Affordable Care Act

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the US Supreme Court ruling in favor of Affordable Care Act supporters, the Political Director of the state Republican Party resigns after pressure from GOP officials and Oklahoma City attorney Jerry Fent files a lawsuit challenging he upcoming state budget.

The trio also discusses a successful petition seeking a grand jury investigation of Tulsa's sheriff, Oklahoma's Democratic Party considers the option to open its primaries to independent voters and racist pamphlets in the eastern Oklahoma town of Pryor.

This is the season finale of This Week in Oklahoma Politics, Ryan and Neva are taking a break over the summer and will return in September.

The U.S. Supreme Court handed the Obama administration a sweeping victory on Thursday, upholding the nationwide subsidies that are crucial to the president's health care law. By a 6-3 vote, the high court ruled that Congress meant all three major provisions of the law to apply to all states and to work in tandem.

The ruling was the court's second decision upholding the Affordable Care Act — three years ago, it upheld the law as constitutional.

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Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The Supreme Court ruling in favor of the Obama administration means 6.4 million people won't lose subsidies that helped them afford health insurance.

But the historic ruling in King v. Burwell may be far from the last word on health overhaul.

Bills to advance or cripple the law in statehouses didn't come to a halt in the months that lawmakers awaited the Supreme Court decision. They may well smolder for months or years.

Following the Supreme Court health care ruling to uphold subsidies nationwide, President Obama said Thursday that the Affordable Care Act is "here to stay."

Updated at 1:25 p.m. ET

President Obama, commenting on the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling today to uphold a key provision of his signature health care law, said after numerous challenges, the Affordable Care Act has been "woven into the fabric of America" and "is here to stay."

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday handed the Obama administration a major victory on health care, ruling 6-3 that nationwide subsidies called for in the Affordable Care Act are legal.

"Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them," the court's majority said in the opinion, which was written by Chief Justice John Roberts. But they acknowledged that "petitioners' arguments about the plain meaning ... are strong."

The number of uninsured Americans fell significantly in 2014, the first year that people were able to apply for subsidized health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

According to a new survey out today from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the shift was particularly notable among Americans living near or below the poverty line, and among black Americans.

As the Supreme Court edges closer to issuing an opinion that could deal a blow to the federal health exchange operating in more than 30 states, Democrats have sounded a warning to their colleagues on the other side: Be careful what you wish for.

Terri Anderson signed up for California's Medicaid program earlier this year, hoping she'd finally get treatment for her high blood pressure. But the insurer operating her Medicaid plan assigned the 57-year-old to a doctor across town from her Riverside, Calif., home and she couldn't get there.

"It was just too far away," says Anderson, adding that she cares for her 90-year-old ill father and can't leave him alone to make an hour round-trip drive to the doctor. Now she's crossing her fingers that a health clinic near her house will accept her new insurance.

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