Secretary Burwell Says HHS Does Not Have Contingency if ACA Subsidies are Struck DownImage Banner

Secretary Burwell Says HHS Does Not Have Contingency if ACA Subsidies are Struck Down

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Secretary Burwell Says HHS Does Not Have Contingency if ACA Subsidies are Struck Down

March 2, 2015
Last week, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell testified before the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, where she faced tough questions from lawmakers regarding the pending case of King v. Burwell, a Supreme Court case that will determine whether taxpayers are eligible to receive subsidies for healthcare coverage purchased on federally-run exchanges. As the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is written, it provides for subsidies for purchases made in state-run exchanges, but is silent on subsidies on federally-run exchanges. 
 
Burwell was asked what contingency plans her department has in place in the event that the Supreme Court rules against the government and finds that people purchasing insurance through federally-run exchanges are not eligible to receive subsidies under the law. Burwell said that she was not aware of any contingency plans, including a document that is rumored to outline potential actions the agency could take in the event of an unfavorable court ruling. Burwell expressed confidence that the administration will prevail in court, which will hold oral arguments this week. A ruling is expected by the end of June.