Local leaders speak out about King v. Burwell decision
COLUMBIA - Missouri Rural Crisis Center sponsored a news conference, Thursday, in order to show some of the local community leaders' reactions to the King v. Burwell Supreme Court decision.
The 6-3 decision held that the federal tax credits within the Affordable Care Act are allowed to be offered to citizens not only living in a state with its own exchange, but also to those who live in states that have federal marketplaces.
Missouri is one of the 34 states that use a federal marketplace.
Missouri State Rep. Kip Kendrick, D-Columbia, spoke at the news conference, which was held at Central Missouri Community Action in Columbia.
"This decision will help many Missourians who rely on the subsidies to help provide them with health insurance," Kendrick said.
Kendrick said the next step for Missouri is to expand Medicaid.
"The work's not done. The general assembly still needs to expand Medicaid," Kendrick said. "If we expand Medicaid, we expand health care for an additional 300,000 people which is also a win for Missouri's economy."
The president of the Missouri Nurses Association (MONA), Rebecca McClanahan, also spoke at the event.
"Missouri nurses are pleased with the decision," McClanahan said. "The decision allows Missourians to have access to health insurance even though the state government did not create its own exchange."
Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo, released a statement speaking against the court's decision.
"This ruling does nothing to help the American people get out from underneath the clutch of an onerous federal mandate, making it more difficult for Congress to work towards real, patient-centered reform to our broken health care system," Hartzler said. "I am extremely disappointed the Supreme Court failed to rebuke President Obama's continued executive overreach of legislating from the oval office."
U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, R-Mo, also released a statement about the decision saying it could cause Missourians to pay up to 34 percent more for their health insurance premiums next year.
"I'll keep fighting to protect Missourians from the president's flawed health care plan and replace it with a patient-centered system that lowers costs, increases choices, and provides greater access to quality care," Blunt said.
According to CNN, lower courts had split on the issue. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia invalidated the IRS rule while the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Obama administration.