We’re guessing that you heard the news on Friday that the Supreme Court
agreed to rule on a new challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable
Care Act.

We’ve heard from some of you that you’re not sure you understand what
they are going to rule on and would like an explanation. So here goes:

As published in the New York Times

“The case concerns tax subsidies that currently help millions of people afford health insurance under the law. According to the challengers, those subsidies are being provided unlawfully in three dozen states that have decided not to run the marketplaces, known as exchanges, for insurance coverage.

If the challengers are right, people receiving subsidies in those states would become ineligible for them, destabilizing and perhaps dooming the law.

The Obama administration said it would mount a vigorous defense in the Supreme Court.”

According to “Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma’s attorney general…’This Supreme Court review will provide Oklahoma and the 35 other states that did not establish state-based exchanges with immediate and conclusive clarity as to their rights and obligations under the A.C.A. so that the states may make appropriate health care policy decisions.’”

“The case is likely to be argued in February or March, and a decision will probably arrive in June, three years after the court ruled that Congress had acted constitutionally in enacting the law…The central question in the case, King v. Burwell, No. 14-114, is what to make of a provision in the law limiting subsidies to ‘an exchange established by the state.’ (If states do not establish their own exchanges, the health care law requires the federal government to run them instead.)

“The challengers say the provision means that only people in states with their own exchanges can get subsidies. Congress made the distinction, they say, to encourage states to participate. But the Internal Revenue Service has issued a regulation saying subsidies are allowed whether the exchange is run by a state or by the federal government. The challengers say that regulation is at odds with the law.”

“Mr. Earnest, the White House press secretary, said the court’s move has not, for now at least, altered the status quo: ‘American families who have already enrolled, or are planning to sign up during the open enrollment period beginning on Nov. 15, should know that nothing has changed,” he said. “Tax credits and affordable coverage remain available.’”

What say you?
If you were a Justice of the Supreme Court, how would you rule?

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