Every day there seems to be another article focused on how many individuals might lose their subsidies if the Supreme Court rules in favor of the plaintiffs in the King v. Burwell case.
Yet, an even bigger group of individuals harmed by Obamacare has an equally good claim for relief that hasn’t gotten as much attention—the people who, thanks to Obamacare, must pay more for health insurance but who never got subsidies.
Even in Kentucky, which championed the 2010 health care law by expanding Medicaid and running its own insurance marketplace, about half of poor people say they have heard little about the Affordable Care Act, according to a Harvard University study published Monday in Health Affairs.
Awareness of Obamacare was even lower in Arkansas and Texas—two states that have not embraced the law as warmly. The study — which surveyed nearly 3,000 low-income residents in the three states last December– found 55 percent of those Texans and 57 percent of those Arkansans had heard little or nothing about the law’s extension of health coverage. Arkansas expanded Medicaid eligibility to cover more people under the law, but the state legislature prohibited spending public money to promote that or the federal subsidies available to help people buy private Obamacare plans. Texas did not expand Medicaid and restricted private groups wanting to help people enroll in new insurance options.
Such assistance was critical to whether people completed the application for coverage process, the study found. In fact, enrollment assistance led to a nearly 10 percentage point increase in the probability of people getting coverage, the study found.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday declined to discuss the details of a Republican backup plan for ObamaCare, saying that the party will be ready if the Supreme Court rules against the healthcare law.
“We’ll have a plan that makes sense for the American people,” the Republican leader said during an interview with The Joe Elliott Show. “If the plaintiff is successful it will require some addressing of the issue, and if that were to happen we’ll be ready to announce our proposal.”
The Supreme Court is expected to announce its decision this month in the King v. Burwell case, which could cancel subsidies for millions of Americans who are enrolled through the federal website HealthCare.gov.
President Barack Obama had barely finished proposing an idea to deal with a far-reaching Supreme Court decision on Obamacare before Republicans fired back with a categorical response: Not gonna happen.
At the G7 conference in Germany on Monday, the president said if the justices strip subsidies from millions of Americans, “Congress could fix this whole thing with a one-sentence provision” making clear that Healthcare.gov subsidies are available in all 50 states. Republicans quickly fired off a rebuttal.
“Let’s be clear: if the Supreme Court rules against the Administration, Congress will not pass a so called ‘one-sentence’ fake fix,” Wyoming Senator John Barrasso, who is leading Republican efforts to craft a contingency plan, said in a statement.
President Barack Obama expressed confidence that the Supreme Court would uphold subsidies millions of consumers use to buy health insurance, and at the same time warned of possible dire consequences if that doesn’t happen.
Speaking Monday at a news conference in Germany, at the Group of Seven summit, Mr. Obama said the case, which the Supreme Court is expected to decide near the end of the month “should be an easy case. Frankly, it probably shouldn’t even have been taken up.”
Plaintiffs in the case, King v. Burwell, argue that four words in the health law mean subsidies under the 2010 Affordable Care Act can go only to residents of the dozen states that established their own health-insurance exchanges, rather than the rest of the country, which relies on the federal government HealthCare.gov website
As expectations rise that the Supreme Court will slap down the federal subsidies to help low- to moderate-income Americans get health insurance, a new poll finds that voters want the system reformed and would reward politicians to come up with a fix.
The Public Policy Polling survey found that 61 percent of Americans believe that those eligible for subsidies should be able to get them no matter what state they live in.
What’s more, the poll done for the progressive group Americans United For Change finds that most, no matter which party, want the law fixed to provide subsidies even if they are struck down by the court.
In response to a question at a press conference today following the G7 summit in Germany, President Obama commented on the pending decision in the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s U.S. Supreme Court case King v. Burwell:
“And so this should be an easy case. Frankly, it probably shouldn’t even have been taken up. And since we’re going to get a ruling pretty quick, I think it’s important for us to go ahead and assume that the Supreme Court is going to do what most legal scholars who’ve looked at this would expect them to do.”