Indiana was one of 20 states involved in the lawsuit that challenged the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. The ruling will not impact Hoosier health care right now.
A federal judge ruled that the ACA was unconstitutional when Congress struck down the tax penalty that required people to have insurance. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the ACA in 2012 because it included an individual mandate — or a tax penalty for Americans who did not buy health insurance. After Congress repealed the individual mandate in 2017, the federal judge said the rest of the law fell apart.
Indiana Covering Kids and Families Director of Policy Mark Fairchild says insurance plans will stay the same for now.
"What wasn’t included in the judge’s ruling is an injunction, and an injunction is what would stop current processes," says Fairchild.
Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill signed Indiana onto the lawsuit. He says recent federal moves give states more authority to craft health care plans and that’s the way forward.
"This is an opportunity for states to make sure they are providing viable options," says Hill. "Having a seat at the table, looking at the flexibility that will expand coverage and try to decrease the cost of coverage."
Hill says he expects the ruling will be challenged through the appeal process.
"What it does provide is a wake-up call to Congress to sort through this and work through a process where health care can be given a priority," Hill says.
The ruling will be appealed and most likely end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.