posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 03:20 AM
Yes, you read the title correctly. And yes, this is a big deal.
Direct from the HHS's mouth
After a careful review of this situation and the relevant statutory language, HHS has determined that the new provisions of the PHS Act
enacted in title I are appropriately governed by the definition of "state" set forth in that title, and therefore that these new provisions do not
apply to the territories. This means that the following Affordable Care Act requirements will not apply to individual or group health insurance
issuers in the U.S. territories: 1 guaranteed availability (Act section 2702), community rating (PHS Act section 2701), single risk pool (Affordable
Care Act section 1312(c)), rate review (PHS Act section 2794), medical loss ratio (PHS Act section 2718), and essential health benefits (PHS Act
section 2707). Specifically, under this interpretation, the definition of "state" set forth in the PHS Act will apply only to PHS Act requirements
in place prior to the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, or subsequently enacted in legislation that does not include a separate definition of
"state" (as the Affordable Care Act does).
Northern Mariana Islands
The WSJ Article
did a great job explaining just
what the inhabitants of these territories have been put through.
IMO this decision by the administration/HHS is an even bigger blow to O-care (strangely appearing to be self-inflicted on his signature legislation)
than the recent D.C. court ruling regarding subsidies, or the SCOTUS's recent Hobby Lobby ruling.
Though Congress initially allocated funds for insurance exchanges in the territories, the $14.5 billion in subsidies were abandoned in 2010 as
part of the Democrats' need to push down the projected pricetag. As a stopgap, the administration opened several public health programs in the
territories and made Obamacare's new regulatory standards a requirement for insurance companies providing consumer coverage.
Under Obamacare, insurance companies operating in America's territories had to accept every insurance applicant, but residents of the
territories were not subject to the individual mandate and did not have to actually purchase insurance while still healthy. Additionally, subsidies
were not available to residents of territories; only for people living in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. As a result of the law,
insurance companies threatened to stop selling new plans altogether in American territories.
Go ahead and check for yourself: www.healthcare.gov...
and when you select one of the
territories you'll receive the message, If you live in a U.S. territory, you're not eligible to get coverage through the Marketplace. Check with
your territory’s government offices to learn about health coverage options
IMO it also sets the stage for an Equal Protection suit and poses a question regarding the Constitutionality of the Administration/HHS's decision
when one remembers this: 8 U.S. Code Part I - Nationality at Birth and
All persons born in Puerto Rico on or after April 11, 1899, and prior to January 13, 1941, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States,
residing on January 13, 1941, in Puerto Rico or other territory over which the United States exercises rights of sovereignty and not citizens of the
United States under any other Act, are declared to be citizens of the United States as of January 13, 1941. All persons born in Puerto Rico on or
after January 13, 1941, and subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, are citizens of the United States at birth.
(b) All persons born in the Virgin Islands of the United States on or after January 17, 1917, and prior to February 25, 1927, and subject to
the jurisdiction of the United States are declared to be citizens of the United States as of February 25, 1927; and all persons born in those islands
on or after February 25, 1927, and subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, are declared to be citizens of the United States at birth.
(b) All persons born in the island of Guam on or after April 11, 1899 (whether before or after August 1, 1950) subject to the jurisdiction of
the United States, are declared to be citizens of the United States: Provided, That in the case of any person born before August 1, 1950, he has taken
no affirmative steps to preserve or acquire foreign nationality.