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Indiana Sues To Prevent Its Own Residents From Receiving Obamacare’s Insurance Subsidies

This week, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller filed a lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) challenging its authority to fund Obamacare’s insurance subsidies for individuals and enacting penalties against public employers (such as state and local governments) that don’t meet the health law’s minimum worker coverage requirement. If successful, the challenge would prevent Americans from receiving the government assistance that makes Obamacare’s insurance marketplace plans affordable in the first place.

Zoeller claims that the health law doesn’t permit people living in the 36 states that have refused to set up their own Obamacare marketplaces — including Indiana — to qualify for federal insurance subsidies. He also says that local government employers which don’t meet Obamacare’s requirements cannot be penalized under the law to help fund those subsidies.

The argument is based on a technical ambiguity in the law that state-level GOP officials and congressional Republicans have previously seized on in an attempt to undermine the ACA’s consumer assistance. The IRS has issued regulations saying that the law permits and intends the agency to extend subsidies to Americans in all 50 states.

“The fact that many citizens lack health insurance is an issue for policymakers, and my office takes no position regarding the congressional debate over funding the ACA. I never complain when private plaintiffs file lawsuits to challenge the state authority that my office defends; but now our role is reversed and Indiana has initiated this lawsuit asking the court whether the IRS has exceeded its federal taxing authority over state governments,” said Zoeller in a statement. “This respectful challenge is an appropriate role for the Office of the Attorney General to vigorously assert the ability of the State and its political subdivisions to manage their workforces in our American system of federalism.”

Zoeller argues that Congress would have to pass separate legislation in order for Americans to qualify for tax credits in the states that haven’t set up an Obamacare marketplace.

f the lawsuit is successful, it would amount to a massive premium hike for Americans who are required to procure insurance coverage under the health law — and could fundamentally cripple Obamacare’s goal of extending affordable health coverage to the uninsured. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that over 85 percent of individuals who sign up through the marketplaces this year will qualify for subsidies to help them afford their new plans. Those subsidies can end up reducing the top-line cost of health coverage by as much as the full premium amount, depending on an individual’s yearly income.

Oklahoma has filed a similar lawsuit against the federal government. Several GOP-led states have taken alternative tactics to undermine reform, such as refusing to implement the law’s basic consumer protections like its ban on insurers denying coverage to Americans with pre-existing medical conditions. And many red states are successfully denying coverage to poor Americans by refusing to expand Medicaid under the health law.

by Anonymousreply 1610/12/2013

So what's next? Anyone who applies for insurance under the ACA will be thrown in jail?

by Anonymousreply 110/10/2013


by Anonymousreply 210/10/2013

Idiotic and doomed to fail. This is a slam-dunk and the case will be thrown out.

by Anonymousreply 310/10/2013

I'm sure the idiots in IN are cheering this on because red states are genuinely that dumb.

by Anonymousreply 410/10/2013

Now that Gary and Hammond are no longer powerhouses, all of the pull in Indiana comes from the South.

I tried to help a single friend/no kids apply for food stamps in Indiana. It's asset AND income based. You may not own a car, you may not have assets, and you may not have income.

If you receive food stamps, you are stuck in place. The state has deplorable transportation designed to keep brown people far up North.

by Anonymousreply 510/10/2013

They've gone from simple incompetence to pure malevolence.

by Anonymousreply 610/10/2013

The individual mandate is a tool that improves the overall fairness of the health care market by making insurance coverage broadly available and affordable. That's why it's fair. All the rest is noise from the Obama hating zombies.

by Anonymousreply 710/10/2013

If these people do not want the "individual mandate", then the law should be that all employers provide insurance for their employees. Ooops! They don't want that either. THEN all insurance has to be provided by the government thru taxes.

Seriously, there are only three ways to pay for insurance, and the Republicans appear to oppose all three. I guess only the wealthy, self-insured should get medical care and everyone else can just die.

by Anonymousreply 810/10/2013

Isn't this one of the two issues that the Supreme Court ruled on last June? Do we really need to go through this again, delaying insurance for these people, which actually seems to be an actionable harm that private citizens could bring against the state. Suppose you have a kid who dies due to lack if healthcare, and when the case is decided against the state, won't the state be liable for damages? It looks like once again, teatard states are going to end up spending more money to fight the law than they would if they just implemented it.

The irony is that it's the states that have opted out of setting up and managing their own exchanges that are going to pay more for less service. And, since the state exchanges are doing just fine signing people up, it's these teatard states that have to deal with the federal government's difficult rollout. Hooray! Blue states finally get an advantage! Maybe the red states higher premiums will subsidize the blue states -- instead of the way blue states pay more taxes and get fewer benefits presently. Thanks, teatards!

by Anonymousreply 910/10/2013

Yes, historically it is the Red States that receive the most in Medicaid payments.

Also there is another factor at play here. For 20+ years Medicare has been making add-on payments to hospitals that disproportionately serve the poor (DSH payments). But with the implementation of ACA, Medicare will be reducing DSH payments by about 75%. The reasoning behind this reduction was that states would be increasing Medicaid coverage and more uninsured would have coverage thru the exchanges. Red state hospitals received considerably more than blue states in DSH payments. Now these hospitals will have to suffer severe Medicare reductions but will have not have increased Medicaid and private insurance payments to offset these cuts.

I live in Missouri, where I have worked in healthcare reimbursement for years. Missouri's hospitals will really take a hit because the Repugs who control the legislation have not expanded Medicaid coverage or set up exchanges. One major h.c. system today announced that it is cutting 206 jobs. Other hospital systems have previously announced similar cuts. Job cuts = more unemployed = more uninsured. Job cuts in healthcare = lowering of quality of care provided. Lower reimbursements = cost per unit of care provided must increase to cover basic fixed expenses.

by Anonymousreply 1010/10/2013

[quote]Suppose you have a kid who dies due to lack if healthcare

Drama much? Children are covered under medicaid.

by Anonymousreply 1110/10/2013

Of course they want the poor to die. We know that. If they manage to get insurance they will starve them to death.

Socialized Medicine is what is needed, not this hobbled together bit of profit for insurance companies.

by Anonymousreply 1210/11/2013

Please note that this Attorney General is the cousin of racist and disgraced golfer Fuzzy Zoeller...

by Anonymousreply 1310/11/2013

nasty shameful states in this country.

fully half SHOULD secede. good riddance.

by Anonymousreply 1410/11/2013

[quote]15.4% - The percentage of children living in poverty who are also uninsured

You were saying, R11?

by Anonymousreply 1510/11/2013

[quote] I tried to help a single friend/no kids apply for food stamps in Indiana. It's asset AND income based. You may not own a car, you may not have assets, and you may not have income.

The funding for the SNAP program is disgrace enough. No need to exaggerate.

If this is an example of the help you gave your friend - then he/she needs to find someone else to help them.

There are limits on assets and income. Although cars for personal use are exempt. As well as your home, surrounding property and household goods.

by Anonymousreply 1610/12/2013
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