Supreme Court ruling means State can start reaping the full benefit of the Affordable Care Act
The Wisconsin Council on Children and Families applauds the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold almost all of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The decision paves the way for further progress toward making sure all Wisconsin children have access to the quality, affordable health care they need to grow and thrive.
“The Supreme Court’s ruling is great news for everyone in Wisconsin,” said Ken Taylor, executive director of the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families.
“Many Wisconsinites have been benefiting from the parts of health care reform already in effect. This decision will allow thousands more to benefit from a health care system that is fairer and more responsive to the needs of health care consumers.”
Taylor pointed to a number of provisions of the ACA that are already helping keep Wisconsin’s children healthy. For example, kids with asthma, diabetes, and other medical conditions can no longer be denied coverage simply because they already have a health problem. Parents will continue to have access to no-cost preventive care for themselves and their kids. And new requirements for insurance company transparency and accountability will help contain the cost of health care services.
The Court’s upholding of the ACA also preserves the law’s “maintenance of effort” requirements, which have helped ensure that 29,000 Wisconsin children would be able to remain in BadgerCare, the immensely successful health care program for low-income working families that has made Wisconsin a national leader in covering children.
With the ACA’s constitutionality confirmed, Wisconsin can now move forward with a key feature of health care reform: the development of a health care exchange that will make it easier for consumers to shop for affordable insurance coverage in a competitive marketplace.
“This is a big win for families,” Taylor said. “We look forward to working with the Walker Administration and the Legislature to help design a system that will work best for Wisconsin and allow our kids and families to take full advantage of what health care reform has to offer.”
The only part of the Act the Court did not uphold had to do with the law’s provisions to expand Medicaid coverage to all adults up to 133’% of the federal poverty level. That expansion comes through a combination of enhanced federal funding and a severe penalty—potentially the loss of all of a state’s Medicaid funding–for states that do not comply. That penalty was struck down by the Court.
“The Court’s decision should not stop Wisconsin from using the enhanced federal funding to close the huge gap in coverage for childless adults,” said Taylor. “As we head into election season, we need to ask candidates whether they are willing to use this increased federal funding to expand BadgerCare for adults.”