By Jill Zorn
The King v. Burwell case was argued before the Supreme Court on March 4, and it looks like the final decision, due in late June, will come down to the opinions of Justice Anthony “Weathervane” Kennedy and a largely silent Chief Justice John “Sphinx” Roberts.
Meanwhile, the fate of the Affordable Care Act itself and the over 9 million people who receive subsidies through the federal exchange hangs in the balance.
Analyses of what happened on Wednesday generally fall into two camps:
- The Affordable Care Act may just (barely) survive after all
- It’s too close to call
Here are examples from those feeling somewhat more hopeful after Wednesday’s oral arguments:
- Brianne Gorad, Constitutional Accountability Center: Justice Kennedy Gave Us a Window into His Thinking at the King v. Burwell Argument This Morning— and It Appears to Be Good News for the Government
- Ian Millhouser, Think Progress: Obamacare Will Probably Survive Its Second Trip to the Supreme Court
- Timothy Jost, writing in Health Affairs: “Although it is risky to predict the result of a case from oral argument, it seems to me that the government came out of the argument on top.”
And here are a few opinions from those feeling it is way too early to read the tea leaves:
- Garrett Epps, The Atlantic: An Obamacare Cliff-Hanger at the Supreme Court
- Sarah Kliff, Vox: No One Knows how the Supreme Court Will Rule on Obamacare
On Friday, the justices begin their private deliberations on this case, with full knowledge of the potentially disastrous consequences that could result if they rule against the government and for the plaintiffs.
While their decision won’t be released until the end of June, you can count on former insurance executive, Wendell Potter, to make a prediction that is likely to be true — no matter what the Supreme Court decides. As he explains in his latest Huffington Post blog, “…regardless of how the court eventually rules in King v. Burwell, your premiums will likely go up next year simply because the justices agreed to take the case in the first place.“
Some things are more predictable than others.
Here are some other interesting pieces to check out:
Dahlia Lithwick, Slate: High Drama for Obamacare at the High Court
Washington Post, Jason Millman’s Wonkblog post: Five Key Takeaways from the Supreme Court’s Obamacare Hearing Today
Jeffrey Tubin, The New Yorker: Did John Roberts Tip his Hand?
Richard Kirsch, Huffington Post: Obamacare’s Nine Lives