|image courtesy of www.rand.org|
The Supreme Court is expected to release their ruling in the case, King v Burwell any day this week. The case challenges the legality of The Affordable Care Act’s subsidies which are given as tax credits in 34 states that are not currently currently operating their own insurance marketplaces and instead rely on the federal marketplace. What does this mean for ordinary Americans?
The case hinges on four key words, “established by the state.” These words are included in a provision of the law that explains how premium subsidies are calculated for qualified health plans. The plaintiffs have argued that states using the federal exchange are not using an exchange “established by the state,” and consequently the Internal Revenue Service has violated the law by offering tax credits to individuals in such states. If the plaintiffs win, health insurers will lose their tax credits which allowed them to offer low premiums to ObamaCare beneficiaries. About 7 million of insured Americans in the 34 states participating in the Federal exchange will suddenly be required to pay full premiums for their plans. This will cause many of them to drop out of ObamaCare completely.
Congress needs to act quickly and come up with a replacement plan if the Supreme Court rules in favor of the plaintiffs in King v. Burwell. So far, no alternative has been announced. I have a few suggestions.
The Affordable Care Act is a bad law. It should be repealed and replaced. The Health Insurance marketplace should be opened up across state lines and offer more choices for the patient. Instead of using a single payer system, private insurers should pay for health care costs. Opening health insurance up in the free market will create competition and reduce costs for patients. Too many people are suing their doctors which is also causing a rise in the cost of health insurance. This medical law suit issue needs to be reformed too.
I want to hear a detailed plan from Congressional leaders and 2016 Presidential Candidates on how they plan on reforming ObamaCare and what they are going to do if the Supreme Court rules that the subsidies are illegal. What happens next?
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