By Steve Buckstein
Cascade Policy Institute
By abandoning Oregon’s failed technology and adopting the federal exchange technology, the Cover Oregon Board may have made the right technical decision, but they may have opened up a huge legal risk for many Oregonians.
As Cascade’s Steve Buckstein testified at the Board meeting, the Affordable Care Act says not just once, but some nine times, that only “state established exchanges” can offer tax credits to reduce the cost of insurance on the exchanges. The federally established exchange can offer no such help, even though the Obama Administration has ignored this prohibition and granted such credits anyway.
A federal lawsuit, Halbig v. Sebelius, challenging this interpretation was heard by the DC Circuit Court on March 25th and a ruling could come any day now.
If the Courts rule in favor of Halbig, and Oregon moves to the federal exchange, Oregonians may lose the tax credits we’ve been led to believe come with purchasing insurance on Cover Oregon.