What’s Next For “Obamacare”?

 

“Obamacare’s” Annual Enrollment Period for 2015 has ended but the arguments over the controversial law have not stopped.

In March the Supreme Court of the United States, SCOTUS, will hear arguments in the case of King v. Burwell.

The question that will be decided is over a poorly written part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  When Harry Reid wrote the law, he said that the federal tax-credits would only be available through state-based health insurance exchanges.

At issue is whether the IRS can legally “subsidize” health insurance for people who use the federally built Healthcare.gov.

A ruling in favor of Burwell means that SCOTUS is ruling in favor of the spirit and intent of the PPACA.

However, King insists that the law must be applied exactly as written.  If SCOTUS bases its ruling on the letter of the law, King will win.

LEGAL CONSEQUENCES

That will mean that the confusing section of the PPACA will be sent back, to congress, for a total rewrite.  The problem is that when the PPACA was originally passed, the Democrats controlled both the House of Representatives and Senate.  In 2015, the Republicans control both houses of congress.  It is doubtful that a rewrite of the controversial PPACA will be a high priority for congress.

If that happens, the IRS will stop paying “subsidies” until congress rewrites, and passes the law.  People who have bought health insurance through Healthcare.gov and chosen to have their tax-credit advanced to help them afford their health insurance premium, will have to make a choice this summer.

They may either allow their policy to lapse for non-payment, or pay the full price of their health insurance.

TAX CONSEQUENCES

In light of the Individual Mandate, under the current rules, a lapse of health insurance will not cause an additional tax problem for people whose household income is 128% of the Federal Poverty Level or lower.

However, unless the White House changes the rules again, and grants and exemption to all Americans who are affected by King v. Burwell, it can screw up any tax planning, for 2015, that people have made if they live in a state serviced by Healthcare.gov.

WHITE HOUSE PLAN B

As of now, Mr. Obama is convinced that Burwell will prevail.  The White House has not made public any plans to help Americans if SCOTUS rules in favor of King.

“Obamacare” – The Point of No Return

silhouette-67202_1280My wife’s favorite musical is Andrew Lloyd Weber’s, “The Phantom of the Opera.”

In the play the protagonist sings about passing the point of no return.  Obviously, he is not talking about “Obamacare”.  However, the title of that song is appropriate at this time.

In order for an individual to qualify for a Special Election Period later in the year, he/she must already have an “Obamacare” compliant plan.

The “Point of No Return” for all Americans to have a compliant “Obamacare” health insurance plan for 2015 is this coming Sunday, February 15 at 11 PM CST.

Texans who have waited until the end of the Annual Enrollment Period, with the hope that the new congress would make changes, are doomed to disappointment.

“Obamacare” remains the law of the nation for 2015, and it looks as if we will have, at least, two more years of it.  Whether you like “Obamacare”, or not, makes no difference.  The politicians in D.C. have decided that all Americans, who are not otherwise exempted, must buy approved health insurance or pay the “Shared Responsibility Payment.”

If you have not already enrolled in an “Obamacare” compliant health insurance plan, you have less than a week to do so.

Click the banner below to enroll in a compliant plan if you live in Texas.

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