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Column offers “pedestrian view” of King v. Burwell implications

The U.S. Supreme Court has never had such a central role in health care system as it has recently. In 2012 it was asked to decide whether the federal health care law is constitutional, and now the court is preparing to issue a ruling in the second challenge to the law, King v. Burwell.

Paul H. Keckley, managing director in the Navigant Healthcare Practice, offers a “pedestrian view” of the practical implications of the court’s ruling, expected before the end of the month. The lawsuit challenges the tax subsidies available to those who enroll in a federal exchange. More than 1.6 million Floridians use the federal exchange to buy health insurance coverage.

Keckley lays out five scenarios if the court rules with the plaintiffs, including a swelling of the number of uninsured. If the court rules with the defendants, Keckley notes that “the viability of health exchanges (marketplaces) will become an even more pressing national issue.”

Navigant is the healthcare consulting group that was hired to conduct an analysis of Florida’s Medicaid payment and funding system for hospitals. Keckley writes a weekly health reform newsletter, Pulse Weekly, for Navigant and has published three books and more than 250 articles.

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