States Suing to Overturn Healthcare Reform Are Collecting Subsidies for Their Retirees

States playing it both ways - trying to overturn healthcare reform while collecting subsidies.  Seven states that have filed lawsuits to overturn the healthcare reform law are nonetheless collecting subsidies authorized by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to cover their retired government employees. The list of seven states – Arizona, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska and Nevada – are trying to have the reform law overturned as an unconstitutional power grab by the Obama administration.  So far, 16 states have been approved to receive the subsidies.

The seven are among 20 states that have challenged the law’s requirement that Americans buy health insurance or face IRS fines.  According to these states, it is unconstitutional to require that Americans be forced to purchase insurance.  The Obama administration’s response is that the mandate falls within the broad powers Congress has to regulate interstate commerce.  Nearly 2,000 employers – primarily private businesses — have been approved to receive extra help to provide coverage to early retirees.  In addition to the states, companies seeking subsidies include 50 percent of Fortune 500 companies, local governments, educational institutions, unions and non-profit organizations.

“In these tough economic times, it is difficult for employers to keep up with skyrocketing healthcare costs for employees and retirees,” according to Kathleen Sebelius, Department of Health and Human Services secretary.  The subsidies “will make it a little easier for employers to provide high-quality health benefits to their retirees.”  The retiree assistance is a temporary program that will phase out when the healthcare law takes full effect in 2014.  At that point, competitive insurance markets will be in place and eligible Americans can apply for government tax credits to help pay their premiums.”

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply