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Supreme Court Health Law Case Has Big Ramifications For Wisconsin

King V. Burwell Challenges U.S. Government's Ability To Issue Tax Credits To States Without Health Exchanges

Wally G (CC-BY-NC-SA)

King v. Burwell, the case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court challenging part of President Barack Obama’s health care reform law, could have a huge impact on states like Wisconsin that use the federal exchange instead having their own.

Most of those getting health care in Wisconsin under the health law receive tax credits to help pay for premiums. However, depending on how the Supreme Court rules in the case, the Internal Revenue Service may no longer be able to provide those credits to states without their own exchange.

Wisconsin’s Health Services Secretary Kitty Rhoades and Gov. Scott Walker have said the federal government should come up a solution if the court takes away health subsidies.

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Democrats want the state to create its own marketplace to help people like Connie Raether of Appleton. Raether said that if the Supreme Court takes away subsidies on the federal exchange, her premiums would be unaffordable.

“Without those tax credits, I would be paying over $700 a month — not for a Cadillac plan, but for a plan with a $2,500 deductible,” she said.

Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, D-Alma, and Rep. Melissa Sargent, D-Madison, are introducing a bill to create a state exchange. So far, insurers in Wisconsin have not committed their support.