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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Care Act, a Loss For W.Va.'s Attorney Gen.

Janet Kunicki
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a case seeking to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Eighteen Republican-led states, including West Virginia, signed on to a case to get rid of the ACA. These states argued the mandate requiring health coverage went against individuals’ constitutional rights. But the U.S. Supreme Court says that’s a moot point. The financial penalty for those with no insurance no longer exists, due to changes made by the Trump administration.

West Virginia Attorney Gen. Patrick Morrisey signed the state on as a plaintiff about a year ago. His office said the court’s decision was a disappointment. He blames high health care premiums on the law.

“Too many West Virginians have suffered from skyrocketing premiums and need better, more affordable health care options,” Morrisey wrote.

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin said in a statement that he supports the court's decision to protect 700,000 West Virginians with pre-existing conditions.

“I’ve always said the Affordable Care Act is not perfect but it is past time to move forward and seek lasting solutions...We can do this in a bipartisan way and I remain committed to working with my colleagues to make these productive changes,” he wrote.

The ACA passed in 2010. Since then, the number of uninsured West Virginians has dropped from 17 percent to 6.5 percent in 2019, according to the state’s insurance commissioner.

Open enrollment in the federal marketplace continues until Aug. 15. The federally funded WV Navigator can help West Virginians enroll in a marketplace plan for free.

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