ACA Subsidies in Jeopardy by the Halbig Case

The Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) provides subsidies for purchasers of insurance who fall between 133% and 400% of the federal poverty level to help them to afford the premiums.  The Halbig decision says that only state exchanges can provide these subsides because the ACA specifically says only state exchanges provide subsidies.  Pennsylvania is one of the states that did not create it’s own exchange.  It will be at least a year before the Supreme Court weighs in on the Halbig case if it agrees with this decision then healthcare will become even less affordable for states in yellow below.

Certainly a single payer system could remedy this problem as well as the hobby lobby decision but this case also illustrates the lengths opponents will go to block any meaningful healthcare reform.  This issue could be corrected with a simple revision to the language of the law but that is unlikely with the current climate in Congress.  Any writer will tell you that drafting errors occur even when you are most careful and the authors of any single payer law will have to be extra vigilant in spotting them.

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