Following today’s announcement of the United States Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the provision allowing the federal government, through the Affordable Care Act, to subsidize health insurance costs for low-income and middle class individuals, Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett released the following statement:
“Today, in a 6-3 split, the U.S. Supreme Court has once again upheld the validity of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As we celebrate this measure which is a victory for the millions of Americans who prior to this law, were without affordable healthcare; we draw attention to the 4 million citizens and nationals living in America’s Island territories that remain ineligible to participate in a federal exchange and are unable to establish their own state exchange.
Almost a third of the residents in the U.S. Virgin Islands live below the federal poverty line, with nearly a quarter of the general population lacking health insurance of any kind. Our being excluded from the ACA, coupled with these staggering statistics is yet another example of the benign neglect, to which we in the Virgin Islands and the other four territories are subjected. Today’s decision keeps this important legislation intact and affords the 4 million citizens and nationals in America’s island territories a glimmer of hope for future inclusion in the law,” Plaskett said.