Political philosophy sounds abstract and nerdy, but it is inescapable. If you have any political opinions, then you have a philosophy and are probably acting in accordance with it. Administrative regulations are even more boring. Recent developments in the administration of ObamaCare – are you bored yet? – show how much it matters. The prevalence of one philosophy over another, within the federal bureaucracy, makes a huge difference to millions of people.
ObamaCare includes subsidies for low-income workers who have employer-provided health insurance. The subsidies become available if their premiums exceed 9.6 percent of their income. But the IRS interpreted that threshold to be based on the cost of self-only coverage, even if an employee has dependents whose coverage costs much more.
A Minnesota woman named Allie Krueger, for example, lost her job and found herself dependent on her husband’s insurance. They badly needed the coverage because she was pregnant with twins, one of whom had a condition that would require surgery. They ended up paying a quarter of their income for the insurance… Read More
Andrew Koppelman, the John Paul Stevens Professor of Law at Northwestern University, is the author of Burning Down the House: How Libertarian Philosophy Was Corrupted by Delusion and Greed (St. Martin’s Press, forthcoming). He has a regular column at The Hill every other Sunday. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewKoppelman.