Four words “carelessly” included in the 900-page Obamacare law stand to derail the president’s signature piece of legislation, according to The New York Times, which spoke to people on both sides of the aisle about the genesis and potential impact of the phrase in question: “established by the state.”
The Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling this summer on the legality of providing health insurance subsidies to people in 37 states that did not set up their own healthcare exchanges. The 13 states that operate their own exchanges would be unaffected.
The plaintiffs in the case opposing the subsidies argue that the law’s “literal wording” of “established by the state” means that tax subsidies are only available to consumers in states that established with their own health insurance marketplaces, according to the Times.
Regardless of how the high court rules, lawmakers who participated in drafting the law say there was never meant to be a demarcation for subsidies for those who purchased their health insurance on state-run exchanges versus the federal marketplace.