Michael Karlik, Colorado Politics

 Colorado Democrats and healthcare advocacy groups praised the 7-2 decision from the nation’s highest court on Thursday to uphold the decade-old Affordable Care Act in the face of a Republican-led challenge to the law’s constitutionality.

“Once again, the U.S. Supreme Court has kept the Affordable Care Act in place,” said Attorney General Phil Weiser in a statement. “The first action I took as Colorado attorney general was to join with other states in defending the ACA in this case. I did so because, time and time again, Coloradans throughout the state have shared with me their concerns about having access to affordable healthcare. Despite repeated attacks, we can now celebrate that the ACA is still the law of the land.”

U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, who voted for the legislation that President Barack Obama signed into law in 2010, said the Court’s decision would allow 20 million Americans to maintain their health insurance and represented “a major win in our fight to ensure everyone has the health care coverage they need.”

The decision in California v. Texas left untouched the mandate for individuals to obtain insurance, which Texas and other conservative states had challenged as unconstitutional. It represented the third time a majority of the justices declined to invalidate the law, which cut roughly in half the percentage of Americans who are uninsured. That rate, however, has slowly risen again since 2016.

“The third time is not the charm in this case (thank goodness)!” tweeted Sen. Janet Buckner, D-Aurora. “The @GOP needs to stop attacking healthcare and start working to increase access and affordability. Hopefully they get the hint after this huge ruling.”

The Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, which advocates for equity and affordability in healthcare, estimated that 600,000 Coloradans would be at risk of losing insurance coverage through a wholesale repeal of the law. The group pointed to two key access mechanisms that would have gone by the wayside: the federally-supported individual marketplace and expansion of Medicaid.

“Coloradans can rest assured that they will continue to have coverage through Connect for Health and Medicaid, and we can move forward with our very important ongoing efforts to save people money on health care,” said Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera, a cancer survivor whose work has long focused on healthcare. In the same statement, Gov. Jared Polis added that he was “proud” to vote for the legislation as a congressman at the time.

Here are reactions from other members of Colorado’s current congressional delegation:

A handful of Buckner’s Democratic colleagues under the Gold Dome also weighed in on the decision:

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