The United States Supreme Court has ruled in a 6-3 decision that the federal subsidies will remain for the Americans who purchase Obamacare on the federal exchange. The majority of the court agreed the ‘intent’ of the law was to include subsidies.
And we wait.
“We” are the purchasers of health insurance through Obamacare.
Again – is yet another court challenge, language interpretation, rule change, price increase, modification to Obamacare.
“We” are awaiting the ruling by the Supreme Court in King v. Burwell which will determine the fate of the subsidies received if the health insurance was purchased on the federal exchange aka healthcare.gov. Consumers who purchase health insurance via Obamacare on a state exchange are not affected.
I don’t know about you, but this Obamacare purchaser (not exactly by choice) is getting testy and tired of the messy boots known as Obamacare.
The Four Words of Obamacare – Established By the State
The thumbnail of King v. Burwell is four words “established by the state” and how will the Supreme Court interpret the language of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) also known as Obamacare.
One of the features of Obamacare are the tax credits received to help offset the cost of purchasing insurance through the federal insurance exchange. Thirty seven states participate in the federal exchange and many will argue the participation of consumers is directly tied to receiving the tax credits.
No tax credit = not affordable = no purchase = no insurance = violation of law
It is a problem.
Obamacare Has Been Anything But Smooth
As many will recall, the enrollment for Obamacare began October 2013 for coverage to begin January 1, 2014. You do probably recall due to the assorted enrollment problems beginning with the oh so small issue that the healthcare.gov, the marketplace to purchase insurance did not work.
This coincided with Americans (such as myself) who received letters from our insurance companies that our privately purchased insurance would be cancelled as the policies did not adhere to the requirements of the ACA.
This contradicted one of the main selling points of the ACA that Americans could keep their policies if the ACA was passed. Not true.
This presented a hot public relations mess; evolving to the federal government stating IF the states and insurance companies would agree, Americans could keep their policy. In my state, the insurance commissioner ruled yes, you could keep your policy IF the insurance company agreed. Blue Cross Blue Shield did not agree.
This took three months in late 2013 to play out leaving the consumer in the no mans land of : I am voluntarily purchasing health insurance, the government has now mandated I purchase insurance, the insurance company is cancelling the policy and the government does not have a administrative system in place to enroll Americans.
The cost of the botched rollout of healthcare.gov is now estimated on the low end at 850 million dollars to $2 billion dollars on the high end.
And So “We” Wait for King v. Burwell
“We” wait to see the implications of the ruling in King v. Burwell on our health insurance, on our finances, on our ability of inability to purchase health insurance on the federal exchange.
The proverbial What If question always pops up as to why those who wrote the law were so careless in their framing of the language. A carefully crafted law could have avoided the constant legal and political challenges – or perhaps not – Obamacare remains a polarizing topic for many Americans.
Whether one is pro or against or somewhere in the middle regarding Obamacare, I suspect we can all agree that if the government is going to mandate the purchase of health insurance, affordability is the key.