Tags: Healthcare Reform | Obamacare | subsidies | Supreme Court

Some Consumers Turn Down Obamacare Subsidies On Principle

By    |   Monday, 12 Jan 2015 04:28 PM

In an ultimate nose-thumbing of the Obama healthcare program, some consumers who might qualify for subsidies are turning them down, opting to pay more out of their own pockets for health insurance coverage, according to US News & World Report.

"I wanted a minimal plan and I’m not allowed to have it. That seems like an encroachment on my freedom," said Kansas City chiropractor Grace Brewer, who like many Americans, was happy with her minimal insurance plan, which was taken away by the Affordable Care Act.

Now, she is entitled to a new plan with benefits that she she didn't want, and that has sent her monthly payments skyrocketing, she told US News, adding that she won't be held hostage by the federal government's program.

"I want to pay my own way. I will not take a handout," she told the publication, echoing the sentiments of some consumers who wish to be independent and who don't approve philosophically or politically of being beholden to government.

Others are protesting the healthcare law's constitutionality. Dave Klemencic, a West Virginia flooring company owner, is paying for his own healthcare out-of-pocket. He is a part of a Supreme Court case challenging whether the subsidies are lawful.

"I’m not going to take money off the taxpayer for something that may or may not happen that all the odds are stacked against," he told US News, which noted that many solidly middle- and upper-class Americans have been happy to use the health subsidies, even when they could afford their own coverage just fine.

"We are seeing people with enrollment in these programs that have significant assets, but for whatever reason – usually a temporary reason – fall below the income line," Heritage Foundation senior health policy studies expert Ed Haislmaier told US News of the tactic.

During the federal government's open enrollment period from Nov. 15 to Dec. 15, about 3.4 million people enrolled in 2015 marketplace plans in the 37 states that are using the HealthCare.gov platform. That figure included new enrollees and those who are returning for renewal of marketplace coverage, the Department of Health and Human Services said.

In 13 others states plus the District of Columbia that have their own marketplaces, more than 600,000 people have enrolled, HHS said its latest report, released in late December.

Whether offering those subsidies is legal remains the crux of several lawsuits, Forbes noted, including "two states, dozens of public-school districts, and a handful of private employers and individual taxpayers" who are plaintiffs in Pruitt v Burwell, Halbig v Burwell, King v Burwell and Indiana v IRS. Burwell, the name defendant is current HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell.

Think Progress says that about 8 million could lose health insurance coverage if the Supreme Court rules against the program.

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In an ultimate nose-thumbing of the Obama healthcare program, some consumers who might qualify for subsidies are turning them down, opting to pay more out of their own pockets for health insurance coverage, according to US News & World Report.
Obamacare, subsidies, Supreme Court
464
2015-28-12
Monday, 12 Jan 2015 04:28 PM
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