Health secretary sees no administrative fix if Supreme Court kills health law subsidies

Economic Indicators Associated Press

President Barack Obama's health secretary has told Congress that there are no administrative actions available to fix the problems that would result if the Supreme Court invalidates federal subsidies for millions of people buying health care coverage.

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In a letter Tuesday, Sylvia Burwell repeated her warnings that if the court annuls the subsidies, there would be "widespread damage" to the nation's health care system. She says that's because millions of people won't be able to afford coverage and costs for everyone else's insurance would rise.

Her letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch says she's aware of no administration actions that could prevent that and has no plans that would head off those problems.

Hatch, a Utah Republican, says Burwell's response shows that the health care overhaul is unworkable.