Washington state’s insurance commissioner is reacting to a federal judge’s ruling that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.
Commissioner Mike Kreidler says the ruling jeopardizes the health and wellness of millions of Americans, and if allowed to stand, could upend the insurance markets around the country.
Although he doesn’t expect any immediate changes in the system, Kreidler says, eventually, the U.S. Supreme Court will make a decision on the ruling. He says if upheld, it will affect one million Washington residents who have been able to get insurance either through ACA or Medicaid expansion.
“Obviously, we're talking about the impact on people having preexisting conditions, the coverage of children up to the age of 26. You would see the expansion of the Medicaid program going away and, for seniors, what is known as the closing of the donut hole on pharmaceutical costs under Medicare would come back and bite them," says Kreidler.
Kreidler thinks the ruling may actually be a political detriment to Republicans, rather than bolster their case for replacing ACA.
“They can take the high ground, but the real impact would be it can really come back and bite the Republicans on a national basis, once people realized that millions of Americans were in the process of losing their health insurance coverage. It would be a disaster for them,” he said.
Kreidler says in the last year, the insurance market had started to stabilize. The judge’s ruling came Friday, one day before the sign-up period for 2019 ended.