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Governors weigh options ahead of King v. Burwell

Amid uncertain future for federal subsidies, state leaders must wait and see

Many governors at this weekend's National Governors Association winter meeting weighed in on what will will happen should the Supreme Court decide that federal subsidies offered as a provision in the Affordable Care Act are illegal.

Scott Walker (R-Wisc.) and John Kasich (R-Ohio), for instance, appear to be uncertain, reported Politico. Walker hopes the federal government would offer a short-term fix, while Kasich has been working on a contingency plan but isn't quite sure of its details, such as how he would pay for it.

At the meeting, several governors stated there isn't much they could do should the Supreme Court side with the plaintiffs, reported the Associated Press. Many governors believe that the responsibility should not fall into the laps of those at the state level but, rather, that Congress should be left to fix the problem.

Elsewhere, some states are taking a wait-and-see approach.

"We declined to operate a state exchange along with a majority of other states," said Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, a Republican who is weighing a 2016 White House run and supports the repeal of the healthcare law, according to the AP. "Right now we're just evaluating what our options are depending on what the Supreme Court decides."

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) mentioned that governors wonder if states running their own marketplaces could potentially cover residents in other states, reported Bloomberg.

King v. Burwell has been hotly debated among governors, suggested Politico, and especially among those eyeing the 2016 presidential race.

Proponents of the ACA worked tirelessly to hit enrollment goals in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania--top states when it comes to the presidential election. Should the Obama administration lose the case, the consequences will no doubt play a factor in 2016, added Politico.

While many Republican governors have voiced their opposition of the ACA in the past, many also worry about the consequences should the plaintiffs win, reported the Washington Post. Case in point: Only seven Republican-led states have filed briefs against federal subsidies.

Further, many industry experts echo the same thing: Should the Supreme Court find subsidies to be illegal, the result would be devastating.

For more:
- here's the Politico article
- read the AP story
- check out the Bloomberg piece
- read the Washington Post article

Related Articles:
Briefs: King v. Burwell ruling against subsidies would be 'devastating'
States, not Congress, will likely pick up slack after King v. Burwell
Michael Cannon: Insurance subsidies could be ACA's undoing
U.S. Supreme Court will hear King v. Burwell