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Old 07-22-2014, 09:13 PM   #61
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As long as they don't say we owe back money on the subsidies we already got. If they want to cancel future subsidies then that's fine. As long as we know what we're getting into when we sign up for a plan.
It would be interesting to see what was in the fine print for those who signed up for a Federal exchange plan with subsidy. I wonder if this type of scenario was addressed in the fine print.

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Old 07-22-2014, 09:18 PM   #62
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True but irrelevant. The US Government will have a fiduciary responsibility to collect what was illegally dispersed.


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Not a chance. At most there could be some change in future years but not for current subsidies already booked and planned for in this tax year. You would have more luck trying to milk a iguana.
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Old 07-22-2014, 10:18 PM   #63
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As long as they don't say we owe back money on the subsidies we already got. If they want to cancel future subsidies then that's fine. As long as we know what we're getting into when we sign up for a plan.

I am no expert on this but I understand one only received a subsidy estimate when signing up that would be trued up when filing 2014 taxes with real income and whatever rules are in place at that time. There are stories all over the web speculating some $36B will have to paid pack.


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Old 07-22-2014, 10:43 PM   #64
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I am no expert on this but I understand one only received a subsidy estimate when signing up that would be trued up when filing 2014 taxes with real income and whatever rules are in place at that time. There are stories all over the web speculating some $36B will have to paid pack.
Easy fix for that. Just say your hard drive crashed and you threw it away.
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Old 07-22-2014, 11:27 PM   #65
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I am no expert on this but I understand one only received a subsidy estimate when signing up that would be trued up when filing 2014 taxes with real income and whatever rules are in place at that time. There are stories all over the web speculating some $36B will have to paid pack.


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Well the first part of that is correct. There will be a true up of the subsidy you received in 2014 with the subsidy that you should have received based on your actual 2014 income as part of your 2014 tax return filed in early 2015. Some people will have to pay because their income was higher than the income the subsidy was based on and others will get payments because they deserve more subsidy than they received.
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Old 07-22-2014, 11:29 PM   #66
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True but irrelevant. The US Government will have a fiduciary responsibility to collect what was illegally dispersed.


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What I don't understand is....if the gov't can selectively choose which portions of the ACA to enforce and which to grant exemptions to and which to extend, and which to change AFTER the law was passed....what's keeping some department of the gov't from simply sending checks to people (or the insurance companies) in the amount of the subsidy? If they can selectively ignore and selectively choose which provisions of the ACA will be enforced, why is this court ruling suddenly going to stop them, or compel them to enact that part of the ACA if they don't want to?
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Old 07-22-2014, 11:48 PM   #67
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Old 07-23-2014, 06:14 AM   #68
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The NY Times summarized the possibilities going forward. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/23/up...ml?rref=upshot

Quote:

All the judges on the D.C. Circuit could decide the Halbig v. Burwell case.

The law’s challengers could ask the Fourth Circuit to reconsider King v. Burwell.

Decisions will be issued by other courts.

Either side — or both — could appeal the rulings to the Supreme Court. .

The Supreme Court could decide the case.

Congress could act.
Appreciate the effort to keep the partisan talk at bay, it helps keep the thread on topic and of use to the community.
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Old 07-23-2014, 06:30 AM   #69
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I would think there is another option: The HHS looks for a way to modify the federal exchange to allow states to set up their own virtual sandboxes, so to speak, within the current infrastructure to function as state exchanges run by the feds. This would need to be done in a way that overcomes the legal objections in the unfavorable court ruling, and probably needs to be done in a way that doesn't require Congressional action.
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Old 07-23-2014, 06:52 AM   #70
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Here's an interesting analysis of what is likely to happen now:

"...the next stop on the legal train is the D.C. Circuit as a whole, where today’s result will likely be reversed. ... The kill-Obamacare judges won in D.C. because they had two out of three votes. But the D.C. Circuit has four Obama appointees on it. That means that in the next round before all the active judges of the court, which is called “en banc review,” the split is seven Democrats to four Republicans."

I'm betting this will all be over relatively quickly. (Source if you want to read the entire analysis, including several links to legal experts' opinions: Obamacare rulings: Two courts differ on heath insurance subsidies, but the bad decision will soon be reversed. )
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Old 07-23-2014, 07:05 AM   #71
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I would think there is another option: The HHS looks for a way to modify the federal exchange to allow states to set up their own virtual sandboxes, so to speak, within the current infrastructure to function as state exchanges run by the feds. This would need to be done in a way that overcomes the legal objections in the unfavorable court ruling, and probably needs to be done in a way that doesn't require Congressional action.
Totally agree. What I find surprising is the total absence of this type of thinking across the media, both general and specialized. Especially the new "analysis" sites such as WonkBlog and The Upshot.

I have long suspected some journalists read forums for tips and inspiration. We'll soon see.
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Old 07-23-2014, 07:21 AM   #72
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Most of the media reports I've read over the past couple of days have made partisan references to the appointment of judges that have or will see these ACA cases, and some of that is flowing over into our discussion. I would imagine the judges themselves are either amused or offended that their thinking can be characterized in such a simplistic way, and if given the opportunity, they would likely show a much more thoughtful approach to the cases they see, including this one.

