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 less than a month, the Supreme Court will rule on King v. Burwell, a case that could topple the Affordable Care Act. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, that would leave almost 8 million Americans unable to pay for healthcare. Chances are, however, that the average voter can’t tell you much about it.
New Morning Consult polling shows that this is gradually changing. Awareness of the legal battle has grown since oral arguments in early March, when 44 percent of voters said that they did not know or had no opinion on the core issue at stake in King v. Burwell: the legality of offering healthcare subsidies through the federal exchange.
A poll conducted in late May shows that number dropped to 37 percent.
The increase in attention came mostly from Democrats, 41 percent of whom reported having no knowledge or no opinion in February; in May, only 34 percent gave the same response. Forty-one percent of Republicans reported no awareness in February, and that figure has since dropped to 38 percent.
The case questions the intent of four words in a single statue of the ACA – that the government may issue subsidies through exchanges “established by the State” – and plaintiffs argue that the court should interpret them literally, meaning only state-run exchanges would be able to offer subsidies.
The new polling data mark a slight shift in the response of Republican voters regarding that legal interpretation. In February, 14 percent of GOP respondents said federal exchanges were initially intended to be treated like state-run exchanges under the law. Twenty-six percent now share that view.
WASHINGTON—Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said Thursday that a potential Supreme Court decision voiding the health law’s tax credits would create widespread disruption, but that federal officials were prepared to work with states to mitigate the effects.
A move by the court to strike a key component of the 2010 federal health-care overhaul could mean “the number of uninsured would jump dramatically” and that a “death spiral” would ensue in insurance markets in most of the country, she said, as sicker people kept coverage and healthier ones dropped it.
The federal government has provided tax credits to help low- and moderate-income consumers pay for health premiums in about three-dozen states through the HealthCare.gov website. The Supreme Court is set to rule later this month on whether the language of the Affordable Care Act restricts the credits to residents of the handful of states that opted to run their own insurance sites, officially called exchanges.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell said she was hopeful that more states will follow Indiana’s example and expand Medicaid. She spoke at a breakfast hosted by the Wall Street Journal Thursday.
“We believe we hold the right position,” Ms. Burwell said at a breakfast hosted by The Wall Street Journal. But “if that’s what the courts decide, we can’t undo the massive damage.”
The Republican Study Committee unveiled its blueprint for overhauling U.S. health-care if the Supreme Court cripples the federal health law in a decision expected later this month.
The official plan from the group of 170 House conservatives would repeal the entire 2010 Affordable Care Act starting Jan. 1, 2016. It would then replace the ACA’s centerpiece tax credits to help low and modest income people pay premiums and its requirements that insurers sell coverage to everyone regardless of their medical history with tax deductions and new insurance plans for people with pre-existing conditions.
Some Republicans, including 2008 presidential nominee Sen. John McCain, have long favored the idea, arguing it’s good tax policy, gives everyone the same choices, and doesn’t give people incentives to buy more expensive insurance.
A group of House conservatives on Thursday unveiled the latest version of their ObamaCare replacement plan — intentionally steering clear of a contentious court decision that could throw the law into flux.
The repackaged plan from the Republican Study Committee would fully repeal ObamaCare while creating new tax deductions and incentives for people to use health savings accounts.
It does not address Congress’s biggest debate over ObamaCare this year: how Republicans should respond to the looming case, King v. Burwell, if justices decide to strike down subsidies for 6.3 million people.
Millions of Americans could lose Obamacare subsidies under a Supreme Court ruling this month, but many in the GOP don’t need their votes anyway.
That’s a major political calculus for Tea Party Republicans, who are likely to resist any efforts to extend the subsidies, even temporarily. They’re much more worried about angering their base by appearing to concede to Obamacare than whether a handful of constituents lose their subsidies.
The American Action Forum recently assessed the plausible effects of a ruling for the plaintiff in the Supreme Court case, King v Burwell, concerning the legality of subsidies in the federally-run health insurance exchanges implemented under the Affordable Care Act. At the time of writing, the most up-to-date number for enrollees at risk of losing a health insurance subsidy was 7.7 million. But this week, the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services released an update to enrollment figure that counts effectuated enrollment, which includes only households that have paid an insurance premium. As generally expected, roughly 15 percent of individuals with “plan selections” did not pay a premium and become actually enrolled. In light of this most recent update, roughly 6.6 million individuals across 37 states are at risk of losing their subsidies. The other impact estimates in the original AAF research remains unaffected, including 11.1 million people that will no longer face the threat of an individual mandate penalty.
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.