Next to Benghazi Bingo, wasting taxpayer money to destroy Obamacare has been the Republicans’ favorite game. It’s pretty much the only work they do in order to justify their continued glad handing with their Koch Brother masters. Just to be precise, Republicans voted a whopping 54 times to repeal Obamacare in four years. While Obamacare was passed in haste when President Obama had a Democratic Majority in Congress and it does contain many minuses, it also contains a slew of positives. Chief among them is the Federally funded Medicaid expansion, which is slated to insure 21.3 million low-income Americans in the next decade. But even better, are the federal subsidies that certain low-to middle-income Americans are eligible to use.
However, the right-wing justices on the Supreme Court might decide to take away the subsidies, and thus making them the REAL death panel.
Meet Marilyn Shramm. Marilyn is a 63-year-old retiree who is two years shy from qualifying for Medicare and who has an $800 plan from Healthcare.gov. Marilyn lives in good old Texas, which didn’t set up an exchange because competition is apparently socialism now. However, a federal subsidy brings it down to $400 a month on her $28,000 pension income. Complicating matters is the fact that Schramm has colon cancer, which means she will be left with about as much choices as voters in Cuba if the Supreme Court decides to gut her subsidy.
From Daily Kos:
Schramm isn’t sure if she will still be able to afford her health insurance come June. She’s among the millions of Americans receiving subsidized coverage through Healthcare.gov. A pending Supreme Court case, King v. Burwell, argues that these subsidies are illegal—that the White House does not have the legal authority to give people like Schramm financial help. […]
She can’t pay an $800 monthly premium on her $28,000 annual income (mostly from a state pension) if her subsidies disappear. She’s thought about dipping into her retirement savings, but hopes to hold onto those for her actual retirement.
“I guess I could do that in the very short term since I have to finish my chemo treatment,” she says.
Her best back-up plan right now, she says, is moving to a place with a state-run exchange. She’ll live there for the next two years, until she turns 65 and qualifies for Medicare.
Schramm says she hasn’t researched yet which states have exchanges and, beyond that, which one she might move to. She’s been more focused on her medical issues.
“I haven’t wrapped my head around it,” she says. “I have so much going on. I’ve had a colostomy. I’m trying to figure out how to stop the colostomy bag from leaking. I have to wake up every two hours to adjust it. I’m starting to have side effects from chemo. So it’s on the list to think about, but not at the top.”
Worse yet, it seems that the Obama administration’s’ hands are tied if they Supreme Court does decide to take away subsides to Marilyn and millions of others.
“We know of no administrative action that could, and therefore we have no plans that would, undo the massive damage to our health care system that would be caused by an adverse decision,” Burwell wrote in a February 24 letter to Congress. (Vox.com)
The problem with Obamacare is that it involves actual human beings, which is simply something Republicans can’t understand. As long as the Koch brothers have money, Republicans will have no shame.