Supreme Court decision means 155,000 Tennesseans can keep their insurance

Back row (left to right): Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen G. Breyer, Samuel A. Alito, and Elena Kagan. Front row (left to right): Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Back row (left to right): Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen G. Breyer, Samuel A. Alito, and Elena Kagan. Front row (left to right): Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The United States Supreme Court rejected another challenge to the Affordable Care Act on Thursday. That’s great news for two reasons.

First, Tennesseans can continue to receive tax credits and cost assistance when they purchase health insurance on the federal exchange. More than 155,000 individuals and families use that help to pay for their coverage.

Second, now that it is clear that the Affordable Care Act will continue to be the law of the land, there is a much better chance of passing Insure Tennessee.

Opposition to Insure Tennessee has always been part of a national effort to overturn the ACA. In fact, the leaders of the opposition to Insure Tennessee signed onto a brief urging the Supreme Court to gut the law. Now that we know the law will survive, we can hopefully do what is right for Tennessee.

Will we continue to force over 250,000 to go without insurance?

Will we continue to reject the infusion of $1 billion into the Tennessee economy—without one additional penny of taxes on Tennesseans?

Will we continue to put Tennessee hospitals and the jobs of our health care workers in jeopardy?

Will we continue to force doctors and hospitals to provide uncompensated care to the uninsured and pass those costs along to everyone else who has insurance?
We all understand that there is opposition to the ACA. But today’s decision confirms that it will continue to be the law. And it’s increasingly unlikely that Congress will repeal it. Repeal in part or in full has been proposed and rejected more than 50 times.

Study after study demonstrates that states that have expanded Medicaid have seen significant budget savings, revenue gains, and made greater health coverage gains while saving money.

You can rest assured that some opponents will find a new excuse to oppose Insure Tennessee. It’s like a bad game of whack-a-mole. Some will say that now we should wait until a new president is inaugurated 19 months from now. But serious people should recognize that continuing to oppose the expansion of health coverage in Tennessee at this point isn’t remotely what’s in the best interest of Tennessee.