While lawsuit now before US Supreme Court has been called momentous for its potential to impact millions, it is also being criticized as cynical, unfounded, and the brainchild of moneyed interests.
The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments on Wednesday in King v. Burwell, the case that could decide the future of the Affordable Care Act and the healthcare status of an estimated 9.6 million people who have purchased insurance through HealthCare.gov.
While the lawsuit has been called momentous for its potential impacts, it is also being criticized as cynical, unfounded, and the brainchild of moneyed interests intent on dismantling the 2010 healthcare law.
"The King v. Burwell case is yet another reason to swiftly move beyond the failing ACA to a simpler, publicly financed, improved-Medicare-for-All system." —Dr. Robert Zarr, PNHPIn King, the court has to decide if the Affordable Care Act provides subsidies to everyone in the country who qualifies for them on the basis of income level, regardless of whether they get their insurance through a state-run exchange or an exchange run by the federal government. Thirty-four states opted for federally-run exchanges, instead of setting up their own.
The case hinges on just a handful of words in the massive bill—"through an exchange established by the state"—a phrase the plaintiffs claim is evidence that Congress intended to permit subsidies only for people who buy insurance through state-run exchanges.
But that argument is "fiction," charged author and journalist Steven Brill at Reuters this week. "Provable fiction."