Supreme Court upholds Obamacare's tax subsidies

See the Oregonian for the full article,

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the nationwide tax subsidies under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, in a ruling that preserves health insurance for millions of Americans.

The justices said in a 6-3 ruling that the subsidies that 8.7 million people currently receive to make insurance affordable do not depend on where they live, under the 2010 health care law.

 

Oregon stood on sidelines of Obamacare case

Oregon had less at stake than most states in the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in King v. Burwell.
The suit targeted subsidies issued by the federal health insurance exchange. Oregon used the federal exchange website to enroll Oregonians in health coverage this year after state officials shelved the homegrown Cover Oregon technology project.
Still, because Oregon had passed a law, insurance tax and regulations to set up a state-based exchange, state officials argued that it should not be considered a federal exchange state. Legal briefs filed by both sides in the case agreed, considering Oregon one of 16 state-based exchanges in addition to that of Washington, D.C..
The Supreme Court majority agreed as well, writing that "At this point, 16 States and the District of Colum­bia have established their own Exchanges; the other 34 States have elected to have (the federal government) do so."
Oregon stood on sidelines of Obamacare caseOregon had less at stake than most states in the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in King v. Burwell.
The suit targeted subsidies issued by the federal health insurance exchange. Oregon used the federal exchange website to enroll Oregonians in health coverage this year after state officials shelved the homegrown Cover Oregon technology project.
Still, because Oregon had passed a law, insurance tax and regulations to set up a state-based exchange, state officials argued that it should not be considered a federal exchange state. Legal briefs filed by both sides in the case agreed, considering Oregon one of 16 state-based exchanges in addition to that of Washington, D.C..
The Supreme Court majority agreed as well, writing that "At this point, 16 States and the District of Colum­bia have established their own Exchanges; the other 34 States have elected to have (the federal government) do so."

--Nick Budnick

As we breath a sigh of relief for all the people who are able to keep their insurance as a result of this ruling, let's also work to update the ACA so that we have true universal, publicly funded health care!

You can help MVHCA as we work for single payer health care by donatinghosting a house party, signing up for the newsletter, and attending our monthly meetings. You can also Like us on Facebook, and Follow us on Twitter. Thank you.

The Illogic of Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance

Imagine yourself in a bar where a pickpocket takes money out of your wallet and with it buys you a glass of chardonnay. Although you would have preferred a pinot noir, you decide not to look that gift horse in the mouth and thank the stranger profusely for the kindness, assuming he paid for it. You might feel differently, of course, if you knew that you actually had paid for it yourself.

Persuaded by both theory and empirical research, most economists believe that employer-based health insurance is an analogue of this bar scene.

The argument is that the premiums ostensibly paid by employers to buy health insurance coverage for their employees are actually part of the employee’s total pay package – the price of labor, in economic parlance – and that the cost of that fringe benefit is recovered from employees through commensurate reductions in take-home pay.

Evidently the majority of Supreme Court justices who just ruled in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case do not buy the economists’ theory. These justices seem to believe that the owners of “closely held” business firms buy health insurance for their employees out of the kindness of their hearts and with the owners’ money. On that belief, they accord these owners the right to impose some of their personal preferences – in this case their religious beliefs — on their employee’s health insurance.

Full Article here.