Harder than it looks to find someone harmed by PPACA

By the way its vehement opponents speak, there should be absolutely no problem to find people and businesses harmed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).  From Herman Cain, who says he would have been killed by “ObamaCare” (but is certainly wrong about that) to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), which argues that it will kill small businesses, it’s easy to imagine tens of millions of innocent victims.

That’s why it’s so ironic to read about the plight of the small business owner NFIB chose to represent its Supreme Court case opposing the law and its mandate to purchase insurance. The Wall Street Journal (Hurdle for Health-Law Suit) reports that plaintiff Mary Brown, owner of an auto repair shop,  argued that “she would have had to divert funds from her business to comply with the law’s requirement that… most American obtain coverage or pay a penalty.”

But she closed the business in September and she and her husband filed for personal bankruptcy, citing debts of $63,000, mostly business expenses. As the Journal reports:

Without owning a business, it could be harder for Ms. Brown to argue she is harmed by the legislation. Meanwhile, her recent financial woes suggest the possibility she would be exempt from penalties for noncompliance with the individual mandate. That raises questions about whether the suit can be based on her experience.

Not only will she not be harmed by PPACA, she might even be helped. That’s because the law provides fairly generous subsidies to lower income people –a group that now presumably includes Brown– to buy health insurance. She may also qualify for Medicaid.

What would be really funny is if Mary Brown comes to her senses and becomes an advocate for ObamaCare.

Meanwhile, I’ve been thinking about another way to close the deficit. Just as Grover Norquist has gotten so many GOP reps in Congress to take the no tax pledge, why not have opponents of “ObamaCare” vow not to accept subsidies to buy insurance or to go on Medicaid? That would be a principled stand.

December 5, 2011

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