FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 22, 2014 Information Contact: Wayne Hoffman (208) 258-2280 ext. 211
Court ruling means Idaho could have avoided Obamacare mandates, taxes
A federal appeals court ruling means Idaho needlessly exposed its residents and businesses to Obamacare's employer and individual mandates by creating a state insurance exchange, Idaho Freedom Foundation President Wayne Hoffman said today.
The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that the Internal Revenue Service erred when it wrote rules allowing insurance subsidies in states that have not set up a state insurance exchange. Under the plain wording of the the Obamacare statute, individuals and businesses are subject to Obamacare penalties in states where tax subsidies are available, but those subsidies are only available in states that choose a state insurance exchange. In other words, states that do not set up a state exchange shield their residents and businesses from possible Obamacare penalties; states that do develop an insurance exchange, as Idaho did, can use the subsides, but they're also exposed to penalties.
Idaho Freedom Foundation and the Cato Institute provided these details to state lawmakers and Governor Otter on multiple occasions, but they chose to establish a state exchange anyway.
"This ruling validates our position that the state not only didn't need to establish an insurance exchange but that also that Idaho's exchange has become the vehicle for enforcing Obamacare's penalty provisions," said Hoffman, who was a member of the Governor's 2012 taskforce studying the possibly of creating an insurance exchange. "We encourage lawmakers and the governor to keep monitoring this issue and consider action necessary to protect the state, its residents and businesses from Obamacare's taxes and penalties. If the ruling stands, it means repealing the state exchange."
The ruling likely faces additional appeals and the case could ultimately land in the U.S. Supreme Court.
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