The future of Obamacare could have a lasting effect on the Sunflower state.
The Supreme Court’s about to decide if subsidies are legal in states such as Kansas, which don’t run their own healthcare exchanges.
University of Kansas Law Professor Richard Levy thinks a decision against current law could backfire on states without their own programs.
Levy said ”I think this might be a case of ‘careful what you wish for’. The decision on the part of a state not to create its own exchange will probably have to be revisited. There’s going to be a lot of people who’re unhappy not having any subsidies.”
Levy says it’s hard to predict how the court rules, given it’s even split among conservative and liberal justices. He does think two swing judges will determine the outcome.
Regarding the subsidies, Levy contends the law’s text would suggest they only apply in states with their own exchanges.
Levy said “Some judges think the focus should be exclusively on the text. Other justices think the goal of interpretation should be to understand what the legislature intended. It tends to track conservative and liberal perspectives.”
A conservative verdict means subsidies are outlawed in 26 states, including Kansas, which could cripple Obama’s healthcare policy.
Levy lists Justices Alito, Thomas and Scalia as conservative. For the Obamacare case, he pegs justices Roberts (normally a conservative) and Kennedy (conservative on some issues, liberal on others) as the swing votes.
Levy says the four reliable liberals on the court are justices Ginsberg, Sotomayor, Kagan and Breyer.
It would create the likelihood 6.4 million current recipients lose their coverage as they could no longer afford it.
Kansas is one of 26 mostly Republican controlled states which have declined to implement their own exchanges to administer health insurance through the federally mandated program.
Kansas has also not expanded Medicare under Obamacare, which has left roughly 150,000 low income people without healthcare. The state did have its own form of universal coverage prior to the federal law’s implementation in the 2009.