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6 Columbia Journal of Tax Law, Tax Matters (2015)


Once again, the U.S. Supreme Court will be deciding the fate of Obamacare — in the case of King v. Burwell. Also, once again, the future of American healthcare reform will turn on how the Supreme Court reviews a provision of Obamacare that was enacted through the tax code.

So far, the debates over King v. Burwell have largely focused on Constitutional law, Administrative law, and other non-tax-law considerations. Might there be unique tax law perspectives that could be brought in to better illuminate these debates? Does it matter that the provision being reviewed (I.R.C. Sec. 36B) was enacted through the tax code? More generally, how should tax lawyers or state or federal government officials respond if the King v. Burwell challenge is ultimately successful? Finally, how should the Supreme Court decide this dispute, and what implications might follow from the Supreme Court’s decision?