Namesake of Obamacare subsidies case gets his health insurance from the government

David King, the “King” in King v Burwell, is not worried about what will happen if the Supreme Court rules in his favor and invalidates health insurance subsidies for roughly six million Americans this month. After all, he gets his health insurance through the Veterans Administration.

Because of course he does.

In an interview with The New York Times, King went on to say that he feels confident about their chances for winning. What’s more, he doesn’t even think that it will be that big of a deal if the subsidies are overturned. Apparently his lawyers have assured him that “things are in play to take care of the problem.”

President Obama signs the Affordable Care Act, via Wikimedia Commons

President Obama signs the Affordable Care Act, via Wikimedia Commons

Setting aside for the moment the fact that nothing is “in play to take care of the problem,” as there is a worrying lack of urgency from congressional Republicans in putting together backup plans in the event that King prevails, the fact that King is on VA health insurance means that he has no legitimate grievance in the case. This point is mentioned but not adequately addressed in the Times interview.

In King’s telling, he signed a declaration in September 2013 when the case was filed saying that he was not eligible for health insurance through the government or an employer, but a few months ago he went to a veterans outpatient clinic in Virginia to receive a veterans ID card. He got the card in order to get discounts at Lowe’s, but it doubles as a health insurance card at the VA. We’re left to simply assume that King did not realize in 2013 that, being a veteran, he was eligible for health insurance through the government via the VA.

The plaintiff’s standing in the case, or lack thereof, was brought up during arguments in the case by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. King said that he realized that there was what he considers a minor legal issue, but that similar concerns do not apply to the other plaintiffs in the case. So, you know, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

In the end, this all speaks to how little this case has to do with making people’s lives better and how much it has to do with sticking it to President Obama. As the Times article closes:

“I listen to everybody bitch and moan and cry about Obamacare,” Mr. King said. “We did something about it.”

Said the hero, with a complete lack of irony.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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9 Responses to “Namesake of Obamacare subsidies case gets his health insurance from the government”

  1. ComradeRutherford says:

    I am puzzled by articles that express surprise that the GOP has no plan. OF COURSE THEY HAVE NO PLAN! The plan is to fuck over as many people as they can, that’s been the goal of Conservatism since ever since Satan invented it.

  2. ComradeRutherford says:

    “I listen to everybody bitch and moan and cry about Obamacare,” Mr. King said. “We did something about it.”

    Typical Republican: gleeful that he’s fucking over millions of people and causing human misery in millions just for the fun of doing it; screwing with people’s access to health care in a system of which he doesn’t even partake.

    Conservatives=motherfucking assholes.

  3. BeccaM says:

    The GOP plan, which they’re hoping nobody really notices, is to go back to the status quo ante.

    They haven’t come up with anything else because this is what they want to have happen.

    Which means pre-existing condition coverage denials (including conditions like ‘pregnancy’ and ‘seasonal allergies’), rescission (retroactive policy cancellation due to whatever bogus reason the insurance company can dig up), no guarantee of coverage for preventive health care, capricious and random coverage exclusions and denials, no regulations against junk insurance, no medical spending ratio requirements for insurance companies, and double-digit premium increases every year or even more often.

    The Republicans don’t have a problem with any of this because they made it clear repeatedly: They do not care how many people get sick and die due to lack of access to health care. To them, if you are a poor person, that makes you morally bad and if their angry God decides to smite you with cancer or a car accident, well, too bad — you should’ve been born rich.

    The Republican party, as it now exists in America, stands foursquare against the notion that any basic necessity of civilized human existence — shelter, food, health care, education — ever rises to the level of being a civil right. Their answer to someone in a bad situation isn’t a helping hand, but a boot to the face.

    The reason the GOP hasn’t come up with an alternative to the PPACA or ACA or Obamacare or whatever you want to call it is because there is nothing in that list of things which were reformed that they think needs reforming. If you listen to them — their leaders and their candidates — quite often they’ll explicitly come right out and say there was nothing wrong with pre-existing condition coverage denials, for example.

    It’s also true that Obamacare basically equals Massachusetts’ ‘Romneycare.’ It’s a massively corporate-friendly plan that had the side effect of making health insurance available and somewhat more affordable for quite a few Massachusetts residents. Because the Dems are now where the Repubs were a decade or two ago, the Dems are fine with this. Obamacare is way too corporate-friendly, but at least there have been positive side effects, especially with the Medicaid expansion. As ever, my fair disclosure is before the ACA, I could not get insurance at all due to trivial pre-existing conditions, both treated with occasional inexpensive prescriptions (migraines and seasonal allergies); now I am paying roughly what I was paying before I lost my insurance in the early Aughts and for better and more comprehensive coverage. I don’t qualify for the premium subsidies — and I don’t need them.

    The GOP however has become so far radicalized, they have added “Thou Shalt Not Help People” to their creed. The more something helps regular people, the more rabid the GOP opposition to it. (I mean, c’mon — their presidential candidates are openly running on platforms of making people work longer before retirement and of massive Social Security and Medicare cutbacks.) Under the former pre-ACA system, it was win-win for corporations and lose-lose for people. The Republicans like it this way.

  4. Moderator3 says:

    Most of their IP addresses can be traced to Africa or India.

  5. Moderator3 says:

    We are getting much more spam. It may be due to the ownership switch, and will eventually settle down.

  6. Jon Green says:

    We’ve been getting more spam than usual lately. Marking/blacklisting when I see it, but yeah it’s been odd.

  7. devlzadvocate says:

    Nuthin’ will happen if O’care goes down cuz that’s the republican plan for everything – nuthin’. Seriously. That is their ideology – no regulation, everyone fend for themselves, back to pioneer days, survival of the financially fittest. This GOP Congressional fuss over what to do if the decision sinks it is theater that will end in oh, we tried.

  8. emjayay says:

    Well at least this time they thought of a car that is actually being produced in this decade.

    How does this kind of crap get through?

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