If King v. Burwell plaintiffs win, 283 Members of Congress have up to 46,000 headaches apiece to deal with.
2018 MIDTERM ELECTION
Time: D H M S
A couple of weeks ago I posted my own crude state-level graphics breaking out just how many people in each of the 34 states which would be impacted by an adverse King v. Burwell ruling who are currently receiving federal tax credits would be screwed by having said credits torn away, as well as a rough estimate of how much of an immediate tax hit they'd take to keep their policies through the end of this year and how much they'd likely see their premiums skyrocket next year as a result.
A week later, Families USA did me one better by offering similar individual-state graphics which break out the King v. Burwell casualty numbers by U.S. Congressional District. At the time only about 1/3 of the states were available for download, but as Greg Sargent just reminded me, they've since added all 34 states at risk.
The only quibble I have with their version is that they (understandably) used the official total number of tax credit enrollees as of March 31st. However, since then, roughly 105,000 additional people are enrolled and receiving tax credits in those states, thanks to the tax filing season Special Enrollment Period tacked on from 3/15 - 4/30 (appx. 105K actively enrolled/receiving credits out of 147K total via HC.gov).
In any event, that's a grand total of around 6.5 million people across 34 states. Sargent notes that there are over 19,000 people facing devastation in Paul Ryan's district alone, and there are numerous districts--mainly Republican-held, as he notes--which have more than 10,000 apiece.
It occurred to me that if my math is correct, these 34 states combined include 283 members of Congress. If you divide 6.5 million into 283, you get an average of roughly 23,000 people per Congressional District who would lose their federal tax credits.
Furthermore, assuming my other calculations/estimates are fairly accurate, the actual casualties will be more like:
- 23,000 residents per CD losing tax credits (and almost certainly their policies)
- 7,000 additional residents per CD losing their policies due to the 50%+ rate hike they'd have to pay
- 16,000 additional residents per CD keeping their policies but having to pay 50%+ higher premiums to do so
That's 46,000 people screwed per Congressional District. The total population of those states is around 208 million people, or 735,000 per district. That's 6.3% of the total population of each district.
I'm not gonna do the math to figure out just how many registered voters there are in each of those districts, but broadly speaking, there were around 235 million people eligible to vote in the US in 2012 out of roughly 313 million people total, or about 75% of the population. The 2012 Presidential Election saw turnout of roughly 129 million people nationally, or about 55%.
Assuming this is representative for these 34 states individually and in aggregate (a dubious assumption I admit), and assuming 2016 turnout is similar (again, who knows?), that would mean roughly 41% of each district's total population showing up to vote next year, or appx. 301,000 people per CD.
Of the 46K per CD who'd be hurt by the GOP winning King v. Burwell, only around 8% of them are under 18. That leaves over 42,000 pretty pissed-off, eligible-to-vote adults out of 301,000 likely to show up at the polls next year...or nearly 14% of likely voters.
So. 14% of likely voters in mostly GOP-leaning districts in 2016 would be angry as hell. That's enough to make even fairly "safe" Congressmen nervous.
The question, as always, however...is who would they be angry AT??
UPDATE: Put another way, Johnathan Cohn over at the Huffington Post points out, 2/3 of those at risk live in Republican-held districts.