Gov. Gregoire, who had submitted a federal court brief arguing that Attorney General Rob McKenna’s participation in a lawsuit challenging the federal health care overhaul did not represent Washington’s position, had this to say today after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law’s main tenets. (Her office also released this document explaining the law’s effect in Washington).
“I applaud today’s Supreme Court decision. Since the Affordable Care Act was signed by the President, we have worked tirelessly to implement it in our state, with my firm belief that it was constitutional and would ultimately withstand legal challenge. I’m extremely pleased that the majority of the Court agreed on the merits of the law highlighted in the briefs that I and others submitted on its behalf.
“The real winners today, however, are the millions of Americans and Washingtonians who have and will now continue to benefit from this Act. Among them are more than 50,000 young adults in our state who have gained insurance coverage through their parents’ plan, our more than 60,000 seniors who’ve annually received assistance to purchase needed prescription drugs, and the millions here that are no longer subject to unfair practices by insurance companies. And with this cloud of legal uncertainty removed, I look forward to the day not long from now when more than 800,000 people in our state will be able to use our Health Benefit Exchange to get the health insurance that they need but currently must go without.
“This is a historic decision that will allow Washington to continue as a leader in providing access to quality, affordable health care to its residents. I am excited for what this means, and thank and congratulate the President and all those responsible for their foresight and perseverance in getting us to this day.”