skip navigation
Support KUOW
Listen to News


question mark


States Brace For Federal Health Care Ruling

Chris Lehman


SALEM, Ore. – The U.S. Supreme Court could rule any day now on the Constitutionality of President Obama's health care overhaul. The decision could have broad implications for state health care policies in the Northwest.

The high court could leave the law alone, overturn it, or throw out pieces of it. The ruling could complicate things for state-level health care administrators like Rocky King. He's in charge of developing Oregon's new health insurance exchange. He says work on the plan has continued despite the uncertainty over the law's future.

"It's not that you don't prepare. It isn't that staff don't worry, what am I going to do if I don't have a job," King says. "Of course those things are there. But if you start focusing on those, you'd never get your job done."

King says the health insurance exchange could survive a partial overturning of the law. That's the same view held by officials in Washington state.

There are also implications for young adults. Some now qualify for their parents' health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act. One advocacy group estimates there are 78,000 such 20-somethings in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. They could lose their coverage if the law is thrown out and insurance companies drop them.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network