Legal battles could challenge reform

Insurers still may face some uncertainty surrounding the health reform law as Republican lawmakers consider challenging the recent Supreme Court ruling.

The high court's decision upholding the reform law "fires up conservatives who want to do everything possible to repeal Obamacare and its various tentacles," GOP strategist Ron Bonjean told Politico. "So any type of action, legal or political, is up for grabs. It's in the toolbox."

Next on the reform-challenging agenda is a lawsuit claiming the reform law's contraception coverage requirement violates religious liberty. Across the country, there already are 23 filed lawsuits, alleging that requiring religious-affiliated institutions to provide insurance coverage for birth control and other contraceptives is an attack on their religious beliefs.

Also gaining attention by conservative legal experts, according to Politico, is a lawsuit seeking to block tax subsidies consumers can receive if they buy insurance coverage through health insurance exchanges in 2014. Suing the Obama administration over exchange tax subsidies could prevent any rewards for people obtaining insurance through the federally run exchange.

Potentially piggybacking the subsidy issue, a small-business employer in a state running the federal exchange could sue on the grounds that the reform law's fine on employers for inadequate insurance coverage is based on the Obama administration's improper handling of those tax subsidies, Thomas Miller, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, told Politico.

Meanwhile, Republicans in the House are aiming to maintain pressure on repealing the reform law through several committee hearings already scheduled. The House Ways and Means Committee next week will hold a hearing discussing the Supreme Court's conclusion that penalties for not buying health insurance are constitutional as a tax. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee also will address how the law affects doctors and patients, as well as job creation and economic growth, The Hill's Healthwatch reported.

To learn more:
- read the Politico article
- see the Hill's Healthwatch article

Suggested Articles

A judge has dismissed the ongoing case between Oscar Health and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida over broker arrangements.

Expanding options for dental care in Medicare is a popular idea, but policymakers could take several avenues toward this goal, a new analysis shows.

Tennessee's proposal for a block grant brings a host of questions