Huge Stakes As Supreme Court Takes Third Crack At Obamacare

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Huffpost Politics

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Obamacare faces its strangest challenge yet when the Supreme Court takes up the law for the third time Wednesday, but the oddity of the lawsuit shouldn’t obscure the cataclysm that a loss for President Barack Obama would provoke.

The Supreme Court case is the latest legal effort by political opponents of the Affordable Care Act to ruin Obama’s signature domestic achievement. If successful, the suit would tarnish Obama’s legacy, foment infighting among Republicans, aggravate bitter partisanship between the GOP Congress and the White House, and threaten chaos in the health insurance market. But the worst consequences would fall on the estimated 9.6 million people who would lose their health insurance.

The lawsuit, King v. Burwell, isn’t like the previous two Obamacare cases that came before the Supreme Court. Three years ago, in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s four liberals in upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate that most Americans obtain health insurance. The Supreme Court last year weakened Obamacare’s birth-control coverage rule in Hobby Lobby v. Burwell, a case with religious-freedom implications.




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Trader Joe’s Invites Part-Timers Losing Company Coverage To Seek Additional Obamacare Subsidy

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Faced with employees upset by its decision to drop health insurance for part-timers, grocer Trader Joe’s has invited workers who may face higher premiums on the Obamacare insurance exchanges to apply for additional subsidies from the company, according to a memo obtained by HuffPost.

Late last month, Trader Joe’s informed part-time employees that as of next year, they would no longer be eligible for company-sponsored health plans. Although employees averaging 18 hours a week had traditionally qualified for the plan, workers with less than 30 hours a week learned they would be given a check for $500 and nudged into state-run insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act.

The health care reform law mandates that companies with 50 or more full-time employees offer coverage to workers logging at least 30 hours a week or face penalties, though the Obama administration has chosen to delay that rule for a year.

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