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Old 07-22-2014, 08:34 AM  
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Fed appeals court panel says most Obamacare subsidies illegal

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

In a potentially crippling blow to Obamacare, a top federal appeals court Tuesday said that billions of dollars worth of government subsidies that helped 4.7 million people buy insurance on HealthCare.gov are not legal under the Affordable Care Act.

In its decision, a three-judge panel said that such subsidies can be granted only to people who bought insurance in an Obamacare exchange run by an individual state or the District of Columbia — not on the federally run exchange HealthCare.gov. Plaintiffs in the case known as Halbig v. Burwell argued that the ACA, as written, only allows that often-significant financial aid to be issued to people who bought insurance on a marketplace set up a state.

The decision is certain to be challenged by the Obama Administration, and does not immediately have the effect of law. But if it is ultimately upheld, it would cause insurance rates for those people who lost the subsidies to dramatically rise.

HealthCare.gov serves residents of the 36 states that did not create their own health insurance marketplace. About 86 percent of its 5.45 million customers received a subsidy to offset the cost of their coverage this year because they had low or moderate incomes.

In a report issued Thursday, the consultancy Avalere Health said that if those subsidies were removed this year from the 4.7 million people who received them in HealthCare.gov states, their premiums would have been an average of 76 percent higher in price than what they are paying now.

Another report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute estimated that by 2016, about 7.3 million enrollees who would have qualified for financial assistance will be lose access to about $36.1 billion in subsidies if those court challenges succeed.

Before the decision, a leading Obamacare expert who was firmly opposed to the plantiffs' arguments said a ruling in their favor could have major consequences for the health-care reform law.

"If the courts were to decide that the Halbig plaintiffs were right, it would be a huge threat to the ACA," said that expert,Timothy Jost, a professor at the Washington and Lee University School of Law.

"It's a very big deal," said Ron Pollack, founder of the health-care consumers advocacy group Families USA, and Enroll America, a major Obamacare advocacy group.

Pollack noted that the more than 5 million people who have received subsidies via HealthCare.gov "would have them taken away."

"It certainly would cause a lot of people to rejoin the ranks of the uninsured," Pollack said. "The provision of the tax credit premium subsidy makes a huge difference in terms of whether people considering enrollment or enrolling in coverage will find such coverage affordable."

Last week, two analyses underscored the potential effects of the subsidies ultimately being deemed illegal.

The consultancy Avalere Health said people who currently receive such subsidies in the affected stateswould see their premium rates raise an average of 76 percent.

And the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute said that by 2016, about 7.3 million enrollees would lose about $36 billion in subsidies.

On Monday, one of the intellectual godfathers of the argument that is the basis of the Halbig case, as well as three other similar pending court challenges, said that tens of millions of people would be freed from Obamacare mandates in the affected states if the challenges prevailed.

Michael Cannon, director of health policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute, said more than 250,000 firms in those states—which have about 57 million workers—would not be subject to the employer mandate being phased in starting next year. That rule, which hinges on the availability of subsidies on Obamacare exchanges, will compel employers with 50 or more full-time workers to offer affordable health insurance or pay a fine.

Courts could cause big Obamacare $$$ hike

And if the challenge prevail, a total of about 8.3 million individuals will be "free" of Obamacare's rule that they have health insurance or pay a fine equal to as much as 1 percent of their taxable income, said Cannon, who with law professor Jonathan Adler laid the groundwork for the challenges to the HealthCare.gov subsidies.

Oral arguments heard by a three-judge panel on that DC federal appeals court in March—when two of the judges appeared sympathetic to the plaintiffs—gave Halbig supporters renewed hope that their claim would succeed.
Read MoreWhat's really surprising about Hobby Lobby ruling

Halbig was the first of those cases decided at the appellate level.

In the other case that has been heard on appeal, one first filed in Virginia federal district court, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to issue a ruling any day.

However, that circuit is widely expected to rule against the plaintiffs' claims challenging the legality of the Obamacare subsidies on HealthCare.gov.

--By CNBC's Dan Mangan


Dan ManganHealth Care Reporter

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101819065
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:12 PM   #121
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donger View Post
And why does Obama get credit for that?
I'm sure you wouldn't be blaming Obama if the economy was still at 2008 levels right?
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:13 PM   #122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xanathol View Post
And this is why facts matter more than talking points...

