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King v. Burwell Has March 4 Court Date

The Supreme Court of the US (SCOTUS) will hear arguments in the King v. Burwell case on March 4, according to information posted today on its calendar. The viability of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) hangs in the balance. The case focuses on language in the ACA that plaintiffs charge makes it illegal for people to get federal subsidies for health insurance purchased on state exchanges if they live in states where the federal government runs those exchanges.

The Supreme Court of the US (SCOTUS) will hear arguments in the King v. Burwell case on March 4, according to information posted today on its calendar. The viability of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) hangs in the balance.

The case focuses on language in the ACA plaintiffs charge makes it illegal for people to get federal subsidies for health insurance purchased on state exchanges if they live in states where the federal government runs those exchanges.

Thirty-six states have chosen that option. A SCOTUS ruling in favor of the plaintiff could strip about 4 million people of their subsidies.

In New Jersey, for instance, 84% of enrollees purchasing insurance on the federally operated state exchange get subsidies.

Supporters of the ACA like David Sandman, senior vice present of the NY State Health Foundation say the language was “a drafting error,” and that it was never the intent of legislators to deny subsidies to these enrollees. But both sides agree that a decision for the plaintiffs could have the effect of dismantling the ACA.

The original case arose in Virginia, a state that declined to establish a state exchange. The plaintiffs, David King and others, are identified in the original lawsuit as residents of that state who oppose the subsidies. They lost that case and an appeal to the US Appellate Court for the Fourth Circuit.