King v. Burwell said that “Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them,” and upheld the federal tax breaks that have made it possible for an estimated 6.4 million people in the 34 affected states to be able to afford health insurance because of subsidies averaging $272 a month.

Sister Carol Keehan, president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association, said in a statement that the court “has granted a victory for the Affordable Care Act and the health of our nation.”

Challenges to the ACA have ranged from “false rumors to judicial disputes,” the Daughter of Charity noted, adding that “it is time to move on. Our collective time and energy should now be spent building on the progress we have already made.”

Some of the judicial disputes involving the ACA continue to work through the courts, however.

Several Catholic and other religious entities are fighting the ACA mandate requiring most employers to provide coverage of contraceptives even if they are morally opposed to it. The groups also object to ways the government has set out for nonexempt employers to opt out of the coverage.

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