Governors: No Clear Plan if Health Care Subsidies Fall

Millions of people could lose health insurance subsidies in the coming months if the Supreme Court sides with opponents of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

And one thing was clear this weekend as the nation’s governors gathered in Washington: Many of the states that could be affected are not prepared for the potential fallout.

In rounds of interviews at the National Governors Association’s winter meeting, several governors indicated they could do little about the estimated 8 million people who could drop coverage if they were to lose health insurance subsidies later this year — a scenario that legal experts suggest is a real possibility. While preliminary state-level discussions have begun in some cases, many governors charged that Congress should bear the burden of fixing any problems.

“That responsibility doesn’t fall in the hands of the states or the governors, it falls in the hands of the leaders right here in Washington,” said Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who is contemplating a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. He’s one of the many Republican leaders who resisted efforts to create a state-based health insurance exchange.

Indeed, while the Supreme Court deemed the health care overhaul constitutional more than two years ago, the Affordable Care Act still sits on shifting political sands.