Under­standing, explaining primary issues of King v. Burwell

Joanne Kenen

About Joanne Kenen

Joanne Kenen, (@JoanneKenen) the health editor at Politico, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health reform and curates related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on health reform resources and tip sheets at joanne@healthjournalism.org. Follow her on Facebook.

Photo by dbking via Flickr

Photo by dbking via Flickr

With oral arguments in King v. Burwell scheduled for tomorrow, the Supreme Court will likely rule in late June.

The case challenges whether subsidies, in the form of tax credits, can go to people in states using the federal exchange, or only to those in the states running their own health insurance marketplaces.

After the state cases and 2012 National Federation of Independent Business case, it is the third case that poses an existential threat to the Affordable Care Act. (Hobby Lobby and other contraception-related cases wouldn’t unspool the structure of the whole ACA, only that aspect of women’s preventive health care.)

This case isn’t about whether the Affordable Care Act is constitutional. (The 2012 case was.) This is about interpreting the text, and whether the language of the law allows the subsidies in the federal exchange states.

Learn more about the landmark Supreme Court case in this new tip sheet.

1 thought on “Under­standing, explaining primary issues of King v. Burwell

  1. Terry Griffin

    When CMS was preparing to certify the state Health Insurance Marketplaces, some states said they weren’t able to set up or run their own exchanges by the deadline. The states were allowed to choose whether to operate their own exchanges, operate a partnership exchange, or to default the operation to a federal exchange. The states picked the model that worked for them. Therefore, wouldn’t it be correct to say that no matter which option the states picked, the states made arrangements for health insurance marketplaces. Because the states picked an option, their residents would then qualify for the subsidies. Is there something I’m missing? I have to report on this soon, and I can’t get past my own conclusions yet.

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