Don’t think you have to return to the days before we had national insurance, just because Uncle Sam has his hand out. For those who are receiving a smaller refund than expected, it is because they originally over-estimated what they were entitled and have to give back what they already took in excess. For those who are concerned about the mandate fee owed, health officials are giving you one more chance to avoid the fee with a special sign up period from March 15 – April 30. With those two tax concerns behind us, there is one more that is in the Supreme Courts hands.
King vs. Burwell is a case revolving around Affordable Care Act subsidies and will be heard by the Supreme Court March 4, 15. This is more about the colors of politics than it is about healthcare, but will have a huge impact no matter what the decision is. The original wording of the Affordable Care Act dictates that states must set up healthcare exchanges within their borders, or the federal government will set up an exchange within the states that fail to do so on their own. The red herring of the ACA is the wording from section 1401, which allows federal tax subsidies to those who elect insurance established by the state. Red states are arguing they didn’t establish a health exchange the federal government did, so tax credits shouldn’t be allowed to those who purchased through the exchange in those states.
Imagine what folks had to go through to establish there was a need for National Health Insurance, but this isn’t about the need for affordable health insurance. In politics, red usually favors tax credits. When those tax credits are geared towards folks ranging from poverty to middle class it becomes an issue, as red thinks that would cost the federal government far too much money.
For anyone who thought “Glad that’s over!” when the Supreme Court originally ruled in favor of the Affordable Care Act, it is a long way from over. Right now, affordable healthcare is available to you and your family, when you want it. Whether or not it remains affordable will depend on the outcome of King vs. Burwell.