Supreme Court Will Hear ACA Subsidy Case

On the heels of a major Republican victory in the midterm elections, the Supreme Court has decided to review the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act.

Although the case challenging the health law wasn’t originally on the list the Supreme Court released on Monday, the justices agreed on Friday to hear King v. Burwell, which concerns tax subsidies available under the Affordable Care Act.

The issue in question is whether the tax credits apply only to the 16 state-based insurance Marketplaces and not the 34 federally run Marketplaces. The Court released the order granting review of the case on Friday instead of waiting until Monday, which is traditional.

The justices will be reviewing the appeals court decision that upheld the Obama administration’s decision to extend subsidies to those on the federal Marketplace despite wording in the law that specifies state-run exchanges.

“If [the Court] decides to limit the subsidies to the state-run ‘exchanges, it is widely understood that that outcome would crash the Affordable Care Act’s carefully balanced economic arrangements,” Lyle Denniston wrote in SCOTUSblog.com.

The decision to review the latest challenge to President Obama’s health law comes on the heels of a major Republican victory in the midterm elections. Wins in Senate, House, and governors’ races have made some wonder if the ACA is on shaky ground.

Roughly 5 million people could be affected if the Supreme Court decides the subsidies are only available to individuals on the state-run exchanges.