Dr David Blumenthal Weighs in on the Effect of King v. Burwell Decision

On March 4 the Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case of King v. Burwell, which determines the fate of subsidies in the 34 federally facilitated marketplaces, and David Blumenthal, MD, chief executive officer of The Commonwealth Fund, outlined the potentially catastrophic effects if the Court were to side with the plaintiffs.

On March 4 the Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case of King v. Burwell, which determines the fate of subsidies in the 34 federally facilitated marketplaces, and David Blumenthal, MD, president of The Commonwealth Fund, outlined the potentially catastrophic effects if the Court were to side with the plaintiffs.

A ruling that strikes down subsidies for individuals on the federal marketplace would not only affect those who were relying on the assistance for health insurance, he explained. Some providers, particularly safety net providers, would suffer financial losses that would make it difficult to treat all patients, not just those directly affected by the court ruling.

“We see lots of negative side effects and certainly are concerned that some of the very important gains that have been made under the Affordable Care Act—with respect to access to care, reduction of medical debt, reduction of financial barriers to care—that some of those very important gains would be lost,” Dr Blumenthal said.