A New Affordable Care Act Challenge

The United States Supreme Court will soon decide on the newest challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  In the lawsuit (King versus Burwell) King argued that the ACA only supports those buyers from states that set up their own exchange, not to buyers from states, such as Indiana, who did not set up their own exchange.[i]  Burwell argued that Congress meant to treat all health exchanges the same, whether they are state-managed or not.[ii]

What does this mean for Indiana?
If the court agrees with King, over 200,000 Hoosiers may lose the money they received to help purchase their health plan, along with millions of Americans.[iii]  If the court agrees with Burwell, then all money that was received to help buy a health plan will be seen as legal and no one will be at risk for losing their support.

What will happen if King wins?
If King wins, Congress could slightly change the law to fix the problem. Although not likely, this would be the fastest option.  It could also fall on each state to fix the problem, for example, by setting up a new exchange. This, however, could cost a lot of money. We will hear a lot more about a fix in the coming months if the court rules in favor of King.[iv]

How will the Supreme Court decide?
The Supreme Court is made up of 9 Justices.  So far, 4 Justices seemed to side with the Burwell, while 2 seemed to side with King.  If this is the case, then Burwell only needs the support of one more Justice in order to save the ACA as it is written.[v]  Though this seems a bit more likely than not, it is very hard to say how this court will rule. We are looking for the ruling in late June; I’ll provide an update once more news is received.

Post by Dan Wegg, Corporate Affairs Manager

[i] http://www.scotusblog.com/2015/03/will-concern-for-states-rights-win-out-in-subsidies-battle-todays-argument-in-plain-english/

[ii] http://www.scotusblog.com/2015/03/will-concern-for-states-rights-win-out-in-subsidies-battle-todays-argument-in-plain-english/

[iii] http://www.urban.org/research/publication/implications-supreme-court-finding-plaintiff-king-vs-burwell-82-million-more-uninsured-and-35-higher-premiums

[iv] http://kaiserhealthnews.org/news/whats-next-if-the-supreme-court-strikes-down-obamacare-aid/

[v] http://www.scotusblog.com/2015/03/will-concern-for-states-rights-win-out-in-subsidies-battle-todays-argument-in-plain-english/

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