Election politics could save the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) premium subsidy program.
James Slotnick, a broker education specialist at Sun Life Financial (TSX:SLF), talked about the election protection theory in a recent commentary on the King vs. Burwell U.S. Supreme Court case.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) argues that it has the authority to offer the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) premium tax credit subsidy through the exchanges it started. The plaintiffs in the case say only state-based exchanges have the authority to offer the PPACA premium tax credit.
If HHS loses the ability to offer the PPACA subsidy through HHS-established exchanges, that could cause what moderate-income consumers have to pay out of pocket for coverage to quadruple, shut many consumers out of the individual market, and, possibly, cause other, hard-to-predict effects on other markets, analysts say.
See also: King vs. Burwell: So what?
The shifts would push younger, healthier people out of the individual market and could make offering affordable major medical coverage without use of medical underwriting impossible.
See also: Obamacare plans: Losing the young
Republicans in Congress have made many efforts to kill PPACA, knowing that Democrats in the Senate would block them.
If, however, the Supreme Court rules against HHS, and the ruling threatens to kill the HHS-established exchanges, presidential election year politics could suddenly change Republicans’ thinking, Slotnick says in the commentary.
For more about the Presidential Year Politics theory, read on.