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Identity & Community

Supreme Court Case Will Affect Many in Pennsylvania

USDA Photo by Ken Hammond

 On Wednesday the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the King v. Burwell case. It’s the latest attack on the Affordable Care Act.  

King petitioners allege the IRS overstepped its authority by issuing regulations authorizing residents of states with federally run exchanges, such as Pennsylvania, to access premium tax credits. They say Congress limited access to tax credits to residents of state-based exchanges to encourage states to set up their own exchanges.

The health insurance exchange is a key component of the Affordable Care Act and those opposed to King’s petition say a ruling in favor of King could cause a meltdown in the health care world. A ruling in favor could remove health insurance coverage for many and could cause premiums to spike.

“A ruling on behalf of these plaintiffs would cause chaos and strip millions of coverage including more than 300,000 people from across the great state of Pennsylvania who would lose their health insurance if the plaintiff were successful,” said Michele Jawando, Vice President for Legal Progress, Center for American Progress.

Antoinette Kraus, Director of Pennsylvania State Access Network tracks numbers from Medicare and Medicaid services. “Thanks to the ACA, 471,900 Pennsylvanians have selected a plan in the marketplace. 81 percent of them are qualifying for an average tax credit of $230 a month,” she said.

If the court rules in favor of the plaintiffs, people wouldn’t have to return tax credits they have already received.