THE BLOG

SCOTUS Affordable Care Act Ruling Impacts All Iowans, Including Those Who Are LGBT

06/26/2015 08:28 am ET | Updated Jun 25, 2016

The Supreme Court of the United States of America today affirmed the Fourth Circuit in King v. Burwell in a 6-3 decision with Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan ruling in the affirmative. This simply means that those who get their health insurance through an exchange established by the federal government will continue to be eligible for tax subsidies. This is a great victory for the administration and for the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Had the subsidies been removed, more than 8 million Americans would have been adversely impacted.

In 2014 One Iowa, with federal funding through the Iowa Insurance Division, created a campaign to develop and deliver culturally sensitive and accessible ACA material to LGBT communities and individuals. In 67 events over a 3-month period we engaged in formal presentations, large groups, small groups, social groups and hosted information tables. We held focus groups with the LGBT communities, as well as specific focus groups with the transgender community and with those living with HIV.

We saturated our social media presence with campaign messaging. Through traditional advertising, One Iowa was able to achieve tens of thousands of media impressions across the state. We mailed two distinct pieces to more than 14,000 individuals. The work was edgy and resonant. We believe it was a great way to engage people, especially younger people.

Of those we reached, most were uninsured or underinsured.

Affordable health care was, for many, life changing and in many cases even life saving. We were proud to be a part of the important and necessary outreach to our community, a community that continues to be underserved and underinsured. We know that our participation began to make the Affordable Care Act understandable, relevant and accessible to the LGBT communities in Iowa.

Today, the Supreme Court upheld the rights of millions of Americans to affordable health care. Today we were reminded that our courts do matter.

The Iowa Insurance Division halted that statewide outreach and education program aimed at LGBT and other vulnerable communities in Iowa this year. That determination has made information difficult to find for these constituencies. Perhaps it is time to revisit that decision and prioritize the lives of thousands of Iowans who are still unaware of the options available to them.


One Iowa is the state's leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organization working toward equality for LGBT individuals through grassroots efforts and education. Find out more at www.oneiowa.org.