The “King” of All Healthcare Decisions

June 4, 2015

As the King v. Burwell decision from the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) looms sometime this month, Palmetto State legislators are making their opinion known.  43 members of South Carolina’s House of Representatives penned their signatures to a letter sent to U.S. House Speaker John Boehner and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to make a very clear point: “regardless of the Court’s decision in King v. Burwell, (we) do not intend to create a state exchange.”

These legislators recognize that this decision could provide Congress with the perfect “off-ramp” to begin to undo Obamacare’s damage and provide their constituents with the freedom to purchase healthcare plans that meet their individual needs (not what the government mandates) at more affordable prices.

As Palmetto Promise’s President Ellen Weaver said recently, “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.”

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We’ve been sounding the alarm about Obamacare’s negative side effects from the very beginning.  Central planners simply cannot run 1/6th of the U.S. economy efficiently, which is why we believe a decision in favor of King would be a long-term victory for South Carolina patients and businesses:

  1. If the Court rules in favor of King, the ACA’s employer mandate would become unenforceable. This means businesses in South Carolina would no longer be subject to mandate penalties, freeing up money to hire more workers or restore hours cut due to the mandate.
  2. Over half of the state-run exchanges are hurting financially due to low enrollment and unexpected costs. Some have outright gone under. Though Obamacare advocates will put significant pressure on the 34 states that are currently operating under the federal exchange to follow this broken model and set up a state-based exchange, these states should refuse to bail out Obamacare’s failure.
  3. Obamacare has increased premiums by 49% in the individual market, and there is no relief in sight with premiums set to climb again this year. In fact, the whole point of subsidies was to conceal the fact that individual’s rates would skyrocket under federal control. Even more interesting is the fact that nearly 21 million Americans have been subject to Obamacare’s costly regulations, but only 4.5 million of those Americans qualified for a subsidy to help cover the cost. Congress should reverse the benefit mandates and regulations that have been driving premiums sky high and return control of insurance markets back to the states where they belong.

If the Court rules in favor of King, Congress will be provided with the much needed “redo” to provide the American people accessible and affordable healthcare choices that are best tailored to their individual needs. And according to a recent poll, 73% of Americans believe that Congress should do just that, saying that “Congress should remove Obamacare’s mandates and regulations that increase the cost of health care and disrupted health care coverage for millions of Americans in the first place.”

If King v. Burwell provides them with the opportunity, Congress should heed the overwhelming desire of the American people to create a system that makes healthcare accessible and affordable for each individual American.