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.