Kaiser Health News Original Stories

1. Obamacare’s Next 5 Hurdles to Clear

In its first five years, the Affordable Care Act has survived technical meltdowns, a presidential election, two Supreme Court challenges -- including one resolved Thursday -- and dozens of repeal efforts in Congress. But its long-term future still isn’t ensured. Here are five of the biggest hurdles left for the law. (6/26)

2. High Court Upholds Health Law Subsidies

The 6-3 ruling stopped a challenge that would have erased subsidies in at least 34 states for individuals and families buying insurance through the federal government’s online marketplace. (Jay Hancock, 6/25)

3. Why Did The Supreme Court Uphold The Health Law’s Subsidies?

The Supreme Court Thursday upheld a key part of the 2010 health law – tax subsidies for people who buy health insurance on marketplaces run by the federal government. KHN’s Mary Agnes Carey discusses the decision with Stuart Taylor Jr., of the Brookings Institution, and KHN’s Julie Appleby. (6/25)

10. Political Cartoon: 'Whatever Floats Your Boat?'

Kaiser Health News provides a fresh take on health policy developments with "Political Cartoon: 'Whatever Floats Your Boat?'" by Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant.

Here's today's health policy haiku:

MOVING ON

Subsidies safe. Will
GOP finally talk
About something else?

If you have a health policy haiku to share, please Contact Us and let us know if you want us to include your name. Keep in mind that we give extra points if you link back to a KHN original story.

Health Law Issues And Implementation

11. High Court Spares Health Law Subsidies

For the second time in three years, the Supreme Court rejected a life-or-death challenge to the Affordable Care Act. The justices' decision was by a 6-to-3 vote, with Chief Justice John Roberts writing the opinion for the majority and Justice Antonin Scalia, the dissent.

Kaiser Health News: High Court Upholds Health Law Subsidies
The Affordable Care Act made it through its second do-or-die Supreme Court test in three years, raising odds for its survival but by no means ending the legal and political assaults on it five years after it became law. The 6-3 ruling, a major win for the White House, stopped a challenge that would have erased tax-credit subsidies in at least 34 states for individuals and families buying insurance through the federal government’s online marketplace. Such a result would have made coverage unaffordable for millions and created price spirals for those who kept their policies, many experts predicted. (Hancock, 6/25)

The Wall Street Journal: Supreme Court Upholds Obama’s Health-Law Subsidies
The case turned on whether the law’s wording allowed for federal subsidies to help lower-income Americans nationwide buy insurance. A contrary ruling could have stripped coverage from millions by making their plans too costly. And it would have thrown the insurance and medical industries into turmoil as the 2016 presidential race heats up. Insurance and hospital businesses, which were preparing for disruptions to the health-care system if the government lost, breathed a sigh of relief and stocks in the companies rose. (Bravin and Radnofsky, 6/25)

Politico: High Court Gives White House Big Obamacare Victory
A ruling against the Obama administration would have eliminated the subsidies in the 34 states that refused to set up an insurance exchange — including pivotal 2016 presidential battlegrounds such as Florida, Wisconsin and Ohio. The Urban Institute estimated that more than 8.2 million people would be uninsured as a result, which could have dramatically destabilized insurance markets. (Haberkorn and Gerstein, 6/25)

USA Today: Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare Subsidies
The Supreme Court rescued President Obama's health care law on Thursday for the second time in three years, rejecting a conservative challenge to the law's financial structure that could have proved fatal. ... The high court's action virtually guarantees that Obama will leave office in January 2017 with his signature domestic policy achievement in place. (Wolf and Heath, 6/25)

The New York Times: Supreme Court Allows Nationwide Health Care Subsidies
In dissent on Thursday, Justice Antonin Scalia called the majority’s reasoning “quite absurd” and “interpretive jiggery-pokery.” He announced his dissent from the bench, a sign of bitter disagreement. His summary was laced with notes of incredulity and sarcasm, sometimes drawing amused murmurs in the courtroom as he described the “interpretive somersaults” he said the majority had performed to reach the decision. (Liptak, 6/25)

The Washington Post: Affordable Care Act Survives Supreme Court Challenge
The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a key part of the Affordable Care Act that provides health insurance subsidies to all qualifying Americans, awarding a major victory to President Obama and validating his most prized domestic achievement. ... Joining the chief justice in the majority were Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Opposing the decision were Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr.(Barnes, 6/25)