March of Dimes Hails King v. Burwell Decision

Maintaining tax subsidies for health coverage will benefit women of childbearing age and families

Washington, District of Columbia | Thursday, June 25, 2015

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The March of Dimes, the nation’s leading advocacy organization for maternal and child health, today hailed the Supreme Court’s decision upholding the Constitutionality of tax subsidies provided to those who purchase health insurance through Health Insurance Marketplaces, regardless of whether those Marketplaces are established and maintained by states or the federal government.

“This decision is a victory for women and families,” stated March of Dimes President Dr. Jennifer L. Howse. “The tax credits provided under the Affordable Care Act are enabling millions of women and families to purchase affordable health insurance in Health Insurance Marketplaces. We’re gratified that the Supreme Court accepted the arguments put forth by the March of Dimes and our allies supporting the legality of the ACA tax subsidies.”

In King v. Burwell, a group of individuals challenged the availability of tax credits to purchase health insurance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA), arguing that one phrase in the voluminous law limited the availability of tax credits only to coverage purchased through Health Insurance Marketplaces established by states. If this case had succeeded, tax subsidies to make coverage affordable would have been denied to the millions of Americans who have purchased plans through Health Insurance Marketplaces operated by the federal government.

“Women need to have coverage throughout their lives, both to maintain their own good health and to ensure healthy pregnancies,” Dr. Howse added. “If women can only obtain coverage while pregnant, or not even then, the evidence is overwhelming that both they and their infants suffer poor health outcomes. We need to do more to ensure women and families have access to affordable, quality coverage, not take it away from them.”

In January, the March of Dimes joined other organizations in filing an amicus curiae brief with the Supreme Court urging rejection of the petitioners’ arguments, making three key legal arguments:

  • The ACA made specific connections between Exchanges and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) that do not function as intended if the petitioners’ argument is accepted.
  • The express purpose of the ACA was to provide access to affordable health insurance for all Americans. A legal interpretation that ends access to tax credits, and therefore affordable coverage, for millions of Americans contradicts that purpose.
  • A key goal of the ACA was to provide access to coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions, such as pregnant women. Without affordable coverage, they will be unable to access vital health services, an outcome that was clearly not intended by the law.

The amicus brief was also signed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the Children’s Health Fund, Children’s Hospitals Association, First Focus, and National Physicians Alliance, as well as several individuals with health conditions who have been able to obtain affordable coverage with tax credits provided under the Affordable Care Act.

About March of Dimes

March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. Building on a successful 80-year legacy of impact and innovation, we empower every mom and every family.

Visit marchofdimes.org or nacersano.org for more information. Visit shareyourstory.org for comfort and support. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter.