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Affordable Care Act - ‰Tax Credits

March 25, 2015

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in March of this year in a lawsuit challenging the availability of tax credits to people who buy health insurance through the federal marketplace. ACS and ACS CAN joined with the American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to file an amici brief at the high court, as well as in the DC and Fourth Circuits in related cases at the lower appellate level.åÊ The premium tax credits at issue in the cases directly affect the affordability of insurance. Our goal is to help educate the courts on the real-world impact of affordable health insurance on cancer survivors. Extensive scientific data links health insurance coverage with medical outcomes, demonstrating that insurance coverage is essential to early detection and more timely and effective treatments. A total of four legal challenges were filed asserting that Congress intended for the ACA to provide tax credits in state-run exchanges only.åÊ The outcome of all of these lawsuits will be determined by the US Supreme Court when it issues a decision, likely in late June of this year. Although the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the ACA in its June of 2012 decision, these challenges are a distinct and significant threat to the law‰Ûªs overarching purpose to expand access to affordable health coverage. If the premium tax credits were to be denied to Americans buying coverage in the 34 states with federally-facilitated marketplaces, an estimated 9.6 million people currently receiving the credits would lose them. Many of these individuals would not be able to afford insurance, meaning less access to screening and treatments.