Affordable Care Act Faces New Challenge

WASHINGTON —For millions of working Americans, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has made an enormous positive impact on their lives. The law’s federal tax credits have allow over 9 million people to be able to afford health care.

 

Opponents of the ACA brought their latest challenge, King vs. Burwell, to the U.S. Supreme Court on March 4. AFL-CIO and the NEA filed amicus briefs to defend ACA.

 

In the ACA, Congress anticipated eat State setting up its own government-run insurance market to make health-care affordable called American Health Benefits Exchange. For states that did not do this, Congress authorized the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to set up a federal exchange. However, HHS had to set up exchanges in 34 states under Republican control but still enable millions of Americans to afford health insurance.

 

This latest case challenges two words in the 422,000-word law: “the State.” Four Virginias in King vs. Burwell interpret it as “the State and not HHS.” They claim Congress only intended to make health insurance affordable in the 16 states that set up their own exchanges.

 

Over 9 million people could lose access to affordable health care if the court majority rules for the four plaintiffs. The deans of 19 public-health schools say that the lack of health insurance will cause nearly 10,000 deaths every year in America.

 

Justice Scalia said some laws “make no sense.” “Disastrous consequences” don’t preclude a statutory interpretation. He predicted that if a ruling for plaintiffs would have results so dire, “this Congress would act.”

 

A ruling is expected by the end of June.

 

Source: PAI