Luis Lang, the subject of a May 13 story centering on his struggle to find someone to pay for eye surgery, did not specifically blame President Obama for his inability to get insurance through the Affordable Care Act. He says he blames Washington and state politicians for gaps in the system.
Democrats were naturally declared the big winners of last month’s King v. Burwell Supreme Court decision. That ruling, after all, saved the party’s most significant legislative accomplishment in decades: The Affordable Care Act (ACA).
But Obamacare has not simply been an ideological victory for the Democratic Party. The percentage of Democrats with health insurance has increased dramatically since the ACA’s marketplace went online in October 2013, according to weekly surveys conducted by YouGov for the Economist. In fact, the display below suggests that Democrats’ uninsured rates have essentially been cut in half under Obamacare.
If I'm reading this correctly, it looks like a whole lot of poor people in non-expansion states were effectively forced into padding their official income in order to qualify for federal tax credits due to their GOP overlords being jackasses. I'm not sure whether that's a problem legally (as opposed to deliberately cutting your official income), but it seems to me that this will only work for so long before it catches up with them recordkeeping-wise?
But there’s another potential twist to the tale: Just as he is now seeking to get on Obamacare, he could very well find himself unable to sign up for coverage, if the Supreme Court rules for the challengers in King v. Burwell next month.
...an HHS official tells me that if he can get his income up a bit — it reportedly fluctuates — he could probably qualify for a category that would allow him to apply for Obamacare again before next year’s open enrollment period.
But if the Court strikes subsidies in three dozen states on the federal exchange — one of which includes South Carolina — it could put Obamacare even further out of reach for Lang.
Lifelong Republican Turns On His Party, Embraces Obamacare
Luis Lang, who is currently crowdfunding for medical expenses that he can’t afford because he didn’t sign up for insurance under Obamacare, has become a viral sensation. However, the 49-year-old South Carolina resident says he doesn’t want to be the poster child for the Republican Party’s opposition to health care reform anymore.
Many people both here and over at Daily Kos have criticized me, either for donating a few bucks ot Mr. Lang in the first place or alternately, for coming down so hard on the guy in my blog posts. Some thought it was a waste of time (and money) to help the guy out, while others thought it was an equal waste of time/breath to chastize him, figuring that it'd fall on deaf ears. Still others thought that it's inappropriate to donate money with one hand while berating him with the other. Well, guess what?
I know I said I was done writing about Luis Lang, the guy in South Carolina who's going blind and is uninsured due to a combination of his own decisions and the SC administration. However, my colleague Harold Pollack over at healthinsurance.org just posted a lengthy interview with the guy to get his take on things. Since I'm one of those who tore him to shreds, it behooves me to let him say his piece.
As the Charlotte Observer explains, Lang is a self-employed handyman who works as a contractor with banks and the federal government to maintain foreclosed properties. He was making a decent living, enough to be the sole breadwinner in the family. As the Observer puts it, Lang "he has never bought insurance. Instead, he says, he prided himself on paying his own medical bills."