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5 US Territories Have Been Exempted From Obamacare

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posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 03:20 AM
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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).


Puerto Rico
American Samoa
Virgin Islands
Northern Mariana Islands
Guam

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 Collective Naturalization



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.




posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 03:38 AM
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That is a class-action lawsuit waiting to happen. Either other US states will get to be exempt as well, or Obamacare will have to be provided to the territories, or alternative provisions made such as air ambulances.



posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 06:23 PM
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originally posted by: stormcell
That is a class-action lawsuit waiting to happen. Either other US states .....


the whole point is that these are NOT States.....they are TERRITORIES - so the other STATES have no recourse because of this.



posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 06:30 PM
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a reply to: Lipton

the facts speak for themselves...........

the reverse race card is at play....only the 50 States which are dominated by the white middle class is the target for Obama style 'Equalization'


perhaps I will remain sorta safe because I am a Secular Humanist, naturalized western European
...but there is no escape from the chopping block for pale faces under this WH

edit on th31140624507524372014 by St Udio because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 06:50 PM
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originally posted by: St Udio
a reply to: Lipton

the facts speak for themselves...........


Oh yes...let's look at them.....

.....the reverse race card is at play....only the 50 States which are dominated by the white middle class is the target for Obama style 'Equalization'


that would be all 50 states then....


Even from the South Pacific I can manage to not demonstrate this particular ignorance!!
edit on 24-7-2014 by Aloysius the Gaul because: quote tag



posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 06:51 PM
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originally posted by: Aloysius the Gaul
the whole point is that these are NOT States.....they are TERRITORIES - so the other STATES have no recourse because of this.


But the inhabitants are still U.S. citizens. The feds are obligated legally to offer them the same protections and benefits thereof.



posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 07:00 PM
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a reply to: Lipton
you apparently missed the wording of the first sentence in the decision quoted in the OP:


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.


So the ruling is about the law as it applies to STATES, not Territories.......citizenship is irrelevant.



posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 07:09 PM
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a reply to: Aloysius the Gaul

Except that the administration's argument to have the power to give subsidies in those STATES without exchanges was that the HHS secretary was empowered as a representative of the STATE to stand in the shoes of those state's apparatus. So it seems to me that the admin is playing fast and loose with the definition of STATE to suit themselves. Either STATES are separate entities from the Federal Government and its officials or STATE refers to the power of the Federal Government and its officials when it comes to distributing subsidies. Essentially, they're trying to have their cake and eat it to when it comes to this issue which is why this is a lawsuit waiting to happen.



posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 10:51 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko
The definition of State is pretty clear cut as compared to Territory, and that difference is what is being upheld.

I see nothing at all in your argument of any relevance.





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