One day in June or July, Congress may well have the opportunity to re-open the Affordable Care Act. Congress will not be able to repeal it, but it may be able to induce President Obama to sign amendments that significantly reduce the harm Obamacare has caused.
The grounds would be a Supreme Court decision in King v. Burwell, a case which seeks to make the Obama administration enforce the Affordable Care Act as written, instead of according to the presidents shifting political priorities. The instances in which the Administration has changed the law without Congressional amendment are numerous.
The one at question in King v. Burwell is the administrations paying tax credits to health insurers offering Obamacare plans in 34 states with federally facilitated exchanges. As a result of these tax credits, people who buy health insurance on exchanges pay premiums much lower than they otherwise would. If the plaintiffs prevail, these tax credits will stop and premiums will go up. Many people will decide to drop coverage. On the other hand, tax credits will continue to be paid in the 16 states (plus the District of Columbia) which have state-based exchanges.
|John R. Graham is a former Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute.|