Later this year the United States Supreme court will decide case number 14-114, King v. Burwell. The outcome of this case could very well decide the fate of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
The essence of this landmark case is as follows:
Section 36B of the Internal Revenue Code, which was enacted as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("ACA"), authorizes federal tax-credit subsidies for health insurance coverage that is purchased through an "Exchange established by the State under section 1311" of the ACA.
The question presented is whether the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") may permissibly promulgate regulations to extend tax-credit subsidies to coverage purchased through Exchanges established by the federal government under section 1321 of the ACA.
The ACA (Obamacare) provides subsidies to a family of four earning anywhere from $95,400 to $119,280 per year. These earning thresholds are 400% of the 2014 Federal Poverty line.
A ruling in favor of King would prevent the Obama administration from distributing health insurance subsidies through Exchanges established by the federal government. Such a ruling would be a major blow to President Obama since his signature legislation relies on redistribution of wealth via federal insurance exchanges.
State pushback against Obamacare required the Obama administration to implement federally run exchanges in 37 of our 50 states. The inability to deliver subsidies to people in these 37 states would render the government run health insurance market unworkable. Fixing this insurance market place would require a legislative rewrite of Obamacare, providing a chance for conservative legislators to reign in this big government overreach.
This video explains why conservatives should be optimistic that the outcome of King v. Burwell will be to their liking.