About 138,000 Louisiana residents would lose the federal subsidies that make their health insurance affordable under Obamacare if the U.S. Supreme Court rules the tax credits are illegal, a study shows.
The report by Families USA, a nonprofit that campaigns for affordable health care,
shows the number of residents who would lose federal supports by Congressional district. The representatives and the number of residents who would lose subsidies in their district are:
- Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, 31,000
- Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, 27,000
- Rep. Garret Graves, R-Baton Rouge, 23,000
- Rep. Ralph Abraham, R-Alto, 19,000
- Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, 19,000
- Rep. John Fleming, R-Minden, 17,000
The Supreme Court is now considering whether the federal government can offer premium subsidies in states that didn’t set up their own online insurance marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act. Louisiana and 33 other states did not. Instead, residents rely on the federal marketplace to enroll in coverage through the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
If the Supreme Court rules that the subsidies aren’t allowed in those 34 states, 6.4 million people would lose their subsidies, rendering health coverage unaffordable for most.
In Louisiana the average monthly premium for an individual with subsidized insurance is $97, versus $416 without a subsidy, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
At the unsubsidized price, most people are likely to find that insurance premiums are unaffordable, would drop coverage and go back to being uninsured, according to Families USA.
The loss of subsidies could be the beginning of an insurance “death spiral,” said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA. “The people most likely to pay the much more expensive unsubsidized premiums would be the people who most need it due to illness — and that would cause premiums to skyrocket.”
Follow Ted Griggs on Twitter, @tedgriggsbr.