Here’s a useful list of what lies ahead after conflicting rulings yesterday on whether subsidies are allowed for people who enroll in health exchanges set up by the federal government rather than the states.
In the short run: Nothing. It will be months before the legal wrangling is over.
Note that the easiest solution is a quick and painless clarification of the federal statute. There’s no doubt lawmakers intended for all U.S. citizens to get subsidized coverage and there’s no doubt the lawsuits over technical confusion in the drafting are not intended to help anybody but to destroy the Affordable Care Act.
As the article notes, given the polarization in Congress, the simple fix on language to comply with the clear intent of the law is not possible as long as Republicans control the House and will filibuster in the Senate to destroy the move toward universal health care.
Do Republican politicians really want to throw 215,000 Arkansas people off the private option or subsidized coverage through the exchanges? They do. Ask any of them — Hutchinson, Cotton, Griffin, Westerman, Hill, Crawford, Womack — for a specific alternative they’ve proposed to prevent this outcome. The most honest of them will admit they don’t want government in this business at all. If you can’t save enough money to pay for your coverage, well, work harder.