King v. Burwell: Obamacare at the Supreme Court Again
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This spring, the Affordable Care Act will make its third trip to the Supreme Court. But King v. Burwell is different from its predecessors. Instead of challenging the law’s constitutionality (NFIB v. Sebelius), or the way certain regulations burden particular types of plaintiffs (Hobby Lobby), this case questions how the president has enforced the law. King focuses on the subsidies that allow people to pay only a portion of their premiums, one of the key ACA pillars. But Congress only authorized subsidies for people who buy insurance “through an Exchange established by the State” — not in the 37 states where the federal government established exchanges because states refused to do so. The government claims that the phrase “through an Exchange established by the State” includes federally established exchanges and, alternatively, that the statute is vague enough to allow the executive branch to decide whether (or not) to offer subsidies in federal exchanges. Please join us for a discussion of this important case — and what a ruling either way will mean to patients and health care policy — the day after the Supreme Court hears oral argument.