The Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week in King v. Burwell, the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act.
At issue in the case is whether the tax credits that are available to subsidize the cost of health insurance coverage are available in all of the public exchanges or just exchanges that are operated by states. If the credits are only available in state-based exchanges, that would severely limit access to the credits, because most states (37 of them) have some form of an exchange operated by the federal government.
This could have an impact beyond individual access to the tax credits. For example, whether and to what extent large employers may be subject to penalty under the "play-or-pay" rules depends on whether and to what extent employees of those employers are able to qualify for tax credits. If tax credits aren't available to employees because the exchange in their state is a federally operated exchange (as in Kansas), the employer might avoid penalties, even if it is not offering the type of coverage required by the play-or-pay rules.
It's hard to predict how the case will come out. The court is expected to break along the typical ideological lines, with the result depending on how the "swing" votes go. We should have an answer sometime this summer.
A transcript of the oral arguments is here.