Court ruling could end some ACA health subsidies

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The farmers market at the Church Health Center on Union Avenue makes healthy food affordable.

What many at the there are finding unaffordable are healthcare plans under the new healthcare exchange.

“Without the subsidies, our customers wouldn’t be able to afford anything off the exchange,” said Dr. Scott Morris, CEO of the Church Health Center.

He  said of the people the Church Health Center signed up for the ACA, most needed tax credits and subsidies to meet the payment.

“Without subsidies they might as well buy on the open market, which a person on minimum wage would never be able to afford,” said Morris.

Tuesday, one federal appeals court ruled the government can’t offer subsidies, only states that set up their own healthcare exchanges can offer them.

Tennessee and Mississippi don’t have state exchanges.

Arkansas has a partnership between the state and the federal government.

That means Tennesseans and Mississippians could be missing those funds that lowered their out-of-pocket costs.

It worries Christ Community Health Services, which enrolled 218 people for Affordable Care, mostly with subsidies.

“They could receive $250 off their monthly premium/ Some annual deductibles were completely waived,” said Shantelle Leatherwood, CAO of Christ Community Health Services.

The reality is that help could go away.

Right now nothing is expected to change as the issue goes through the courts, but it’s causing worry.

“How can anyone having just standard day-to-day expenses housing, car note, grocery, pay a monthly premium, $500 a month?” asked Leatherwood.

This could turn out to be a long battle.

Just hours after the first ruling, another court said the subsidies could stay.

Expect plenty of debate.

In order to change the way the law is written , it would mean going back and changing the 2010 Affordable Care Act, which most Republican legislators want completely replaced.

That could open everything up for debate once again and fall along party lines.

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