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US Supreme Court Will Consider Affordable Care Act Tax Credits

The U.S. Supreme Court announced Friday that it will look at whether the federal government can give tax credits to people who bought health insurance on the federal health exchange.

Those credits are assured for people in states that set up their own exchanges.

Aaron Patnode of Cover Oregon says the 70,000 people who bought their insurance through Cover Oregon will get that tax credit - at least next year. But what happens after that is unclear.

"What we do know is that the federal government has recognized Oregon as a supported state-based marketplace for 2015," he said. "We continue to have conversations with the federal government regarding our use of healthcare.gov and our ability to remain a supported state-based marketplace for the future."

Oregon is switching over to the federal site after the Cover Oregon fiasco.

The Supreme Court will decide whether the tax credits can only be given in states that run their own exchanges, or whether they can be given in states with federally-operated sites.

If the court decides to limit tax credits, it's widely believed it would ruin the finely-tuned economics of the Affordable Care Act.

Copyright 2014 Oregon Public Broadcasting