Supreme Court: Another chance to affirm ACA as the law of the land — the whole land

Added March 4th, 2015 by Jan Hudson | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Jan Hudson

There is a lot at stake for about 300,000 Michiganians as the U.S. Supreme Court begins consideration of the King v. Burwell case today.

This case will  determine whether the Affordable Care Act permits the federal government to provide premium tax credits to qualifying individuals anywhere in the U.S. or only in states that established their own Health Insurance Marketplaces.

An adverse ruling in this case could eliminate these tax credits established in the law to make coverage more affordable. It is hard to imagine that Congress would have intended to pick winners and losers for healthcare coverage in such an arbitrary and surreptitious manner.

Michigan is one of the 29 states that refused to establish a state-specific Marketplace. Instead Michigan deferred to the federal government to operate its Marketplace.

In Michigan, nearly 341,000 individuals have successfully used the federal Marketplace, called Healthcare.gov, to shop and enroll (or re-enroll) in coverage and receive the federal tax credits. Nearly nine out of every 10 Michigan residents who enrolled in coverage qualify for these subsidies to lower their premiums.

The tax credits were established in the ACA to make insurance more affordable, particularly for lower- to moderate-income Americans. These subsidies are essential with the requirement that most people have insurance or pay a penalty. They are only one component of a very complex law that must be considered in total and not by taking a few words out of context.

In a New York Times op-ed  Nicolas Bagley, an assistant professor of law at the University of Michigan, noted that in considering an earlier case on the individual mandate, the justices wrote that without the individual mandate  “the other major provisions could impose enormous risks of unexpected burdens on patients, the health care community and the federal budget.”

In addition, the justices noted that leaving millions of people without health insurance “would be in absolute conflict with the design” of the law and “would pose a threat to the nation that Congress did not intend.”

Elimination of the tax credits would certainly result in similar risks and burdens.

We expect the justices will do the right thing in this attack on the Affordable Care Act, consider the greater good, and rule that there is no basis for taking away tax credits and effectively affordable coverage from millions of individuals nationally and hundreds of thousands in Michigan.

— Jan Hudson

 

2 Responses to “Supreme Court: Another chance to affirm ACA as the law of the land — the whole land”

  1. Christina says:

    Truly no matter if someone doesn’t know afterward its up to other
    people that they will help, so here it happens.

  2. search says:

    Thanks for finally talking about > Supreme Court: Another chance to affirm ACA as the law of the land – the whole land | Michigan League for Public Policy < Loved it!

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