Between all the craziness surrounding the King v. Burwell decision and the indirectly-related Obergefell v. Hodges decision and it being my birthday weekend and all, a whole mess of ACA/healthcare stories piled up over the past week...
If I'm reading this correctly, it looks like a whole lot of poor people in non-expansion states were effectively forced into padding their official income in order to qualify for federal tax credits due to their GOP overlords being jackasses. I'm not sure whether that's a problem legally (as opposed to deliberately cutting your official income), but it seems to me that this will only work for so long before it catches up with them recordkeeping-wise?
I originally used this headline after the dust settled on the Year One open enrollment season to discuss my plans for the ACA Signups project going forward. I used it again less than 2 months ago, at the close of Year Two open enrollment (including the #ACATaxTime extension period).
Normally I'd hold off until sometime in February 2016 to pull it out again, but with the King v. Burwell decision out of the way, this seems like a good time to pause and take stock of what lies ahead.
OK, I do have one very quick post this afternoon, and believe it or not, it ties this morning's historic Supreme Court ruling allowing marriage equality for same-sex couples with yesterday's ruling on ACA federal tax credits.
How? Well, the HHS Dept. just posted this on Twitter:
(I know I'm posting the whole thing, but it's only like 6 sentences...please click thru to give Politico the traffic...)
A Texas Republican is taking aim at the Supreme Court after its 6-3 decision upholding Obamacare subsidies with a new bill requiring the justices and their aides to purchase coverage on the law’s exchanges.
Rep. Brian Babin is seeking co-sponsors for the bill, titled the “SCOTUScare Act of 2015” — which refers to a quip from Justice Antonin Scalia’s scathing dissent.
“As the Supreme Court continues to ignore the letter of the law, it’s important that these nine individuals understand the full impact of their decisions on the American people,” the freshman Republican said in a statement. “By eliminating their exemption from Obamacare, they will see firsthand what the American people are forced to live with!”
The King v. Burwell decision this morning is huge. Everything--everything--about the 2016 Open Enrollment Period rested on this morning's decision. And yes, I'm even including the states which have their own exchanges, like California, Kentucky and Connecticut. While those states wouldn't be impacted directly, I guarantee that there would have been some peripheral consequences even for them.
For instance, would a sizable number of self-employed people have moved from, say, Virginia to Maryland due to the 60-90% rate difference they might see between the states? I know it's not easy to just pick up and move your whole family on a whim, but you could be talking about a $500+/month difference for those paying full price...and the difference between having coverage at all or not for those whose premiums had just been cut off. Now, thankfully, we'll never know.