Study: Supreme Court ruling could have high cost

Millions of people will again be receiving healthcare without paying for it if the Supreme Court rules against ObamaCare later this year, according to a new report.

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The Supreme Court will hear arguments next month in King v. Burwell, which could lead to federal subsidies to help people buy insurance being struck down. 

A new report from The Urban Institute think tank finds that if the Supreme Court strikes down the subsidies, there will be $12 billion worth of healthcare that is not paid for in 2016, because people will lose insurance that they can no longer afford without the subsidies. Much of the "uncompensated care" comes in the form of emergency room visits by people without insurance. 

The report estimates 8.2 million people will lose insurance under a Supreme Court ruling against the law, including around 6 million who will be stripped of subsidies and more than 1 million more who will be unable to afford coverage because of premium increases.

The researchers emphasize that the new inability of people to pay would hit hospitals particularly hard because government funding to help compensate hospitals has already been reduced under ObamaCare, following the theory that it is less necessary now that more people have insurance.

The findings on the increase in uncompensated care are part of an expected upheaval in the health insurance market if the Supreme Court strikes down the subsidies.

The Obama administration has refused to discuss whether it has a contingency plan, saying it is confident that the court will rule in its favor.

Three House Republican committee chairmen were charged last month with creating a Republican proposal for what to do if the high court invalidates the subsidies. 

“No family should pay for this administration’s mistakes," the House Republican leaders said in a statement. "So we’re going to keep working to protect hardworking taxpayers from the fallout of ObamaCare and move toward the ultimate goal of a patient-centered system."