New federal data show 6.4 million Americans could lose their Obamacare subsidies if the Supreme Court rules against the administration this month.
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
, 10.2 million Americans have signed up for 2015 coverage and ponied up to cover their premiums as of March 31.
Of those, 6.4 million are getting subsidies to help them pay for private insurance in the 34 states that rely on the federal health insurance marketplace, HealthCare.gov.
But if the court sides with challengers, those consumers would lose their subsidies, or about $1.7 billion a month, according to the data.
The Washington Post reports
health researchers made similar projections earlier this year, but the new data pinpoints how many people would be at risk.
"These are the people we now know are receiving subsidies that would be lost if the court sides with the challengers," Larry Levitt, a senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation, told the Post. "The amounts are substantial."
The plaintiffs in the King v. Burwell
case argue that people who buy coverage on the federal exchange aren't entitled to subsidies; consumers in the 16 states and the District of Columbia that've set up their own insurance exchanges wouldn't be affected.
The Obama administration argues Congress intended to help everyone who qualifies for it.
The court is expected to issue its ruling by the end of the month.
Florida, with 1.3 million affected, would be most impacted in terms of the number of people losing subsidies at a total of $389 million a month; Texas ranked second in both categories, with 832,000 residents losing a total of $206 million per month, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of the new data.
The National Journal notes
congressional Republicans have been trying to figure out a plan to restore subsidies temporarily if the high court rules in favor of the challengers and would then work to pass a full Obamacare repeal-and-replace bill.
The GOP hasn't yet settled on a strategy, the Journal notes, and during a meeting with House Republicans Tuesday, Wyoming GOP Sen. John Barrasso, a doctor, stressed the need to have a plan ready in time for the Supreme Court's decision.
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