A Crossroads for the Affordable Care Act
Both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal weighed in this morning with pieces about preparations being made in case the Supreme Court strikes down Afffordable Care Act subsidies in states that have not established their own insurance marketplaces.
If they lose their subsidies, millions of Americans are expected to discontinue their policies, which is expected to have much wider implications for the price of health insurance.
The Journal reported that individuals are making medical appointments just in case their insurance becomes too expensive later on. Hospitals are looking to charities, should patients be unable to afford their insurance, and doctors are looking for places to send their patients in case the patients can no longer afford to use their own practices, the Journal reported.
“Some emergency rooms are also re-evaluating their staffing because they expect more patients if the number of uninsured climbs,” the Journal reported.
The Times focused on insurers, and how they would react to a ruling against the subsidies in states without their own marketplaces.
“People who can no longer afford coverage are not required to buy a policy under the law, and economists expect the pool of people buying insurance to be much smaller as people drop their policies if the court rules for the plaintiffs. Those who remain are likely to be sicker, and overall premiums are expected to rise sharply,” according to the Times story.
The Supreme Court is expected to act on King v. Burwell before the end of the month.