Friday, October 11, 2013

Attorney General's Lawsuit Against Affordable Health Care Act Argues Hoosiers Aren't Eligible For Tax Credit

The people at the federal level charged with administering the Affordable Care Act don't see it this way, but according to a new lawsuit Attorney General Greg Zoeller filed against the Obama administration, the state of Indiana believed that by not choosing to create a state-run health care exchange, Hoosiers who participated in the federal plan wouldn't be allowed to receive tax credits offered to those earning up to 400% of the poverty level to offset the cost of purchasing health insurance. It seems our Attorney General wants the law to be interpreted in that fashion so large employers could not be penalized for not offering health insurance to their employees. Read it to believe it: Here's a summary of the Star's Maureen Groppe's lengthy story today. Read it to believe it.
When Indiana decided last year not to run its own health exchange under Obamacare, Gov. Mike Pence said it was because the move would cost the state too much money without providing enough benefits.
The state revealed for the first time in a lawsuit filed this week that it also assumed that by opting for the federal health exchange that Hoosiers would not receive the federal tax credits designed to help needy people afford health insurance.
That, in turn, would prevent large employers in the state from being penalized under the health-care law for not providing insurance to workers, the lawsuit argues.
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday by Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller. He said he teamed up with 15 school corporations to argue that the ­Internal Revenue Service lacks authority to penalize the state and other Indiana employers for not offering coverage to anyone working at least 30 hours a week. The threat of the penalties is causing the state and schools to cut the hours of some employees because they can’t afford to pay for their health insurance, Zoeller said.
The suit attacks a part of the law that some have described as sloppy wording but that critics say was intentionally written so tax credits would be available only in states that run their own exchanges. Although lawmakers expected most states would want to run the exchanges — because states regulate their own insurance markets — most states decided not to . . .
The gist of the lawsuit is that Zoeller is upset that Hoosiers who participate in the federally-run exchange will still receive tax credits for purchasing health insurance because he's more concerned about employers who will be penalized by the law for not offering  health insurance to their employees. He's using state resources in an attempt to force an interpretation of the law that screws over the little guy to save large employers from paying penalties. Great. In other news, Gov. Mike Pence has appointed a lobbyist for insurance companies to serve as the state's new Medicaid director. Hmmm. These guys obviously don't care about the optics of their actions.


Anonymous said...

There's no doubt that Zoeller is a complete putz.

Flogger said...

Paul Craig Roberts authored a very good article on the Obama Care subject.

Roberts credentials are Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate.

He says "Republicans for ideological reasons blocked a single-payer health system like the rest of the developed world has."

He further says, "the Obama regime, needing a victory, went to the insurance companies and told them to come up with a health care plan that the insurance lobby could get passed by Congress. Obamacare was written by the private insurance industry with the goal of raising its profits with 50 million mandated new customers."

Another comment by Roberts, "Obamacare has resulted in the health insurance companies, who thought that they would be living in high profits from the mandated health coverage, being outsmarted by employers, who have reduced their full-time workers to part-time in order to avoid Omamacare’s requirement to provide health coverage to those employees who work 30 hours a week or more."

We are being presented with the usual political "binary choice" of Obama Care or sending a torpedo into it. The Mega-Media has played into this "binary choice" also.

There is another choice Medicare for all including Healthcare, Pharmacy, Dental and Vision Care. Another choice might be to give all Americans the same Health Care benefits our Federal Elected Officials have.

JKingLam said...

The AG's contention basically tracks that of the plaintiff in Halbig, which was just heard by the DC Circuit. IMHO, the AG (& Halbig) ARE correct. The ACA specifically states that the subsidies go to enrollees in exchanges created by the States. Maybe bad drafting or maybe not, but the text exists & cannot be wished away.