Please chip in to my Paypal account at Darksydothemoon-at-aol-com if you can. My circumstances are dire and getting worse. Here’s just the latest example of the many ways rich, conservative nutjobs are methodically destroying the lives of people like me: The ACA may be heading back to the Supreme Court after an appeals court struck down a key component of the law today. The decision could have lethal consequences for millions of people currently insured individually or under their employers’ plan:
NBC News — In a potentially lethal blow to Obamacare, a federal appeals court has ruled that the federal government may not subsidize health insurance plans bought by people in states that decided not to set up their own marketplaces under the health care law.
The law clearly says that states are to set up the exchanges. But 34 states opted not to, and the federal government took over in those states. The court ruled that the federal government may not pay subsidies for insurance plans in those states.
“We reach this conclusion, frankly, with reluctance,” District of Columbia Appeals Court judge Thomas Griffith writes in the 2-1 ruling, which the federal government will appeal.
Full decision in Halbig vs Burwell here (Download warning). Short versions, over 30 conservative states refused to set up healthcare exchanges and that brutal decision was upheld by the SCOTUS last year. So the federal government stepped in to fill that gap with exchanges for the millions of people who were bring screwed. This decision threatens those people’s access to healthcare. It threatens all of them, not just the poor and struggling.
NBC News –But the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond took the opposite point of view, saying the subsidies are legal. … The decisions change nothing right away. “People getting premium tax credits should know that nothing has changed. Tax credits remain available,” said Department of Justice spokeswoman Emily Pierce. Years of more court action likely lie ahead before the matter is settled.
“You don’t need a fancy legal degree to understand that Congress intended for every eligible American to have access to tax credits that would lower their health care costs, regardless of whether it was state officials or federal officials who were running the marketplace,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said. “I think that was a pretty clear intent of the congressional law.”
The decision doesn’t change anything right away. But down the road, the nearly five million people and counting who bought polices on the federal exchange may join the tens of millions of poor people who were denied coverage under the Medicaid expansion — people like me for example — thanks to conservative governors anxious to fuck over as many working class people as possible. Conservatives incessantly whining about liberty and freedom and corporate personhood are today licking their chops at the prospect of making it illegal for millions of people to buy health insurance from corporations eager to sell it to them.
The issue was decided by a small, three judge panel at the DC circuit and will now go to the full panel. Depending on that outcome, it could go to the Supreme Court. Which means the life and limb of millions of working class citizens may soon depend on the tender mercies of the Robert’s Court. My understanding is, If the ruling is upheld by the full DC panel, all the SCOTUS has to do is pass on it and this ruling will stand.