Burwell Won’t Discuss Contingency Plan if SCOTUS Strikes Down Subsidies

December 23rd, 2014

King v. Burwell is scheduled for oral arguments on March 4. I will be there. We should expect a decision at the end of June. That much is certain. What we don’t know, is what happens the day after King. This is a question I’ve given more thought of late. I’m working on a piece discussing possible compromises that could be reached between June, and September when subsidies cut off. Or, maybe a deal could be reached after arguments in March.

In any event, HHS should be publicly preparing for the eventuality that the subsidies will go away. Secretary Burwell is trying to play coy:

She declined to say whether the administration had a contingency plan for the potential loss of $64 billion in subsidies, adding: “I’m going to stick with where I am.”

But the fact of the matter is, HHS has given permission to insurers to exit the markets if the subsidies go away. So HHS has to have some contingency plans. We should learn what HHS has in mind.

(P.S. Sorry for the lack of blogging this week. I’ve been working on a brief that I’ll talk about shortly).