You’ve heard about the very important Supreme Court case King v. Burwell, right? NO?? Okay, neither had I. But it turns out it’s a pretty important case to understand because of the major impact it could have on Obamacare.
This isn’t my area of expertise so I called in Paul Ashley of FirstPerson Advisors to help me understand this case. To begin, let’s not call it King v. Burwell since those names mean nothing to me or you (I’m guessing). The case is really the residents of Virginia (King) v. the Federal Government (Burwell). So what are the residents of Virginia so upset about? It’s about Obamacare, but it’s complicated.
To begin, Virginia is one of the 34 states that chose not to have a state-facilitated healthcare exchange. Instead, the residents there can use the federal government’s exchange. Just like all American citizens they may be eligible for subsidies which help them purchase healthcare from the government’s exchange, and they can incurred fees when coverage is not purchased. Yet, the residents of Virginia are contending that the Affordable Care Act actually says that if there is no state-facilitated exchange, subsidies and fines don’t apply. And since Virginia doesn’t have a state-facilitated exchange to buy from they shouldn’t be eligible for either subsidies or fines.
This is an attempt to find the Achille’s heel in Obamacare.
About 191,000 people in Indiana receive an average of $121 a month to purchase healthcare coverage through the federal government healthcare exchange (source). If the Supreme Court rules in favor of King, these credits could soon disappear in all states without state-based exchanges. Including Indiana.
Peter Dunn a.k.a. Pete the Planner® is an award-winning financial mind and a former comedian. He’s a USA TODAY columnist, author of ten books, and is the host of the popular radio show and podcast, The Pete the Planner Show. Pete is considered one of the foremost experts on financial wellness in the world, but he’s just as likely to talk your ear off about bass fishing.