Timothy Jost speculates on what might happen if the U.S. Supreme Court and the Republican-run Congress upend the Affordable Care Act:
“Republican plans cannot ‘replace’ the ACA, in the sense of achieving its goals through a different means. They may achieve different goals—reducing federal expenditures on healthcare, freeing insurers from requirements that limit their ability to discriminate on the basis of health status or provide skimpy coverage, allowing individuals who wish to remain uninsured—but millions of Americans who have found health security under the ACA will lose it if the ACA is repealed and replaced by Republican proposals.
”If the Supreme Court rules that the federally facilitated exchanges cannot issue premium tax credits, the results will be devastating. Congress could easily avoid this devastation through simply adopting a statute reaffirming its obvious original intent that federal exchanges have the same powers as state-operated exchanges. It will not do this. Indeed, at this point it is hard to see Congress doing anything, in the sense of coalescing around a single policy that would rescue our healthcare system.”