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High Court Hears Arguments on ACA Subsidies—ASA Among Limited Observers

American Staffing Association (03/05/15) Edward A. Lenz

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments yesterday in the case of King v. Burwell—the most serious challenge to the ACA since the court’s 2012 decision upholding the constitutionality of the “individual mandate” requiring most U.S. citizens to buy health insurance or pay a penalty.

The current challenge involves a narrower issue involving the authority of health care exchanges established under the ACA to grant subsidies, in the form of premium tax credits, to certain individuals who buy health insurance on such exchanges. ASA’s senior counsel attended yesterday’s hearing.

Some ACA opponents may relish the prospect of irreparable damage to the law if the court disallows federal exchange subsidies, but most observers believe that would be a mistake. The Supreme Court is expected to issue its decision before the court’s term ends this summer.