Senate Bill Would Protect ACA Subsidies After Court Ruling

If the Supreme Court, in deciding D. King v. S.M. Burwell, (14-114), rules against health care subsidies paid through exchanges under the Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act (ACA), a group of 30 Senate Republicans are backing a bill, the Preserving Freedom and Choice in Health Care, which would allow participants to keep their health plan and subsidies until August 2017. The bill was introduced by Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.

Johnson said that participants would also have the freedom to purchase any new insurance plan the free market offers. The bill also prevents the IRS from imposing penalties on individuals who choose not to buy health care plans by eliminating the individual mandate. “It would help control the cost of health insurance by repealing Obamacare’s costly mandated coverages and turning insurance decisions back over to individuals and the states,” said Johnson.

At issue in King v Burwell is whether the language in the ACA, which allow subsidies for individuals who purchase health plans on the federal exchange, is legal. A decision is expected in late June.

“Such a ruling is consistent with the law, but it would leave those Americans unable to pay for expensive Obamacare coverage that is affordable only when it is subsidized by hardworking taxpayers,” Johnson said in a statement. “We recognize that if the Supreme Court rules the administration’s implementation of Obamacare is unlawful, President Obama will cynically propose yet another patch to this unworkable law. We need to be ready with real reform.”

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