Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP)
With Affordable Care Act in place, now it’s time for Texas to expand Medicaid
AUSTIN, Texas – Today the Supreme Court handed down its decision in King v. Burwell, protecting the rights of consumers in all states – including those like Texas that did not set up their own health insurance marketplaces – to receive tax credits that make health insurance affordable. This ruling means that the 832,000 Texans whose subsidies pay 75 percent of the cost of their premiums on average will continue to have access to affordable health insurance.
“The Supreme Court’s decision today is a victory for Texans, who are among those who benefit most from subsidies to make health insurance affordable,” said CPPP Associate Director Anne Dunkelberg. “With this case settled, it’s time for Texas leaders to make affordable health care accessible to a million more Texans by accepting federal dollars to expand Medicaid.”
A decision to end the Marketplace subsidies in King v. Burwell would have meant a loss of approximately $4.4 billion in federal premium subsidies for Texans in 2016. Texas currently has the highest uninsured rate in the nation, and this ruling avoids an increase in the number of uninsured by as many as 1.4 million by the end of 2016. With the highest number of people potentially eligible for federal Marketplace coverage at over 3 million for 2015 and the highest number of people eligible for subsidies at over 2 million, Texas had the most to lose in King v. Burwell.
This ruling will protect opportunities to access affordable health care for 2 million Texans. But it is unacceptable that there are still over one million additional Texans who are in the Coverage Gap and have no access to affordable coverage because state leaders have refused to accept new Medicaid funds.