The case, King v. Burwell, hinges on how the Supreme Court interprets four words embedded in the nearly 1,000-page health-care law. Plaintiffs argue for a literal interpretation of the law, which states that subsidies only be available on exchanges “established by the state.” Those involved in crafting the law say that was never the intention and that the rest of it makes clear that the subsidies were intended to be available to all. Residents would be unaffected in the 16 states and D.C., where officials established their own exchanges.
As The Post’s Lena Sun reported Tuesday, a ruling striking subsidies would have a disproportionate impact:
Many who receive subsidies through the federal marketplace are white and live in the South, according to a recent Urban Institute analysis. Half have full-time jobs. Many live in states such as Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina and Texas — states led by Republican officials who oppose the health-care law and have balked at setting up their own exchanges. Another big group lives in the Midwest, in states such as Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Roughly $1.7 billion in monthly subsidies are at risk, according to the new federal data, with Florida at risk of losing the most, nearly $390 million.