Characteristics of Those Affected by a Supreme Court Finding for the Plaintiff in King v. Burwell

Weights balance scales of justice with a gavel beside it.

Researchers find that if the Supreme Court rules against allowing tax credits to help purchase health insurance in states where the federal government operates an insurance marketplace, those who lose out will be disproportionately white, Southern, and employed, but earning modest wages.

The Issue

The research provides the first look at specific demographics of those who would be affected if the Court decides for the plaintiff in King v. Burwell.

Key Findings

Of the 6.3 million people estimated to lose coverage because they no longer have tax credits to help pay the premium, the researchers estimate:

  • 61 percent are white, non-Hispanic;

  • 62 percent live in the South;

  • 81 percent work full- or part-time;

  • 82 percent have modest incomes, but are not poor.


The report authors build on previous research showing that if the Court rules in favor of King, the number of uninsured, nonelderly people would increase by 8.2 million.

About the Grantee

The Urban Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan policy research and educational organization that examines the social, economic and governance problems facing the nation. For more information, visit Follow the Urban Institute on Twitter or Facebook More information specific to the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center, its staff, and its recent research can be found at