King v. Burwell Ruling: SC Legislators Call for “Obamacare Off-Ramp”

June 1, 2015



Columbia, S.C. – Today, Palmetto Promise Institute commended 43 members of the South Carolina House of Representatives for stating that they do not intend to create a state exchange should the U.S. Supreme Court overturn subsidies in the federal healthcare exchange in King v. Burwell court case currently pending before the Court. A Court ruling is expected mid-June.

In a letter addressed to U.S. House Speaker John Boehner and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, South Carolina Representatives also urged Congress to take action to provide an “Obamacare Off-Ramp” for states to regain control over the regulation of their insurance markets.

Commenting on the letter, Palmetto Promise President Ellen Weaver said, “Obamacare has failed to deliver on its most basic promise to patients: affordability. The King decision could provide a key catalyst for Congress to empower states to regain control over their health insurance markets and provide consumers with more affordable choices that are better tailored to their individual needs.”

She continued, “Should the Court rule in favor of King, we know the Obama Administration and its allies will put incredible pressure on states to bail out Obamacare. But given the horrible track record of state-based exchanges that we see in other states, there is no reason why South Carolina should cave to the pressure and follow their example. We commend these House leaders for standing up for the best interests of patients and taxpayers in the Palmetto State.”

Palmetto Promise Institute recently published a study of the possible impacts of a King v. Burwell decision, laying out its effects on South Carolina and proposing 3 key principles for a post-King path forward:

  1. Do No Harm. Don’t set up a state exchange.
  2. Put Pressure on Washington. The ACA is a problem that started in Washington and it’s up to Washington to fix the problem it created. States must demand more flexibility for themselves and more control for the patients in their borders.
  3. Lead Boldly. Now is the time for states to be looking at state-based innovations that lower costs, increase access and put patients in charge of their health care decisions.