The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit stuck down a significant part of Obamacare yesterday, July 22, in their ruling on Halbig v. Burwell ending federal subsidies to those who purchased insurance on the federal exchange.
Because the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as written only allows subsidies for insurance bought on state-exchanges. This stipulation was an important reason why the law got passed as Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska insisted on it for his necessary vote.
What the D.C. court did was declare that the IRS had no power in passing an edict overturning these words written in law.
Since 34 states — including Pennsylvania — have refused to create health exchanges the cost for many who have bought Obamacare insurance will rise dramatically because of this quite right decision.
It should be noted that the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals also ruled on Halbig v. Burwell deciding in favor of the government and the case is bound for the Supreme Court.
Obamacare was poorly conceived and written with mind-boggling hubris. However, as the lollipop may be snatched away with Halbig resulting in crying until it is returned, it is imperative for the adults in Washington — namely the Tea Party Republicans — to act prophylactically and not merely repeal the pollution but replace it.
A good model is the Swiss health care law.
It mandates the purchase by all of basic insurance to be used in the case of illness or accident or pregnancy and prohibits insurance companies from making a profit on this insurance.
The insured pays a premium of up to 8 percent of his income for this plan, and if the premium exceeds this the government gives him a cash subsidy to cover it.
Insurance companies can make a profit on supplemental policies covering things like birth control, private hospital rooms and routine dental care.
Notably businesses are not involved. Switzerland has the highest life expectancy in the world. Healthcare costs there are 11.4 percent of GDP compared with 17.6 percent in the U.S.
Adopt Swiss System