Stay informed and ready to meet both everyday challenges and long-term planning and policy-making goals, with focused news, practical information, and strategic insights on all HR-related...
Nov. 7 — The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider a challenge to tax subsidies that are a linchpin of President Barack Obama's health-care overhaul, accepting a case that suddenly puts the law under a new legal cloud.
Two years after upholding much of the law by a single vote, the justices said Nov. 7 that they will hear a Republican-backed appeal targeting tax credits that have helped more than 4 million people afford insurance.
A ruling blocking those credits might unravel the Affordable Care Act, making other provisions ineffective and potentially destabilizing insurance markets in much of the country. The high court's decision to hear the case came days before the start of the law's second open-enrollment season. A decision will come by June.
“It's hard to avoid the thought that the four justices who tried to get rid of the Affordable Care Act the first time around are taking a second crack at it,” said Timothy Jost, a supporter of the measure who teaches at Washington and Lee University School of Law in Lexington, Va.
The court most likely will hear arguments during the first week of March.
The justices will consider an appeal filed by four Virginia residents seeking to block the subsidies in 36 states. The appeal says the Obama administration is engaging in a “gross distortion” of the law's wording by granting billions of dollars in tax credits to people in those states.
The appeal, filed by Washington lawyer Michael Carvin on behalf of four Virginia residents, said immediate review was “imperative” given the money at stake and the steps being taken by employers, consumers and insurers to comply with the measure.
At the White House, Obama administration spokesman Josh Earnest defended the ACA.
“This is a law that is working and has generated significant benefits for working families and small-business owners all across the country, and that's why you're going to see a vigorous defense” by the administration, Earnest said.
The law, intended to provide coverage to tens of millions of uninsured Americans, has been attacked by Republicans since it was passed on a party-line vote in 2010.
More than 100,000 anti-ACA advertisements aired before the Nov. 4 midterm election as Republicans sought to exploit what they saw as a Democratic liability. While many provisions are popular, a majority of Americans say they disapprove of the law, polls show.
Enrollment for the second year of coverage under ACA plans began on Nov. 15 and closes Feb. 15. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that 13 million people will be signed up next year.
The justices endured a divisive clash when they upheld most of the law in 2012, punctuated by reports that Chief Justice John Roberts switched sides late in the court's deliberations to provide the decisive vote. Roberts joined the court's four Democratic appointees—Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan—in the majority.
©2014 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)