Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Florida Health Activists Cheer ACA Decision

TALLAHASSEE, FL - Florida health activists say they're thrilled that the Supreme Court upheld a key section of the Affordable Care Act on Thursday. The court affirmed the legality of federal subsidies that make health care affordable for people who buy coverage from the federal health-insurance exchange.

Laura Brenneman, policy and research director for the nonprofit Florida CHAIN, said 1.3 million Floridians who depend on those subsidies dodged a bullet with this decision.

"It's a huge victory for consumers," she said. "It could have been fairly catastrophic for the health-insurance market in the state - and therefore for millions of Floridians that rely on the individual market."

Florida is one of 34 states that has refused to set up a state exchange and expand Medicaid. Brennaman said she hopes this decision will move the needle in the state capital.

"Our representatives in Tallahassee, the Legislature and the governor, need to take action to improve health and health access for 800,000 Floridians in the gap by accepting the federal funds to expand Medicaid," she said.

Both U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and former Gov. Jeb Bush have vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act if elected president.

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