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Supreme Court rules on health care subsidies

After spending so much time and money fighting the Affordable Care Act, Florida's governor Rick Scott received another blow recently as the Supreme Court upheld subsidies for those who purchase insurance through the federal exchange program.

Although this is good news for those who need help affording their insurance, Governor Scott has been fighting the health care law since before he was a candidate. Claiming that he wanted Floridians to have control over their health care choices without federal intervention, he and the state's legislature did not reach an agreement to expand Medicaid or create a state exchange program. They also filed suit against the federal government for its decision not to expand Low Income Pool funding to Florida since the state would not expand Medicaid. The two sides reached an agreement for the federal government to provide reduced funds to help supplement the state's funds for uninsured and underinsured patients.

As far as that decision goes, Governor Scott himself apparently considers it a victory. Even though his state chose not to expand the federally mandated health care reform, the federal government will still provide LIP funding. Governor Scott and the state's legislature have since dropped the lawsuit.

Nevertheless, the Supreme Court's decision has been reported to be yet another set back in Governor Scott's career-long opposition to the Affordable Care Act.

Proponents of health care reform see this as a victory for low-income families in Florida who will still be able to afford their health insurance. The purported 1.3 million Florida residents who rely on these subsidies for health care coverage should see the Supreme Court's decision as a victory as well. As far as what Governor Scott's next moves will be with regard to state or federally mandated health care coverage remains to be seen. Those who have questions or issues with receiving subsidized medical care could consult with an attorney experienced in health care law.

Source: Miami Herald, "Supreme Court rules in favor of subsidies, a blow to Rick Scott's promise to fight law," Amy Sherman, July 12, 2015

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