Tags: Healthcare Reform | Supreme Court | obamacare | subsidies | supreme court | states | meeting

Worried State Officials Met in Secret on Obamacare Subsidies: WSJ

By    |   Tuesday, 02 Jun 2015 12:05 PM

A secret meeting was held in early May with state officials from around the country to discuss the possible fallout from the upcoming Supreme Court decision over Obamacare subsidies and what to expect if they have to begin operating health insurance exchanges on their own.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the state officials met for 24 hours at the O'Hare International Airport's Hilton hotel in Chicago. The conclusion from the meeting was that the possible options are unworkable.

The Supreme Court is expected to release its decision this month on the King v. Burwell case, which challenges language in the healthcare law that says that subsidies are only supposed to come from exchanges created by the states.

When Obamacare was being implemented, 34 states did not establish their own exchanges, leaving residents in those states with no choice but to use the federal marketplace set up on HealthCare.gov to shop for health insurance if they were in need of subsidies.

If the high court rules that healthcare subsidies must come through the states, the residents will likely lose their health insurance, and health insurance premiums will also likely spiral, the Journal said.

Because of the challenge the ruling could have on insurance companies, insurers also attended the Chicago meeting. The part of the law which requires that insurance companies not turn down those seeking health insurance due to pre-existing conditions is partly contingent on receiving these subsidies.

Those who attended the meeting concluded that states would struggle to get their own exchanges set up in time to make sure that their residents didn't lose their subsidies, the Journal is reporting.

The Milbank Memorial Fund, which is a health policy foundation, both organized and helped pay for the meeting as well as airfare and hotel accommodations for two officials from each state.

Representatives from about 16 or 17 states attended the meeting. Presentations were offered from representatives from Idaho, Maryland, Nevada, and New Mexico, which are states that have set up their own exchanges.

Some ideas that were presented include having the federal government give the HealthCare.gov technology to the states or creating regional exchanges.

However, in several states, Republican legislators are trying to make sure that the law can't be implemented.

The Obama administration has yet to discuss any plans of its own, should the Supreme Court rule that the subsidies must come through state exchanges.

The Washington Post reported that if the Supreme Court rules that states must set up exchanges in order for residents to receive the needed tax credits, it could cause the law to unravel. 

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State officials met in secret in early May to discuss the possible fallout from the upcoming Supreme Court decision over Obamacare subsidies and what to expect if they have to begin operating their own health insurance exchanges, The Wall Street Journal reports.
obamacare, subsidies, supreme court, states, meeting
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2015-05-02
Tuesday, 02 Jun 2015 12:05 PM
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