On November 7th, the Supreme Court accepted to hear the case King v. Burwell that threatens the law in 36 states that set up tax credits to help Americans afford premiums. The subsidies are important because middle-income people cannot afford to pay the full price of premiums. Removing the tax credits would widen the inequities in health care access between republican and democratic states.
King v. Burwell claims the law says that subsidies should go to people who bought coverage “through an Exchange established by the state”, which would mean that tax credits cannot be applied in federally run market places. The plaintiffs complain that subsidies should only go to states where the state is running its own exchange.
Republicans have made significant advances in Congress and state governments during election week, with many candidates promising to strive to eliminate the Affordable Care Act. Therefore, it seems improbable that the newly elected congress will try to clarify the law’s language.
Not all parts of the health law are affected by this case. Medicaid expansion will still continue in 27 states, young adults can still be covered by their parent’s health insurance, law reforms of Medicare payment policy would remain relevant, and regulations would still limit insurance companies’ profits.
Summary by MedicalGroups.com
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