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U.S Supreme Court Case to Affect Sarcoma Victims

Written by Jeff Meyer on 27 Apr 2015

Claudette Newsome of Houston, Texas is one of millions of Americans suffering from the perils of life without health insurance coverage for a loved one diagnosed with a deadly Sarcoma.

When her husband, Michael Newsome, was diagnosed with a deadly sarcoma in 2007, his lost income and lack of quality health insurance labored the family into bankruptcy before his death in 2010. Claudette Newsome recalled, “We lost everything, Home, bank account, cars. How we lived was through family and friends raising money…It was a tough haul for him and myself, because if we had health insurance, I don’t believe we would have went through all that.”

Today, Claudette Newsome, 42, is a self-employed marketing consultant. Newsome and her two daughters now have the security of health coverage due to federal tax credits under the Affordable Care Act. The Act pays $375 toward their monthly $558 premiums. However, the coverage may be taken away from Claudette and millions of other American families in the next coming months.

The United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case that might deny tax credits in the year 2016 to Newsome and an estimated 9.3 million people in 34 states that use the federal health insurance marketplace at About two-thirds of them will become uninsured in 2016, as estimated by the Urban Institute, a centrist research center that studies health care costs, access, quality, and coverage to guide state and federal health policy.

The Supreme Court case, King v. Burell, decides whether federal tax credits, to help purchase marketplace health insurance, can only go to people in states that operate their own exchanges. Urban Institute estimates that a victory for the plaintiffs would mean $28.8 billion in tax credits and cost-sharing reductions next year for those 9.3 million in the 34 states. Additionally, those states will also see their uninsured population increase by 8.2 million, or 44%, in 2016.

Newsome, also lost her teenage son in 2013, when he died in a car accident. If the tax credits are lost causing her to drop coverage, her daughters, Alexandria and Zoé, would likely be covered through the Children’s Health Insurance Plan, a state-federal program to insure low-income children. However, the prospect of being uninsured scares Claudette, like it would any single or widowed parent. The prospect of either of your parents being uninsured, especially your only surviving one, is very scary for a teenager as well. “Every human being that walks this Earth deserves some kind of health care,” Newsome said. “It doesn’t matter what it is. They deserve it.”



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