A project of the Galen Institute
The New York Times
Their industry already upended with the passage of the federal health care law, insurance companies are facing another upheaval if the Supreme Court rules that millions of Americans are not eligible for subsidies to help defray the cost of their coverage.
The court is expected to decide by the end of June or in early July whether it agrees with the plaintiffs in King v. Burwell that the language in the Affordable Care Act allows the government to offer subsidies only in those states that have established their own insurance marketplaces.
The strange, twisted journey to the Supreme Court of a case that threatens to unravel President Barack Obama's namesake heath care legislation began five years ago in the quiet of a Greenville, S.C., law office.
It was summer 2010. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act had been signed into law a few months before on March 23. Tom Christina had been asked by his firm to study it and assess its implications for clients.
American Action Forum
Today, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued an analysis of the budgetary and economic effects of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the first such estimate to factor the law’s impact on the economy into the price tag for repealing it, a type of analysis also known as dynamic scoring. Though much of the report is predictable and consistent with past analyses by the CBO of the ACA, it is novel in the comprehensiveness of its scope, and offers three important lessons for observers and policymakers.
In early June, the federal government released data on the premium increases that health insurers in 45 states and the District of Columbia are requesting for 2016. The numbers were eye-popping, with many requests exceeding 20 percent and a few even exceeding 50 percent. They were definitely "death spiral" inducing premium hikes. Yet, some pundits on the Left dismissed them as no big deal.
The Wall Street Journal
State Republican leaders are ratcheting up the pressure on Congress to overhaul the Affordable Care Act if the Supreme Court this month rules that subsidies on the federal exchange are invalid.
Republicans from 33 states have written to Congress as part of a coordinated message urging federal legislators to develop a plan that would free states from the pressure of setting up their own exchanges to salvage subsidies, according to the Foundation for Government Accountability, a conservative think tank.
Despite White House veto threats, the House is ready to vote to repeal taxes on medical devices and kill a Medicare advisory board that foes say would ration health care as the chamber aims its latest whack at President Barack Obama's health care law.
Thursday's votes were slated a day after top House and Senate Republicans briefed rank-and-file GOP lawmakers about their plans should the Supreme Court annul federal health care subsidies for millions. Under the tentative House GOP proposal, states could design their own plans for funneling federal health dollars to residents and drop the health law's consumer protections, such as guaranteeing that family policies cover children until age 26.
“Protect the people, not the law,” said Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) in a brief phone interview, describing the mind-set of the GOP should the Supreme Court rule against the administration and strike down the federal Obamacare exchanges in King v. Burwell. The Supreme Court did not issue an opinion today, but within the next two weeks Congress may be presented with a dilemma: What should it do about the approximately 6.4 million people who would lose subsidies in 34 states?
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is pushing back against the idea of Republicans simply continuing ObamaCare subsidies if the Supreme Court cripples the law.
At a press conference Thursday, Boehner was asked why a House GOP plan included repeal of the individual mandate, which would just be “veto-bait” for President Obama, and why Republicans would not just extend subsidies through the presidential election while looking for concessions elsewhere in exchange.
“Clearly, we’re interested in protecting those millions of Americans who could lose their subsidies. But, as I said, we are not interested in protecting a fundamentally broken law,” Boehner said.
The New York Times
Republicans who have been hoping that the Supreme Court will upend President Obama’s health care law are now confronting an urgent and uncomfortable question: What if they win?
Republicans in Congress would face an enormously complicated challenge to fashion an alternative, and they fear the fallout could lead to election losses if millions of Americans abruptly found themselves without health insurance.
If the court voids a federal rule allowing subsidies in states that use the federal insurance marketplace, many Republicans said, they would support a temporary continuation of subsidies for people with low or moderate incomes.