HR Professionals Magazine March 2015


March Issue Highlights



In the Spotlight: Bob Carragher, SHRM Senior State Affairs Advisor

Hot Topics

  Supreme Court to Hear Case on ACA Federal Subsidies March 4

(Washington, DC) The Supreme Court will hear the case that could end federal subsidies in 34 states that use If the justices rule that the subsidies are illegal through the federal exchange, they would largely undo the PPACA, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which has helped insure millions of Americans.

The case is known as King v. Burwell. Currently 11.4 million people have signed up for health care through the government website and approximately 90 percent of those who have signed up obtained tax credits to help pay for the coverage through the federal exchanges because their states did not set up state exchanges.

The problem is that the Affordable Care Act did not allow for the federal exchange to cover the states, making it unconstitutional to cover people in the states where there are no state exchanges. If the court rules against the federal subsidies, states that decided not to set up an exchange will have to reverse course and establish one. But that takes time, cost millions of dollars and will be complicated, requiring the consent of Republican governors or legislatures who are politically opposed to the law.

Opponents point out four words in the Affordable Care Act – stating subsidies will be distributed through marketplaces “established by the state.” They argue that this wording prevents the government from subsidizing insurance purchased through the federally administered exchange. Those in favor of the law argue that Congress intended the subsidies to be available through both the federal and state exchanges, which they say is made clear in the overall bill.

However the Supreme Court rules, it will have no effect on the subsidies provided to those who live in states with state-run exchanges.




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