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March 2015

Critical Health Care Decisions Now in the Hands of the Supremes along with Young Representatives and Some Octogenarians in the Senate

Washington Watch


For the second time in three years, the U.S. Supreme Court could determine the fate of the president’s health care law with a case coming up for oral arguments in March. While a limited number of seniors are covered under the health care law, a Court decision could have a big impact financially on your health care costs if the High Court rules the law unconstitutional.


With President Obama controlling the veto pen over Congress, lawmakers and the White House will continue their health care legislative standoff. Two years ago, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 in favor of the law. Now, the Court will hear a new challenge to the law, in the case of King v. Burwell. The fight is over whether the Obama administration is improperly providing tax credits to consumers who purchase health insurance through the federal exchanges.


When the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act last time, it was on a constitutional challenge to the individual mandate that you must have health insurance or pay a tax penalty. This time the issue is about the authorization for tax subsidies for low and middle income folks. The lawsuit alleges that the government should not be providing subsidies to people who purchase coverage in the 36 states that have opted not to run their own health insurance marketplaces.


Critics say the law explicitly allows subsidies in exchanges that are run by the states. In all the remaining states, the federal government has stepped in. But because of a typo that got into the final version of the law, it says states are the only ones that can provide subsidies. Those challenging the law say the subsidies shouldn’t be allowed for the states that didn’t set up exchanges.


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Summer Fun with Grandchildren

Life Now


When I was a child, it was a great treat to go to my grandparents’ farm to stay for a few days. Grandpa was a semi-retired farmer and had plenty of free time to play with me. He taught me to play mumblety-peg, he made a rope swing hanging from a big tree in the back yard, he helped me create a terrarium out of a big pickle jar, he let me ride in the back of his pickup when he traveled to the field, and in the winter, he was the first to help me build a snowman.


My grandmother always seemed to be very busy with household chores, taking care of her chickens, working in the garden and cooking. She was a precious lady but did not take much time to play with me. I did get to help gather eggs in the hen house and helped pick berries from the garden.


Memories for grandchildren hold a special heart space. Taking time for even just a few special projects can create memories to last a lifetime.


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