Four Healthcare Consequences of King v. Burwell

Managed Healthcare Executive

Stuart M. Gerson, a Member of the Firm in the Litigation and Health Care & Life Sciences practices, in the firm's Washington, DC, and New York offices, authored an article in Managed Healthcare Executive, titled “Four Healthcare Consequences of King v. Burwell.”

Following is an excerpt:

The much-anticipated Supreme Court 6-3 ruling in King v. Burwell, upholding the key provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) regarding tax credit subsidies payable to economically eligible persons, while wildly anticipated, is unsurprising. Neither, is the majority opinion, for that matter, or the fact that it was written by Chief Justice John Roberts.

 This marks the second time that the Chief Justice has authored a controversial decision rescuing the ACA from judicial uprooting. In National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, the Chief Justice opined that — despite the way it was originally described by the Administration and its supporters in the Congress and the statute itself as a “penalty” (questionable under the Constitution’s Commerce Clause) to which certain non-purchasers of health insurance would be subjected under the individual mandate — the penalty actually should be treated as a tax (consistent with the Constitution’s taxation provision). This time, I believe, the Chief Justice was on stronger legal and logical ground as to the ACA’s tax credit provision.