Few States Have Contingency Plans if Supreme Strike Down Health Law Subsidies

Millions of Americans could soon lose health insurance when the Supreme Court decides the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act this month, but states have made few concrete plans to deal with the potential fallout, and they may get little help from Washington, President Obama warned Monday. “If somebody does something that doesn’t make any sense, then, it’s hard…to fix,” the President said, suggesting his administration can’t do much if the justices side with the health law’s Republican critics. When the court rules this month, the justices may eliminate insurance subsidies in as many as 37 states that use the federal HealthCare.gov marketplace established through the health law. The law’s challengers argue that a strict reading of the statute makes those subsidies available only in states that established their own marketplaces, rather than having the federal government operate the marketplace for them. A state could restore the aid if it runs its own marketplace, as California and 12 other states and the District of Columbia already do. Only two states whose residents are in jeopardy — Pennsylvania and Delaware — have outlined strategies for preserving subsidies, however. “I’m afraid the potential for major disruptions is only now starting to dawn on people,” said former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, a Republican who served as Health and Human Services secretary under President George W. Bush.

Source/more: Los Angeles Times

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