Sen. Frockt on King v Burwell Supreme Court decision

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle and ranking member of the Senate Health Care Committee, offered this statement after the U.S. Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision in King v. Burwell:

“I’m glad to see the Affordable Care Act upheld as the law of the land. Here in Washington, we've led the nation in health care reform -- and you can see it in our results. More than 700,000 Washingtonians have health care through the exchange and expanded Medicaid, many for the first time in their lives, and our uninsured rate has dropped by 40 percent. We've expanded consumer choice by doubling the number of health plan choices available in the individual market and in 2015 we're setting a record for the lowest average premium rate increase at just 2 percent. Because of the Affordable Care Act, more Washingtonians are in better health and we're saving the state hundreds of millions of dollars every year. 
“We still have work to do. The Senate, on a party line basis, passed SB 6089 earlier this year which would have the effect of pulling $29 million out of the exchange budget. The premium tax proposed by the Republicans to make up the difference would raise prices for the average insurance customer by $144 a year. We need to be doing everything we can to make sure the Health Benefit Exchange is working as effectively and efficiently as possible, but our goal should be to reform and strengthen the exchange, not undermine it. At a time when too many families are still having trouble making ends meet, that kind of regressive tax hike doesn't make sense and won't make anyone healthier. The Affordable Care Act is working, it is the law of the land, and we here at the state level need to be committed to the continued success of the exchange and to better health outcomes and more affordable healthcare for every Washingtonian. 
“In my opinion, health care should be considered a human right in this country. I have heard the stories dozens of times in the last five years about how the expansion of health care for Washingtonians has impacted lives dramatically for the better. We should be working at all levels to improve our system in pragmatic ways and not undermine it on ideological grounds.”



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