Conflicting Court Rulings Continue Health-Law Debates


Two conflicting appellate court decisions on Tuesday regarding subsidies given to 83% or 4.5 million people who signed up for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through the federal marketplace has reaffirmed the immense uncertainty of how healthcare will be provided in the United States going forward.  The President’s signature piece of legislation has been a highly contentious topic since it’s passing in March 2010.  The Supreme court had previously upheld most parts of the ACA with Chief Justice John Roberts writing that the personal mandate is actually a tax and therefore constitutional.  What we are seeing now is court challenges to more specific points within the law rather than taking it on as a whole.

It is important to note that “the subsidies for policies purchased through state-administered exchanges aren’t under challenge in the cases” according to Andrew Zajac of Bloomberg Businessweek. Republicans like Sen. Marco Rubio, who also has presidential aspirations, have championed the District of Columbia’s decision to strike down the law stating: “It’s just the tip of the iceberg with a law that’s also destined to either crush patients with obscenely high costs, lead to a taxpayer bailout of health-insurance companies, or both… I reaffirm my belief that this law ultimately will fall apart.”

On the other side of the aisle, Democrats such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi saw Virginia’s court decision to uphold the law as a win and rebuffed Republicans “toxic obsession with destroying the Affordable Care Act.” The fact that the country is still having the conversation regarding the validity of the ACA is disheartening.  Whether you are for or against the law should have no basis on trying to solve the real question at hand: How do we cut healthcare spending while providing high quality of care for every patient?

By: Tommy King
Co-Founder & CEO