'No easy fix' if Supreme Court rules against Obama administration in King v. Burwell

With the Supreme Court ruling on King v. Burwell under a month away, the Obama administration is doubtful Congress could pass a "fix" if the court rules in favor of the plaintiff, according to The Hill.

Josh Earnest, a White House spokesman, said Republicans would not be able to ward off the "significant turmoil" that would inevitably result if the Supreme Court strikes down subsidy eligibility from states that have not created their own marketplace exchanges. King v. Burwell threatens to take away billions of dollars in PPACA subsidies for people in at least 34 states. Up to 8 million Americans could lose their subsidies.

"There's no easy fix to doing that, particularly when you consider how difficult it has been for common-sense pieces of legislation to move through the Congress," said Mr. Earnest at a briefing Friday, according to The Hill. "With something as controversial as healthcare, it's hard to imagine any sort of legislative fix passing through that legislative body."

Although the Obama administration has repeatedly warned there will be a "marketplace meltdown" if the subsidies are eliminated, it has maintained it is not preparing a backup plan if that is the outcome of the case.

If the GOP-backed case succeeds, Democrats in Congress will likely try to pass a one-page bill to amend the law's text to fix the ambiguities that initiated the case. However, Mr. Earnest's comments suggest the White House is not confident this would work, according to The Hill. At the same time, House and Senate Republicans both have commissioned groups to work on drafting response plans.

More articles on legal and regulatory issues:
Judge rules UPMC must offer in-network access to Highmark Medicare Advantage members
US District Judge blasts Obama administration’s motion to dismiss Republican lawsuit on PPACA
Cleveland Clinic hit with $400M lawsuit over Lakewood Hospital closure

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