King v. Burwell will not threaten the legacy of President Barack Obama after all. Nor will it add further uncertainty and chaos to the already burdensome task of bringing employer health plans into compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
In a 6-3 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld PPACA’s health insurance premium subsidies, thus preserving affordable coverage for millions of Americans.
Employers, whether they personally supported the subsidies or not, won’t have to tread water while the subsidy system is replaced as a result of the ruling.
“The ruling will not have a significant impact on employers and the human resources department. It maintains the status quo for time being,” said Tami Simon, global practice leader at Buck Consultants.
Simon said this second major endorsement of Obamacare by the court shouldn’t be seen as anything more than a narrow ruling on a specific challenge to part of the law. (The first was its 2012 decision supporting the law’s individual mandate.)
“I would like to think those two cases were decided on the merits of the issue rather than something larger,” like an endorsement of PPACA itself, she said. “Challenges to PPACA are going to continue, you can be sure of that.”