The Supreme Court has heard arguments in the case of King v. Burwell and will be ruling on the case by the end of June. Depending on how the Court rules, the decision could effectively gut the funding for the Affordable Care Act.
The Arizona legislature has passed, and Governor Ducey has signed, a bill that, no matter what the Supreme Court decides in the King case, would prevent Arizona from establishing its own health insurance exchange. The key issue in the King case is whether subsidies are available to people who purchase their health care insurance through the federal exchange rather than through a state exchange. The subsidies could be cut off to 34 states.
Arizona is one of the 34 states. It has about 150,000 people who are signed up through the healthcare.gov website. Some states, such as Pennsylvania, are already working to set up their own state exchanges in case the Supreme Court rules against the present arrangement. Some states, like Ohio, are setting up a “state” website that in fact will allow its citizens to continue to access the federal website. Another group, like Louisiana and Arizona, are choosing to do nothing, in the hopes that an adverse ruling from the Supreme Court could kill Obamacare.
The Court’s ruling in June will have enormous personal and political implications. At present, no one knows what will happen to the 150,000 Arizonans if the Supreme Court rules against Obamacare.
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