The Supreme Court’s King v. Burwell ruling will make headlines whenever it arrives. It will also be genuine news to much of the country. The Kaiser Family Foundation’s Health Policy News Index, which tracks how closely the public follows health stories in the news, found that 59% of Americans have not been paying much or any attention to news stories about the case, and only 16% have been following very closely. That means that when the verdict comes the media’s first job will be to explain what the case was about.
The Affordable Care Act is once again before the Supreme Court. This time it’s not about whether the government can force you to have health insurance or pay a penalty. It can. That is so “2012.”
Now, in the case of King v. Burwell, the meaning of six words in a thousand-page law is under scrutiny. Those words could determine whether millions of Americans can afford to buy health insurance.
House conservatives are hinting at support for a temporary extension of Obama-Care subsidies if the Supreme Court cripples the law, even as they set up a working group to develop their own plan.
The high court is set to rule later this month in the case of King v. Burwell, which could invalidate subsidies for millions of people in at least 34 states using the federally run marketplace. Republicans say they need to be ready to address people losing their coverage, but have yet to coalesce around a plan.
Now another proposal is in the works. Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus told The Hill they are setting up a group of four or five lawmakers, led by Rep. John Fleming (R-La.). The lawmakers will develop a plan meant to influence the main House working group led by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and two other panel chairmen, which Fleming complained is meeting in “secret.”
The Supreme Court could wipe away health insurance for millions of Americans when it resolves the latest fight over President Barack Obama’s health overhaul. But would the court take away a benefit from so many people? Should the justices even consider such consequences?
Several high-profile Republican governors are building pressure on Congress to come up with a plan if the Supreme Court decides to void subsidies for millions of people in their states.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker both said Tuesday they are opposed to any kind of state-level fix to restore ObamaCare subsidies in case the administration loses in court.
“I think it has to be a federal fix,” Scott told reporters at the event he hosted Tuesday for GOP presidential candidates, according to The Washington Post.
The Supreme Court could decide this month that the financial help 6.4 million Americans receive to cover their health insurance costs are illegal — sending premium costs skyrocketing as much as 650 percent in states with some of the poorest residents.
The case, King v. Burwell, would affect people in the 36 different states that use Healthcare.gov as their marketplace. But the pain won’t be felt equally, according to a new graphic from the Kaiser Family Foundation, a health-care nonprofit with a wealth of data. The real losers in a ruling against Obamacare: the states that have the most people enrolled under the law and where incomes are low.
If Republicans get their way at the Supreme Court this month and wipe out Obamacare premium subsidies for millions of Americans, the ensuing damage to their party in 2016 swing states could be poignant.
A state-by-state analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that about 6.4 million Americans in 34 states that use the federal marketplace would lose a total of $1.7 trillion monthly tax credit dollars—an average of $272 per person—and face a net premium increase of 287 percent.
Officials from states across the nation flew to Chicago in early May for a secret 24-hour meeting to discuss their options if the Supreme Court rules they have to operate their own exchanges in order for residents to get health-insurance subsidies.
Sometime in the next few weeks, the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on whether the federal government can subsidize people’s health insurance in the 37 states that haven’t set up Affordable Care Act exchanges. Behind that fight is another one, just as interesting and almost as important: Who gets the blame if the government loses?
The case, King v. Burwell, revolves around a phrase in the law that says insurance subsidies are available on exchanges “established by the state.” The plaintiffs and their supporters say this shows Congress meant to use the subsidies as a cudgel to compel states to create their own exchanges. Now that the strategy has failed, they argue, with some states refusing to build exchanges and instead defaulting to the one run by the federal government, the government should accept the consequences and withdraw those subsidies.
A group of Republican Senators is getting ready for a game of chicken with the administration if the Supreme Court strikes down Obamacare health care subsidies.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) and a handful of senators are rallying around a contingency plan if the court rules against the administration in King v. Burwell and eliminates health subsidies for millions of people currently enrolled in the federal exchange, HealthCare.gov, Politico first reported.
Related: Some States are in Debt Over Obamacare Exchanges
The GOP plan would create a patch for the subsidies until 2017, sparing millions from losing health coverage. In exchange, the proposal eliminates two major provisions of Obamacare—the employer mandate and the individual mandate, which, policy experts warn, would cause a crippling ripple effect through the insurance market.
If the Senate plan gains traction, it could force the Obama administration to decide whether to sign a piece of legislation that guts major Obamacare provisions in order to keep millions of people from being denied their subsidized coverage, or reject the proposal and see millions lose coverage.
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