Oklahoma Watch asked three experts with the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation in Washington, D.C., the largest health foundation in the country, about the political impact of today’s Supreme Court decision upholding Affordable Care Act health insurance subsidies.
The exchange occurred during a conference call briefing with health care reporters across the country. Here are their responses. They have been condensed slightly for the sake of brevity.
Oklahoma Watch: In states like Oklahoma where Republican officials have opposed almost every aspect of Obamacare and have shown no interest in creating a state-based exchange, will today’s ruling change the political equation?
Kaiser Senior Vice President Larry Levitt: I don’t think it changes the political equation relative to the status quo. If the decision would have gone the other way, it would have put red state governors in a very difficult spot. They would have had to choose between opposing Obamacare versus making sure that billions of dollars in subsidies were flowing to their residents. With this decision, governors are free to oppose the Affordable Care Act on political grounds. But that doesn’t have consequences for the subsidies. There’s still the question of Medicaid.
Sign up for a weekly newsletter from Oklahoma Watch
Support the only statewide investigative reporting publication in Oklahoma. Your contributions to Oklahoma Watch are tax-deductible and will help sustain efforts to produce high-quality, in-depth reports on the most pressing issues facing the state.