Lawyers on all sides of the contentious debate over King v. Burwell attended the arguments.  Brian Pinheiro, chairman of Ballard Spahr's Business and Finance department, was among those who gave The National Law Journal first-blush reactions.

"I thought the government made probably the stronger case. If the court agreed with the petitioners, then 34 states that have federal exchanges will see the subsidies evaporate," said Pinheiro, practice leader of the employee-benefits and executive-compensation group. "That means that 5 million people are going to lose their coverage. If that happens, it's going to be contrary to the purposes of the act. It also affects the employer mandate. Employers only have to pay penalties if there are insurance subsidies in the state exchange. If the subsidies go away, the mandate goes away."



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