The White House is sure to appeal its loss in a lawsuit brought by House Republicans alleging the administration can't spend money on Affordable Care Act's cost-sharing subsidies without congressional appropriations, and it could take as long as two years to reach the U.S. Supreme Court. If the decision holds, here's how it's likely to affect the insurance exchanges.
1. The feds can't reimburse insurers for cost-sharing assistance without congressional appropriation.
2. Insurers might raise rates to compensate because the law still requires them to provide the assistance.
3. Higher premiums would likely trigger higher tax credits to help people afford them.
4. Insurers could go to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims to try to get the money.
5. Congress, which might change hands after the election, could appropriate the money each year. But the annual uncertainty would complicate insurers' rate-setting.