Payer, hospital groups defend ACA ahead of King v Burwell

Though many support, Staples takes stance against healthcare reform law

With the March 4 Supreme Court hearing on King v. Burwell looming, big business is stepping up to defend the healthcare reform law.

Organizations such as the American Hospital Association, America's Health Insurance Plans and the National Alliance of State Health Co-Ops--which represent the nation's hospitals and insurers--share the same goal as the Obama administration: Ensure more Americans have health insurance, according to Employee Benefit Adviser.

Large corporate lobbying companies often file "friend of the court" briefs in response to upcoming Supreme Court cases. For King v. Burwell, these amicus briefs were filed in favor of the Obama administration and urge the high court to leave in place the federal subsidies being called into question.

Consistent among the amicus briefs filed earlier this month: Ruling in favor of the plaintiffs and eliminating subsidies would be "devastating."

"It would damage the entire healthcare system, since the markets are integrated. Premiums will rise dramatically everywhere, and ultimately, affect everyone," Danielle Gray, former assistant to the president and cabinet secretary, said on a call with reporters to discuss the amicus briefs, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

Big businesses also noted that insuring more Americans helps boost the businesses of insurers, hospitals and doctors, noted Employee Benefit Adviser. An adverse decision in King v. Burwell would cost hospitals billions, FierceHealthFinance reported, noting that uncompensated care costs would skyrocket if millions of Americans are no longer insured. Ultimately, the businesses care about their customers' welfare.

However, not all big business are in favor of the Affordable Care Act. Earlier this week, Staples limited part-time employees to 25 hours, which was viewed as a way for Staples to avoid paying for employees benefits, reported MarketWatch.

In response to Staples' stance against the ACA, President Obama told BuzzFeed that "when I hear large corporations that make billions of dollars in profits trying to blame our interest in providing health insurance as an excuse for cutting back workers' wages, shame on them."

For more:
- here's the Employee Benefit Adviser article
- check out the MarketWatch piece
- here's the BuzzFeed story

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U.S. Supreme Court will hear King v. Burwell