CEOs pre­dict sub­si­dies will be up­held

Modern Healthcare - - NEWS - By Michael San­dler

Health­care chiefs over­whelm­ingly pre­dict the U.S. Supreme Court will rule in fa­vor of the gov­ern­ment in the Kingvs.

Bur­well case, which threat­ens health in­sur­ance sub­si­dies in states that don’t run their own ex­changes, ac­cord­ing to re­sults of Mod­ern Health­care’s in­au­gu­ral CEO Power Panel sur­vey.

The sur­vey in­di­cated 75% of CEOs be­lieve the court will side with the gov­ern­ment, and that would be good for their or­ga­ni­za­tions; 2% said sub­si­dies would be up­held, but it would be bad for them. The Af­ford­able Care Act has al­ready pro­vided sig­nif­i­cant benefits, said Dr. Gary Ka­plan, CEO of the Vir­ginia Ma­son Health Sys­tem, Seat­tle.

The con­se­quences of dramatically rais­ing pre­mium costs for low- and mod­er­ate-in­come in­di­vid­u­als who have pur­chased plans on the fed­er­ally op­er­ated ex­changes will sway jus­tices, said Dr. David Bai­ley, CEO of Jack­sonville, Fla.-based Ne­mours Chil­dren’s Health Sys­tem. And, if the high court sides with the plain­tiffs, up to 5 mil­lion chil­dren could be left with­out health in­sur­ance.

In all, 24% of CEOs said the Supreme Court would not up­hold the sub­si­dies, with 18% say­ing it would be bad for their or­ga­ni­za­tion, and 6% say­ing it would be good for them.

Chris Van Gorder, CEO of Scripps Health in San Diego said it’s just as likely the con­ser­va­tive-lean­ing court could rule against the gov­ern­ment. A rul­ing in fa­vor of the plain­tiffs wouldn’t be the death of the ACA, he said, but would lead to the cre­ation of more state ex­changes.

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