March 4th, 2015 – Today, the Supreme Court begins hearing oral arguments in King v. Burwell, which challenges the Affordable Care Act’s consumer subsidies.
The court case boils down to whether the federal government can continue to provide tax credits and reduced cost sharing benefits to consumers in states that did not establish their own state based marketplaces and get insurance through HealthCare.gov instead.
There is much at stake as a ruling against continuing to allow the ACA subsidies would rock the Affordable Care Act itself, as well as impact the affordability of insurance to the 7.5 million people in 34 states that used HealthCare.gov to qualify for subsidies. A ruling against the continuation of subsidies to these people could cause a dramatic increase in uninsured Americans and potentially destabilize the insurance markets in those 34 states.
The challenge is only to the subsidies in states that didn’t set up their own marketplaces, so residents of 16 states and the District of Columbia would not see their financial assistance taken away if the government loses. To be clear, regardless of how the Supreme Court rules, Coloradans would not lose their financial assistance, since we have our own state based marketplace, Connect for Health Colorado.