The high court & ObamaCare: Language matters
ObamaCare’s undoing is a welcome step closer, thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court agreeing to hear a challenge based on the health-care law’s plain language.
At issue in King v. Burwell is Affordable Care Act language that makes premium subsidies available for health insurance bought through “an exchange established by the state.” The challenge contends those subsidies should apply only where states set up their own exchanges. The Obama administration contends Congress intended those subsidies to also apply where the federal government set up exchanges for states.
The Supreme Court took the case even though a similar case is still in the appeals process. And since four justices must agree to hear a case, “it is extremely likely that at least four justices … are willing to strike down subsidies in exchanges run by the feds,” according to The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin.
That’s how the Supreme Court should rule — and it should do so easily, given what the law plainly says. If it does, National Journal warns that premium costs will soar for millions, many of them will drop coverage and “the dreaded ‘death spiral’ … would likely become a real threat” for federal exchanges.
But offsetting the high court’s regrettable prior ruling upholding ObamaCare and providing an opening for real, market-based reform by the new GOP-controlled Congress, that ruling can’t come soon enough.