One of the big, looming questions of 2015 is this: Will the Supreme Court really gut Obamacare subsidies in the three dozen states on the federal exchange, potentially depriving millions of health coverage at a moment when the law, now heading into its second year, is clearly working as intended?
One thing to watch as we approach the SCOTUS hearings on King v. Burwell this spring is how many people are newly qualifying for subsidies in those states as this year’s enrollment period continues.
The Department of Health and Human Services has released a new reporton enrollment data that suggests that number could be very large — which could (theoretically, at least) make it harder for SCOTUS to gut the law.
The administration says around 3.4 million people have signed up on the federal exchange in the new enrollment period. For various bureaucratic reasons (we don’t know who will end up paying or how many are just renewals), it’s too early to determine how many new people would be adversely impacted by a SCOTUS ruling against the law.