February 27, 2015
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in the King v. Burwell case next week, with a decision expected in June, and op-ed pages continue to discuss the question of what to do should the Supreme Court decide to invalidate ACA subsidies in non-state exchanges. If the Court sides with the plaintiffs, between 7 and 13 million ACA subsidy recipients in up to 37 states without state-based exchanges will lose subsidies. Furthermore, insurance companies could potentially drop those individuals from coverage. The Wall Street Journal’s Kim Strassel, who will be speaking at the CHRO Summit in Orlando next week, advised Republicans to take advantage of this ACA "off-ramp," as there may not be another one. She warned against the dangers of inaction for Republicans, and urged them to use this opportunity to pursue more flexibility and fewer regulations for states that choose to participate in the exchanges. GOP Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) also took to The Wall Street Journal on the same subject, suggesting that the GOP pursue a temporary, COBRA-like mechanism for those who lose subsidies after the Court decides. Writing in the Washington Post, Catherine Rampell provided a thoughtful look at the prevalence of health care subsidies in general, and suggested that the American people "look in the mirror" to determine who is getting subsidies from the government. In a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, American Health Policy Institute President Tevi Troy advised Congressional Republicans that they "need to come up with an alternative that's ready to go if the Supreme Court's ruling [in the King v. Burwell case] goes their way" or else President Obama will "undoubtedly blame Republicans for 'taking away' the subsidies."