Congressional Republicans will move to temporarily continue health care subsidies for millions of people if the Supreme Court overturns the aid, according to plans discussed Wednesday in the House and Senate.
In addition, the GOP proposals would dissolve many of the basic requirements of President Barack Obama’s health care law, including mandates that most people buy coverage and most companies provide it to their workers, Republicans said. Eventually, they hope, the entire law would be repealed.
In a recent interview with the Des Moines Register, Hillary Clinton outlined several elements of Obamacare that she said she would seek to change as president. Her proposals illustrate how the fiscal impact of the law could increase significantly from what was expected when the legislation passed in March 2010.
Among the things Mrs. Clinton cited was “how to fix the family glitch.” In short, if an individual qualifies for “affordable” health insurance through an employer, that person’s family will not qualify for federal insurance subsidies–even if the employer does not offer family coverage or if family coverage is unaffordable for the household.
Millions of people are waiting anxiously for the Supreme Court to decide the fate of President Obama’s health care law with a ruling this month on health insurance subsidies. But David M. King, a plaintiff in the case, is not among them.
Mr. King, 64, said recently that he was reasonably confident he would prevail in his challenge to the subsidies, a central element of the Affordable Care Act.
“We have a good chance of winning,” he said in an interview at his home here.
Despite White House veto threats, the House is ready to vote to repeal taxes on medical devices and kill a Medicare advisory board that foes say would ration health care as the chamber aims its latest whack at President Barack Obama’s health care law.
Thursday’s votes were slated a day after top House and Senate Republicans briefed rank-and-file GOP lawmakers about their plans should the Supreme Court annul federal health care subsidies for millions. Under the tentative House GOP proposal, states could design their own plans for funneling federal health dollars to residents and drop the health law’s consumer protections, such as guaranteeing that family policies cover children until age 26.
Senate Republicans are coalescing around a plan to extend Obamacare subsidies for up to two years if the Supreme Court strikes them this month.
The court is due to rule within days on whether the president’s health care law allows people using HealthCare.gov to get insurance subsidies. If the court rules against the White House and strikes the subsidies, Republicans say they want to be ready to protect the more than 6 million people who could lose their subsidies.
Republicans who have been hoping that the Supreme Court will upend President Obama’s health care law are now confronting an urgent and uncomfortable question: What if they win?
Republicans in Congress would face an enormously complicated challenge to fashion an alternative, and they fear the fallout could lead to election losses if millions of Americans abruptly found themselves without health insurance.
If the court voids a federal rule allowing subsidies in states that use the federal insurance marketplace, many Republicans said, they would support a temporary continuation of subsidies for people with low or moderate incomes.
Nearly two-thirds of Americans want Congress to ensure that residents in every state can receive insurance subsidies though the Affordable Care Act, according to a new national poll conducted as the Supreme Court prepares to decide a legal challenge that could strip away the subsidies in more than 30 states.
Asked whether lawmakers should pass a law “so that people in all states can be eligible for financial help,” just one-quarter of those surveyed said no, according to the poll by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation.
With a Supreme Court decision looming that could lead to the loss of health insurance for millions of Americans, supporters and opponents of President Obama’s health-care law already are mobilizing for the next stage of the battle: influencing policy alternatives if the court upends a key component of the law.
The Bush administration health policy band is getting back together — to tell states they will probably have to think about setting up their own insurance exchanges under the health law if the Supreme Court rules that is a condition of their residents continuing to get tax credits to help pay premiums.
Former Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt, acting general counsel Thomas Barker, chief of staff Rich McKeown, assistant secretary for legislation Vince Ventimiglia, deputy secretary Tevi Troy and the former acting Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator Kerry Weems have signed an open letter to governors telling them there’s a good chance this will fall to the states to decide, and that they should get ready.
Reuters reported recently that, “Despite the promise of coverage through the U.S. Affordable Care Act (ACA), the number of people applying for non-compliant, short-term health insurance policies was up more than 100 percent in 2014.”
It’s true – more people than ever before are buying short-term, limited coverage health insurance.
But one part of the Reuters report was wrong: the word “despite.”