New questions have surfaced over whether the plaintiffs in a key Obamacare challenge before the Supreme Court were legitimately hurt by the healthcare law, a controversy experts say could derail the case scheduled for oral arguments next week.
The crux of the case, King v. Burwell, focuses on whether the federal government can provide subsidies to reduce the cost of health insurance to residents in 34 states that refused to set up their own healthcare exchanges and two that failed to do so.
The four plaintiffs — two men and two women, all from Virginia — are eligible for a subsidy. But none of them want to purchase health insurance, meaning they will face the penalty of either 2 percent of yearly household income or $325 per person, whichever is higher.
They’re now arguing that the Affordable Care Act allows only states to issue subsidies, meaning the federal government isn’t allowed to subsidize coverage in states that have federally run exchanges, such as Virginia.