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The individuals suing to overturn Obamacare

An enterprising journalist located the 4 individuals so harmed by PPACA that the Competitive Enterprise Institute is taking their case, now known as King v Burwell, to the Supreme Court.

Two of the four qualify for hardship exemptions – that is, because even the cheapest PPACA plan would cost them more than 8 percent of their income, so they are exempt from the individual mandate.

“King” in King v Burwell is one of these two; he’s an uninsured 64 year old smoker who will soon be on Medicare.  Mr King is somewhat ill-informed about “Obamacare”, but as his income is low, he avoids the individual mandate.

The other, Rose Luck, is, if anything, even less informed about Obamacare; she warned her Facebook buddies Obamacare will “cost some people 77,000 dollars a yr.” While she won’t be required to buy insurance, Ms Luck is no fan of the person whose name is used to label PPACA; she did call the President the “anti-Christ” and said Obama was elected by getting all “his Muslim people to vote for him.”

I don’t see how these two worthies were actually “harmed”, as in, suffering any material or measurable or painful or negative consequences, from PPACA

Brenda Levy is also few months away from qualifying for Medicare, has actually never attended any of the court proceedings, and, when told that her suit could eliminate health insurance coverage for several million fellow citizens, was kind of upset, saying “I don’t want things to be more difficult for people…I don’t like the idea of throwing people off their health insurance.”

(about 8.2 million Americans will likely lose coverage if King wins)

Still, she doesn’t like Obamacare, even though she could have bought a plan for $148 at a time when she claimed her premiums were $1500 a month…

Which brings us to the fourth litigant, Doug Hurst of Virginia Beach VA. Although Mr and Mrs Hurst too would have qualified for a very large subsidy, Ms Hurst is vehemently anti-Obamacare.  When approached by the reporter, she would not provide any insights into her position or rationale.

Still, Mr Hurst and Ms Levy at least seem to have the legal “standing” to claim PPACA has somehow harmed them.  I don’t see how the other two litigants can, as they aren’t required to do anything due to their low income status.

So here’s my question.  Is this the best group of litigants the Koch-backed CEI could come up with?  How about someone who had to change health plans, or an employer mandated to offer coverage? A provider affected by lower reimbursement perhaps?

There’s no question PPACA can be improved; there’s also no question many opponents’ blind fury makes for pretty crappy strategy.

What does this mean for you?

CEI is little better than Hurst, King, or Luck – ill-informed ranters who don’t have any idea what they are litigating.  Of course, CEI does have the dollars to bring a case that may well cost 8.2 million Americans their health insurance.


3 thoughts on “The individuals suing to overturn Obamacare”

  1. And that is perhaps the best hope we have is that the court will agree the plaintiffs don’t have standing to bring a claim because they suffered to actual harm or damages.

  2. It would seem that the first two litigants have a pre-existing condition that, if it was any other illness, would be covered under the ACA. But stupidity is not one of them. The other two are just plain wrong. You know my views on the ACA, but I would never want anyone on it to lose it.

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Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates




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