RGF Policy Brief: What King v. Burwell Could Mean for New Mexicans

(Albuquerque, NM) – The health care law known as ObamaCare remains controversial, not just among the population at large, but among legal experts and in the courts. The latest decision relating to the health care law popularly known as “ObamaCare” was heard by the US Supreme Court in March of this year. The decision could impact the flow of hundreds of billions of dollars in Obamacare subsidies as well as taxes and mandates under the law.

A new report from the Rio Grande Foundation, “New Mexico and King v. Burwell What Kind of Exchange Are We? What does that Mean for Citizens and Policymakers” finds that New Mexico’s “hybrid” exchange would likely be impacted by a US Supreme Court finding for the plaintiffs in a decision that is expected to be handed down this summer.

To date, Amy Dowd, the director of the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange, has claimed that “the case isn’t likely to have a bearing on New Mexico because the court is looking at the federal, as opposed to state, exchanges. But, in discussions with health care experts and research on the law, Paul Gessing, president of the Rio Grande Foundation found information to the contrary.

Michael Cannon, a health care policy expert with the Washington-based Cato Institute who has been called the “architect” of King v. Burwell by The New Republic, stated plainly that New Mexico’s “hybrid” exchange would be considered “federal” under the law (with subsidies at risk and businesses and individuals exempted from many of ObamaCare’s costly mandates).

This point of view on New Mexico’s exchange is not limited to conservatives. The Kaiser Family Foundation, which supports the Law, places the state among those where subsidies are “at risk.”

In other words, said study author Paul Gessing, “New Mexico’s political leaders and citizens should be ready for the likelihood that New Mexico’s current ObamaCare exchange may be invalidated by the Court. Such a decision could create temporary chaos as well as opportunities to reform or even abolish the Law in ways that lead to a freer market in American health care.”

Gessing relies on nationally-recognized experts to put together a series of recommendations for New Mexico’s state and federal elected officials to seize the opportunity to free American health care from the straight-jacket of ObamaCare.