WASHINGTON — Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler breathed a big sigh of relief and said the state is ready to forge ahead now that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the basic tenets of the federal health-care law.
Washington state, he said, is well ahead of other states in reforming its health care system.
Here is part of Kreidler’s statement released shortly after the ruling was announced:
“Many reforms are currently in place, but key benefits and programs take effect in 2014, including Washington’s new Health Exchange, federal subsidies to help 477,000 people afford health insurance, an expansion of Medicaid for 328,000 poor childless adults and the ban on insurance companies from denying people coverage if they’re sick.
“I’m very pleased the Supreme Court chose to uphold the Affordable Care Act,” said Kreidler. “We’ve been busy for two years now implementing the reforms and have made great progress, but there’s a lot left to do before 2014. With the court decision out of the way, we can continue our focus on where it should be – bringing relief to families struggling to find quality, affordable health insurance.”
The millions of Washington state consumers benefiting from the Affordable Care Act’s early reforms include:
- More than 2.4 million people who no longer face lifetime caps on their health benefits.
- More than 52,000 young adults up to age 26 who have stayed on their parents’ health plans.
- More than 1.2 million people who now have coverage for preventive care with no co-pays or deductibles.
- More than 60,000 people in Medicare who have saved hundreds on their prescription drugs.