King v. Burwell, the case the Supreme Court just agreed to take up, could disrupt a crucial part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, by blocking federal health-care subsidies in states that refuse to establish their own insurance exchanges.

Could there be a silver lining for liberals if the court decides against the government? I think so, but it's not pretty.

First, let's dispense with the idea that such a ruling would end PPACA. Sure, the outlook would be grim in states that rely on federally run exchanges, where enrollees would end up paying the full cost of their coverage. That would lead the healthy to drop out, and in turn increase costs for everyone else. It's not impossible that the individual insurance markets in those states would collapse.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to BenefitsPRO, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical BenefitsPRO information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and events
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.