Skip to main content

Advanced Search

Advanced Search

Current Filters

Filter your query

Publication Types



Newsletter Article


House Democrats Quantify Subsidies at Risk in Health Law Challenge

By Melissa Attias, CQ Roll Call

December 16, 2014 -- Americans stand to lose $65 billion in tax credits to help purchase medical coverage if the Supreme Court upholds a challenge to the health care law's insurance subsidies, House Energy and Commerce Democrats said in a recent staff report that outlines the number of people in each congressional district at risk of losing assistance.

The report lists the congressional district, the name of its representative in Congress, the number of people who could lose subsidies in 2016 and the annual value of the lost aid for residents of districts in states using the federal insurance exchange Last month, the high court agreed to hear a challenge to the subsidies that help lower- and middle-income people in those 37 states buy health coverage under the overhaul (PL 111-148, PL 111-152).

The lawsuit–King v. Burwell–argues that the statute only allows the subsidies in the exchanges set up by the states themselves and that an IRS rule providing them in all states is illegal. Citing Kaiser Family Foundation statistics, the report states a ruling against the government could take subsidies away from more than 13 million Americans in 2016.

"As today's report makes clear, if the law's opponents succeed, they will deprive Americans of $65 billion in tax credits, making it more difficult for millions of middle class families to have the health insurance coverage they need," Henry A. Waxman, who released the report, said in a statement. The Californian is the top Democrat on the Energy and Commerce panel and will retire at the end of the session.

Among the districts that would be affected is the Ohio district represented by Speaker John A. Boehner, who said Republicans would renew their commitment to repeal the 2010 overhaul in the next Congress in a Nov. 5 op-ed with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. The report says 19,000 people in his district would lose subsidies in 2016, worth a total of $91 million.

While the chart lists data for 35 states using the federal exchange, two newcomers in 2015–Oregon and Nevada–are not included.

Publication Details