Public supports O-Care subsidies threatened by Supreme Court case

Most Americans want ObamaCare subsidies to be available to people in all states, regardless of whether the state established its own exchange, a new poll suggests.


The latest tracking survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation, released Wednesday, found that 64 percent wants Congress to pass a law guaranteeing subsidies if the Supreme Court invalidates those distributed through federally run exchanges.

The poll underscores the high stakes of the King v. Burwell decision, which could stop billions of dollars in ObamaCare subsidies and create chaos for the fledgling system.

Another 59 percent of people in states with federally run exchanges said their states should establish their own marketplaces if the justices rule for the plaintiffs.

This view is held by majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independent voters.

At the same time, few people appear to be paying attention to the case, which will receive oral arguments in March. A majority (56 percent) said they have heard "nothing at all," and only 14 percent said they had heard "some" or "a lot."

Consumer advocates are hoping to highlight the case in a series of press events tied to their friend of the court briefs in King v. Burwell. A long list of medical groups, in addition to activists at Families USA, are urging the justices to uphold the current subsidies.

Republicans say the distribution of tax credits on the federal exchange is illegal under the language of the Affordable Care Act and an example of executive overreach by the Obama administration.

The public is still split on the merits of ObamaCare as a whole, Wednesday's poll confirmed. One-third want the law repealed, and 14 percent want it scaled back; 19 percent want the law to continue as is, and nearly one-quarter want it expanded.