WASHINGTON – Thursday’s ruling by the US Supreme Court to uphold a key provision of the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare, was met with enthusiasm by the National Congress of American Indians, the nation’s oldest American Indian/Alaska Native organization.
The ruling upheld a key provision which allows for subsidies to be available all Americans living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The challenge was to exclude those living in states that had not set up their own health insurance exchanges. The ruling allows for the subsidies to include those who rely on the federal exhange.
Many American Indians and Alaska Natives live in states with federally facilitated exchanges so this decision is significant.
“The U.S. Supreme Court decision in King v. Burwell today is great news for Indian Country! Insurance subsidies are critical to ensuring access to affordable health insurance for American Indians and Alaska Natives,” said President Brian Cladoosby, president of the National Congress of American Indians after Thursday’s ruling was released.
The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) issued a joint statement in the decision with the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Demos, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Collaborative for Health Equity, National Council of La Raza, National Urban League, PICO National Network, and the Poverty & Race Research Action Council.
In his remarks from the White House, President Obama stated “…health care is not a privilege for a few but a right for all. The Affordable Care Act is here to stay.”