MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) -- Thursday's expected ruling by the US Supreme Court on the Affordable Care Act, commonly called "Obamacare," could have a major impact on thousands of Connecticut residents.
The ruling could impact both people with and without health care insurance in big ways.
The Community Health Center in Middletown sees about 15,000 people a year, about one in four is uninsured. If the Supreme Court throws out the Affordable Care Act they expect that number to go up dramatically, because many small businesses will lose the federal tax credits that help them pay to cover their employees.
"Without that... there will be more workers who will be losing their health insurance and will be uncovered in Connecticut," said Mark Masselli of the Community Health Center, Inc.
For thousands of other Connecticut residents several mandated benefits on their health insurance policies could be eliminated.
State Comptroller Kevin Lembo was the state health care advocate for six years and helped write part of the law with Senator Chris Dodd.
"The age 26, for example, that allows parents to keep their kids on their plan... that goes," he said.
So would the part of the law that requires your insurance company to cover annual physicals and other preventive care with no co-pays.
"The ability for people to get coverage even if they have a pre-existing condition goes," Lembo said. "A lot of very important pieces will disappear if the whole law is thrown out."
"If you want a frame work; it's $100 million, it's 500,000 people," said Gov. Dannel Malloy. "It's big."
For the state government it would create an enormous hole in the budget because the state is expecting to move thousands of low income people onto Medicaid with a promise from the feds for $100 million to do it.
"There's about 500,000 people in the state of Connecticut that, if this plan fails, will not have the kind of coverage, at the optimal price, that they would otherwise have," Malloy said.
The court could just throw out the mandate that everyone buy insurance, but that could jeopardize all those coverage mandates.
One theory has the court doing nothing because the case isn't "legally ripe," meaning that all the provisions haven't started yet so bring the case back in a couple of years.
The ruling is expected around 10 a.m. Thursday morning.
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