King v. Burwell, Amici Curiae Brief, U.S. Supreme Court, Harvard Law School Center for Health and Law Policy Innovation et al (2015)

Pleadings and Briefs

This amicus brief was filed on behalf of more that 40 organizations including The Center for HIV Law and Policy, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in King v. Burwell, a case involving a challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).

At issue in this case is an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rule giving tax subsidies to people enrolled in health insurance through federal health insurance exchanges in the 36 states that have not created their own state-run exchanges under the ACA. The plaintiffs argue that the ACA only allows for the subsidies for health insurance purchased through state-run exchanges and that the IRS exceeded its authority by extending the subsidies to those enrolled through the federal exchanges.

A federal district court ruled that the wording of the statute is ambiguous, but that the IRS rule is “a permissible exercise of the agency’s discretion.” On appeal, the Fourth Circuit upheld the ruling.

The amicus brief argues that reversal of the judgment would deprive millions of Americans of access to health insurance, seriously threaten health outcomes, and undermine the nation’s ability to address epidemics and other health threats.

The Lambda Legal and Ropes & Gray submitted an additional amici curiae brief in King v. Burwell on behalf of ten nonprofit LGBT and HIV advocacy organizations.