Yesterday’s ruling is the gift that keeps on giving.
(Reuters) – The Supreme Court’s ruling on Wednesday that same-sex couples are eligible for federal benefits will mean more gays and lesbians can reap the benefits of President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul that take effect January 1, advocates say.
In a landmark decision, the court effectively legalized same-sex marriage in California and struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, which denied same-sex couples federal benefits such as healthcare.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act already bans discrimination in health coverage based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The law, known as “Obamacare,” was passed in 2010 and upheld by the Supreme Court nearly a year ago.
With the Supreme Court decision, same-sex couples who live in states that recognize them can apply for the law’s tax subsidies, meant to offset healthcare costs, as a couple rather than as two individuals, said Tim Jost, a health law expert and law professor at Washington and Lee University. This will help the law reach more people, he added.