Second state moves to save ObamaCare subsidies

Second state moves to save ObamaCare subsidies

A second state has announced a backup plan in case the Supreme Court rules against ObamaCare this month.

Delaware's top health official said Wednesday that the state would create its own healthcare exchange to preserve the insurance subsidies at stake in the case King v. Burwell.

"I feel moving to a [federally] supported state-based market place is not that heavy of a lift for us," Rita Landgraf, Delaware's director of health and social services, told Talking Points Memo.

Delaware is one of at least 34 states that stand to lose subsidies in the case, which could be decided as early as next Monday. A total of 19,128 people could be affected in Delaware, out of a total 6.3 million people nationwide.

It is the second state — after Pennsylvania earlier this week — to announce intentions to protect subsidies; both have Democratic governors.

Unlike Pennsylvania, Delaware's two legislative chambers are also in Democratic hands, making it more likely that the plan could be put into action. 

Out of the states at risk by the ruling, only five others are led by Democratic governors: Virginia, West Virginia, Montana, New Hampshire and Missouri.

GOP governors and state lawmakers have proven far more resistant to setting up state-based exchanges to save subsidies.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, both Republicans, both said Tuesday they are opposed to any kind of state-level fix to restore ObamaCare subsidies in case the administration loses in court.

“I think it has to be a federal fix,” Scott told reporters at the event he hosted Tuesday for GOP presidential candidates, according to The Washington Post.

Like Pennsylvania, Delaware would continue to rely on the federal government for its enrollment resources, including the HealthCare.gov website.

The plan to create a state-run exchange was first reported by Politico Pro.