King vs. Burwell: The Future of the Affordable Care Act?
At the end of June, the Supreme Court is expected to issue its decision in King v. Burwell. At issue in the case is whether the language of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) should be interpreted to mean that only individuals in states that run their own health insurance exchanges are eligible for premium subsidies. Should the Court decide that subsidies are limited to those individuals, it is estimated that about 7.5 million people in 34 states would lose subsidies that make insurance more affordable. If that happens, Congress could amend the law to provide subsidies to everyone, but a debate on the ACA would be contentious, to say the least. Moreover, the Republicans, who hold a majority in both chambers Congress, have not reached a consensus among themselves about how they should proceed. In the Senate, a majority of Members now support a bill, sponsored by Ron Johnson (R-WI), that would keep subsidies in place through September 2017 and would repeal the individual and employer mandates. But many House Members would not support such a bill and the President would be unlikely to sign it. See these articles from Politico and Talking Points Memo.