What Obamacare ruling means for Rhode Islanders

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — After a bombshell ruling by a federal judge in Texas Friday calling Obamacare “unconstitutional,” and its provisions “invalid,” many in Rhode Island are wondering what’s next.

“If this judicial opinion prevails then preexisting conditions won’t be covered. It won’t be affordable for families,” said Sen. Jack Reed.

Reed points out the case will likely be appealed all the way to the Supreme Court, a process that will take time.

As for Rhode Islanders who have insurance through the statewide exchange, officials at HealthSource RI say at least for right now, people won’t see a change.

“Nothing about this ruling affects your current coverage through HealthSource RI, nor does it affect the open enrollment period that we’re in right now,” said HealthSource RI Director Zach Sherman.

Sherman stresses the ruling doesn’t change anything for Rhode Islanders signing up for 2019 coverage.

Despite President Trump’s praise of Friday’s decision, calling it “a great ruling for our country,” Sherman points out that here in Rhode Island, the Affordable Care Act has largely been a success.

“The numbers reflect the popularity of the law itself, and the program and how much impact it’s had on people’s lives,” said Sherman.

While most states have seen a dip in enrollment in Obamacare this year, Rhode Island has actually seen a 12% increase this enrollment cycle. If you’re interested in signing up, you have until the end of December to enroll.

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© WLNE-TV / ABC6 2018