The DOW has many alarmed, as it is ready to pop. Even the Feds are wearisome.

Real unemployment is over 18%, but don't let facts get in the way of a contorted way of measuring the unemployed.

Econ 101: GDP is a horribly flawed measure and by definition, panders to big government spending.

Consumer confidence highest it's been since January 2008. Ya see, we tanked when the bubble burst:

You need to step outside the zerohedge bubble. The primary time to be worried about the stock market is when no one is worried about the stock market.
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Old 07-25-2014, 07:05 PM   #123
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The market right now is built on the specter of gridlock in DC

Washington is powerless right now to rock the boat. There is absolutely no legislation anywhere on the horizon. That fundamentally changes the short term calculus where growth is concerned. This is a "smoke if you got 'em" moment in the market - a gridlock bubble.
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Old 07-26-2014, 11:30 AM   #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blaise View Post
Good things happen during Obama's presidency: Obama did it!

Bad things happen during Obama's presidency: Well these things are beyond his control. Besides, Republicans are to blame.
Good things happen during Bush's presidency: Obama did it!

Bad things happen during Bushs presidency: Well these things are beyond his control. Besides, Republicans are to blame.

RINSE, AND REPEAT. This is true for every President, and used by whichever party is in power...
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Old 07-30-2014, 09:16 PM   #125
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Mark Cuban just another brainwashed liberal moron. http://us.cnn.com/2014/07/30/opinion...rprising-mind/

Quote:
Cupp: So stipulated. Where do you stand on Obamacare?

Cuban: I love the concept. The execution, to this point, has been miserable. Part of that misery is because of the tech issues it has faced; the others are because of the choices states have made to opt in or out.

I will repeat my mantra: The risk never leaves the system.

As a country, we have chosen to not let people die on the streets or suffer. We as Americans have chosen to help our fellow citizens when in need. Right now, I believe the past approach of letting insurance companies skim the most profitable customers off the top and let all of us pay for the rest in the most inefficient manner possible has been a mistake.


We have recognized this with car insurance. No insurance? (Then) you can't drive. We all share in the cost.

We all share in the cost of air-traffic control. None of us wants to get hijacked. None of us wants a dumbass with an explosive shoe on our plane. So we all have agreed to share the risk and cost of not only paying for security in airports but the cost on productivity and leisure time by having to wait in lines and often choosing to take slower transportation options.

Shouldn't air travelers exclusively pay for this? No, because a bomb or hijacking scares us all and impacts our quality of life everywhere. Even nonfinancial risk doesn't leave the system.

With health care, despite the fact that we as a nation have already chosen to provide health care in one form or another to everyone, we have, until Obamacare, chosen to pick the least cost-effective means, a mix of private and public offerings, of providing that care. That makes no sense.

The health insurance industry had the opportunity to pre-empt this problem. They could have expanded coverage. They could have accepted a smaller return on equity. They didn't.

I think Obamacare will be less efficient than what private health insurance could offer. However, I think when you add the cost of the inefficiencies of Obamacare plus the savings from better health care for those who would have used taxpayer-supported ad hoc health services, we will have a net positive impact both culturally and financially for the country.

And I think we will also see some side benefits of people who find themselves stuck in jobs purely for health care, who will now be able to leave and hopefully some of them will do amazing things and have a positive impact on us all.


Again, I'm not an expert by any means; this is my 20,000-foot view.
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Old 07-31-2014, 08:02 AM   #126
Mr. Laz Mr. Laz is offline
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Healthcare for everyone is EVIL!!!!!!

block it at all cost

burn the country to the ground before we have healthcare

sue the President!!


GOP is truly pathetic
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Old 07-31-2014, 08:16 AM   #127
BucEyedPea BucEyedPea is offline
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Laz, why do you think it's the govt's duty or job to provide for others things like healthcare?

This doesn't mean we think healthcare is bad. That's a twist, a strawman, of the right's stand. We just believe the private sector and market does a better job. Don't give me we had that, because we already had a patch-work socialist system which drove up rates for all in the name of more affordability and availability.
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