Let's give them the benefit of the doubt on this and turn the conversation away from who appointed them and toward what happens next, how this impacts us, and what we can or should do.
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Old 07-23-2014, 07:42 AM   #73
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I agree with ziggy79 and MichaelB on a likely workaround (ex: virtual sandbox "fronting" the federal exchange) should the lawsuit succeed.

Whether the lawsuit fails or succeeds and a workaround is implemented, it appears unlikely that the mechanics of subsidies will be upset in no-state-exchange states. (And I also agree that the media tends to emphasize the partisan nature of the lawsuit and court decisions vs practical outcomes.)
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:35 AM   #74
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I can see how the individual mandate would go away in many cases (because if the person's income isn't high enough, the coverage is deemed "unaffordable," and the law allows individuals to avoid the tax, penalty, whatever). Would the corporate mandate also go away just because the subsidies can't be legally paid?
I don't know Sam. I noted that possibility because I read in some newspaper comment that the mandate employer penaties could go away where the subsidies are not available. I think it was somehow linked to the government having to pay subsidies but that may have been wrong.

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Isn't the political reality that subsidies are so popular to those who receive them and are not sufficiently unpopular to those who don't receive them that the politicians of both stripes will find some way to either change the law (retroactively if needed) or change the structure so people receiving subsidies will not have them cut-off or have to pay them back? It just seems to me that the political repercussions are so severe that no politician in their right mind would get anywhere close to them, particularly in an election year. Just trying to keep it real.
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I think that has been the hope behind a lot of this law from Day 1.
I agree that sponsors expected this from day one but I don't see such a reaction actually happening. I don't want to bring on the bacon so I will try to be cautious with my wording. Many opponents firmly believe that this law is disastrous for America and think anything that will undermine it such that it can eventually be overturned is a valid response. Thus the refusal by multiple states to accept the Medicaid expansion despite that fact that the Fed picks up the full tab now, 90% later. Those states punish their own poor while helping to pay the bill for the other states that that do accept Medicaid all in an effort (maybe a principled effort) to undermine and kill off the ACA. The DC Circuit decision gives those same states a much greater tool to undermine the law. They will take it. I haven't seen any evidence that opponents are willing to join in efforts to modify the ACA to improve it. I suspect that would only happen if, after many years, it becomes clear that nothing will work to kill it entirely.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:16 AM   #75
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I'm glad I live in MA. Even if the ACA is repealed MA will revert back to "Romney care".
Heck, if I didn't have to pay MA income, sales, excise, meals, gas and liquor taxes, high property tax, tolls and other fees, paying the entire full price of my HC would be a walk in the park; I wouldn't even need to think about the subsidies!
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:17 AM   #76
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Many opponents firmly believe that this law is disastrous for America and think anything that will undermine it such that it can eventually be overturned is a valid response. Thus the refusal by multiple states to accept the Medicaid expansion despite that fact that the Fed picks up the full tab now, 90% later. Those states punish their own poor while helping to pay the bill for the other states that that do accept Medicaid all in an effort (maybe a principled effort) to undermine and kill off the ACA. The DC Circuit decision gives those same states a much greater tool to undermine the law. They will take it. I haven't seen any evidence that opponents are willing to join in efforts to modify the ACA to improve it. I suspect that would only happen if, after many years, it becomes clear that nothing will work to kill it entirely.
People will start to vote with their feet, eroding the tax base of states who choose not to participate in ACA and get the federal benefits. One by one these states will cave as they see big budget gaps.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:29 AM   #77
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People will start to vote with their feet, eroding the tax base of states who choose not to participate in ACA and get the federal benefits. One by one these states will cave as they see big budget gaps.
The lower income group of people don't have the resources to move to another state. They will likely just go back to going without insurance.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:37 AM   #78
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People will start to vote with their feet, eroding the tax base of states who choose not to participate in ACA and get the federal benefits. One by one these states will cave as they see big budget gaps.
By definition, those who qualify for subsidies aren't the biggest contributors to the tax base; plus, I'm guessing that most of them didn't have HC until six months ago, so I suspect they'd just go back to their original modus operandi rather than leave the state.

Seriously, I believe that this is all a bunch of noise; in the end there'll be some addendum, nothing will change and everyone will have ACA.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:41 AM   #79
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The lower income group of people don't have the resources to move to another state. They will likely just go back to going without insurance.
I didn't mean the people who were lower income would vote with their feet and leave the state, I meant people who were upper middle and high income would leave. They would leave because the state would be forced to raise taxes if it is contributing to a federal healthcare system but not getting the benefits of that system for its citizens.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:51 AM   #80
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Even in the unlikely event that the subsidies are ruled illegal, it is even more unlikely that the Federal Government tries to recoup subsidies from taxpayers. I would say it's as likely as a plague of locusts devouring the inhabitants of New York City tonight.

This "bump in the road" for ACA will disappear because whether you agree with the premise of the law or not, the few million Americans who are receiving subsidies like those subsidies. As another poster mentioned, no politician is dumb enough to try to take money from voters in an election year, IMO.
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