Employer Viability At Stake in ACA Lawsuit


July 31, 2013


Obamacare tremors are getting stronger. The latest poll shows 53% of voters view the law unfavorably. This is an all-time high level of opposition. Please donate today to our efforts to build the CCHF refuse2enroll campaign! Already, we’ve got the liberal Mother Jones magazine and other publications, like MedCity News, the Miami Herald and the Sacramento Bee talking about it!

As I write this today, I’m listening to the testy U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee committee hearing on “ObamaCare’s Taxes and Subsidies.”
I’ll get to the purpose of the hearing below, but as the hearing concluded, Chairman Darrell Issa, who had charged the IRS witness with refusing to provide appropriate documentation to the committee to support the agency’s regulatory decisions (including ZERO emails in 500 pages of paper provided), told the IRS witness:
“You were pretty close to a useless witness that said, ‘I don't know.’”
Here is the purpose of today’s hearing. The ACA only allows the IRS to provide federal taxpayer-funded premium subsidies through state-established Exchanges. Thus, the State of Oklahoma has sued the Obama administration to “preserve the rule of law,” to stop the administration from providing prohibited premium subsidies to individuals in federal exchanges, and to protect employers from employer mandate penalties related to any employees that get federal premium subsidies. As Scott Pruitt, the Attorney General of Oklahoma, testified:
“The requirements [employer responsibility payments] imposed on a large employer under Section 4980H trigger if and only if an ‘advance payment’ has been or could have been made or a ‘premium tax credit’ has been or could be allowed to or on behalf of one of the employer’s full time employees. When Section 4980H triggers with respect to a large employer, it imposes a significant assessment that may be as much as $2,000 for every full-time employee at the company less a thirty employee allowance.
“The only way the employer may avoid the payment is to have arranged in advance to make available insurance coverage to full-time employees and their dependents. The insurance must provide ‘minimum essential coverage’ that meets a regulation-set ‘minimum value’ through an ‘eligible employer-sponsored plan’ at a cost satisfying standards of ‘affordability’ under the Act. In addition, the Act imposes other significant obligations such as detailed reporting requirements on employees.”
This lawsuit may determine whether businesses can stay in business…and whether Obamacare succeeds or fails. If the court rules, -- as it should with a very plain reading of the text – that the law does not allow premium subsidies in the federal exchange, Obamacare will fail! That’s because the administration needs federal subsidies to soften the blow of the coming sticker shock for everyone they want to buy Obamacare in the Exchanges. No subsidies = Little enrollment = Financial insolvancy.
Only 14 states (some say 16) and D.C have established a “state exchange.” That means only those 15 exchanges can offer federal subsidies intended to drive the public into government Exchange coverage.
Pruitt testified that the IRS is acting as a “super legislative body,” asserting through regulation that premium subsidies will be available in all exchanges, not just state-established exchanges. He called the IRS a “rogue agency.”
Attorney Jonathan Adler testified to the “commandeering principle” at stake. He said the U.S. Supreme Court in several rulings, including the ACA Medicaid ruling, has ruled that, “the federal government may not coerce a state to implement a federal program.” They may offer benefits or threaten loss of funding but states are not required to comply. In short, it’s not compulsory for states to establish exchanges, or to implement the subsidies and employer penalties if the state has not established an exchange.
The Oklahoma lawsuit is moving forward, and it is very important for it to succeed.
Meanwhile,  in other ACA tremors… more physicians are shunning government health care:
  • The number of doctors who dropped Medicare participation last year – 9,539 physicians – nearly tripled from three years earlier, reports the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

  • 33% of primary-care physicians didn’t accept new Medicaid patients in 2010-2011.

Exchange coverage is government coverage. It’s not private insurance. Everyone who gets Obamacare has to apply to the federal government “under penalty of perjury.” Approximately 30 million people will get Obamacare coverage.
But will they have care? Will physicians also not accept patient with government Obamacare coverage? Will these 30 million people get care…or just a piece of paper stamped “coverage”?
Working with you for freedom,
Twila Brase
President and Co-founder