PA Governor Says He’ll Set Up Obamacare Exchange if Supreme Court Strikes Subsidies

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is taking steps to shield hundreds of thousands of state residents from a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that could strip them of federal health care subsidies, saying he’ll create a state-based insurance exchange if he has to.

Mr. Wolf, a Democrat, said he wants to have a backup plan ready for the justices’ ruling, expected in June, that could cancel the tax subsidies paid to Obamacare customers in states such as Pennsylvania that currently rely on the federal exchange.

“My letter does not mean that Pennsylvania must set up a state-based marketplace,” Mr. Wolf said Friday. “However, it would be irresponsible not to have a plan in place to protect 382,000 people. I look forward to working with members of the legislature to advance this plan if necessary.”

The exchanges have proved to be one of the more contentious parts of Obamacare, with GOP-led states generally shying away from setting up their own exchanges for fear of being accused of complicity in the president’s health scheme. In those cases the federal government has stepped in to set up the insurance marketplaces. But with the way the Affordable Care Act is written, it’s not clear customers in those states are eligible for the subsidies.