Chair of Assembly Health Committee Applauds Supreme Court’s Landmark Ruling on the Affordable Care Act

Friday, June 26, 2015

(Sacramento, CA) – Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), Chair of the Assembly Health Committee, issued the following statement after the landmark decision in King vs. Burrell, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal subsidies offered as part of federally-established health care exchanges are legal under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).

California would not have been immediately affected by the Supreme Court decision because the Golden State chose to fully implement the ACA and establish Covered California as the state's health insurance exchange. However, it would have been difficult to predict how long California would be immune to any additional actions taken by Congress if the Supreme Court's decision ruled the subsidies were unconstitutional.

"This marks an important milestone in the history of health care coverage in our nation, and I applaud the U.S. Supreme Court for its ruling. The ACA has provided millions of Americans with their first opportunity to obtain health care coverage – an opportunity that, in my view, all people have a right to. With this decision, millions of Americans will continue to be able to provide critical health care for their families," said Assemblymember Bonta.

As of this year, only 16 states, including California, and the District of Columbia have set up state health insurance exchanges; consequently 34 states would have been negatively affected by a decision in favor of the plaintiffs. According to a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation, almost 6.4 million Americans would have lost their current federal subsidies on health insurance premiums.

Bonta concluded, "It is extremely disappointing that there is a coalition fighting to deny individuals their right to access to health care. Fortunately, I am proud that the alliance in support of health care for all is much stronger and will continue to fight any future opposition to the ACA."

Assemblymember Bonta represents the 18th Assembly District, which includes the cities of Oakland, Alameda, and San Leandro. Bonta Chairs the Assembly Health Committee; the Public Employees, Retirement, and Social Security Committee; and the Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color. He is also a member of the following committees: Appropriations, Budget, Budget Subcommittee No. 1 on Health and Human Services, Joint Legislative Budget, and Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management.

CONTACT: Amy Alley, (916) 990-1361, amy.alley@asm.ca.gov