Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Supreme Court Will Hear Challenges On ACA Subsidies

By Coleen Elkins

Only thirty seconds was given to this piece of news on the television on Friday so if you blinked you may have missed it. It was however widely covered in print.

The Supreme Court will be hearing challenges to the Affordable Care Act for a second time after determining it Constitutional in a previous hearing.

This is very serious as the challengers say that the administration is violating the plain language of the law. In question is if subsidies should have only been available to those purchasing insurance through their state exchanges.  The language in the law being challenged is where it states subsidies offered in the form of tax credits, will be offered in exchanges "established by the states". In other words it is unlawful for the federal health insurance exchange to offer subsidies.

There is not just one challenge to the law but four separate challenges.

The federal government operates more than two-thirds of the exchanges.

In July the D.C. appeals panel ruled that as written the healthcare law allows tax credits to be offered only in state-run exchanges. The administration had expected states to create their own exchanges but only 14 states did so. The court said the IRS went to far in allowing participants in other states seeking benefits from the federal exchange to qualify for billions of dollars in government assistance.

The Court will be hearing the case in the June session.

Read more here