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“In Ayn Rand’s books, the main character is typically an implausibly awesome version of the person many conservatives would secretly like to be. Wish-fulfillment fantasies exert a powerful influence on us. There is something in our souls that tells us that we are inadequate, that reminds us of our many failures and the ways the world fails to appreciate our precious gifts. Works of fiction in which the main character unleashes our fantasies touches something deep.”

I hate Ayn Rand — but here’s why my fellow conservatives love her (via azspot)

Ruling on Health Care Subsidies Puts Coverage at Risk

The conflicting court rulings left much unresolved — both cases will be appealed further, and additional cases challenging the subsidies in federal exchange states are still making their way through trial courts in Indiana and Oklahoma.

But the ruling in Halbig v. Burwell, in which a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia found that subsidies could be awarded only in states that set up their own insurance exchanges, raised the possibility that many of the 4.5 million people who were found eligible for subsidized insurance through the federal exchange would drop their new coverage.

Mary Katzke is one. An independent filmmaker in Anchorage, Ms. Katzke, 60, said she was paying $267 toward her $1,167 monthly premium and relied on a $900 subsidy to cover the rest. Ms. Katzke, a single mother whose silver-level plan covers her and her teenage son, said there was “no way” she could continue to pay for the policy without her subsidy.

Nor is she optimistic that the Alaska Legislature, which is led by Republicans who oppose the health care law, would establish a state exchange to allow residents to keep receiving health insurance subsidies if they could no longer get them through the federal marketplace. About 13,000 of a total 730,000 Alaskan residents signed up for coverage through the exchange, according to the Obama administration, but Ms. Katzke said she doubted they could persuade state lawmakers to keep the subsidies flowing. “There will probably be some outcry,” she said, “but I don’t know how powerful we are.”

In the 36 states that used the federal insurance exchange this year, about 87 percent of people who signed up for private plans had incomes low enough to qualify for premium subsidies, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. The average monthly subsidy amount was $264, an analysis by the department found, and the average cost to consumers after the subsidy was $82.

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