In the contest for Hypocrite of the Year, here's one vote for David M. King.
King is the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, now before the U.S Supreme Court, designed to kill Obamacare. If the Supreme Court rules against it, millions of Americans will lose their health insurance. But not Mr. King.
As a Vietnam vet, he gets his health insurance from the Veterans Administration, the New York Times reported.
"When he sued the government in September 2013, Mr. King filed a declaration stating that he was not eligible for health insurance from the government or any employer," according to the Times. But in recent months he went to a VA outpatient clinic in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where he lives.
King's suit challenges the federal government's authority to grant tax subsidies for health insurance to more than seven million Americans in over 30 states, including Virginia, through the federal insurance marketplace. Without those people in the insurance markets, insurance premiums will probably increase for everyone else, undermining Obamacare's financial underpinnings.
The lawyers for King and three other plaintiffs, in the suit called King vs. Burwell, argue that the 2010 Affordable Care Act only allows subsidies in states that establish their own marketplaces.
King doesn't pay for health care and isn't paying for his lawsuit either. It is being paid for by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a right-wing libertarian group funded by the Koch brothers, Sarah Scaife Foundation, and other right-wing groups with a strong antipathy toward government. Donors also include foundations sponsored by Exxon Mobil, General Motors, Verizon and many other major corporations, according to the Times.
According to a profile in Politico, King frequently uses his Facebook page to criticize Obamacare and immigration policies and to espouse support for limited government, the Second Amendment and Republican political candidates.
According to his wife Debra, King "has always followed politics. Been very opinionated. He just thought it was wrong for the government to demand that people have insurance."
The 64-year old King has called Obama an "idiot," posted altered images of Michelle Obama in Middle Eastern clothing, and voiced his antipathy toward "Democraps." He is also a fan of "Duck Dynasty" on TV.
King did not attend the arguments before the Supreme Court but listened to them on audio, according to the Times. "I thought [Chief Justice John] Roberts was supportive," King said. "[Justice Ruth Bader] Ginsburg was not. She is far left."
Perhaps King doesn't realize that the VA is America's socialized medicine. The federal government owns the hospitals and clinics, hires the doctors, nurses and other staff, and provides extensive and comprehensive medical care for over 8.7 million vets and their families at little or no charge.
VA operations include 151 medical centers, 827 outpatient clinics, and 126 nursing home care units. It employs over 312,000 people, including more than 13,000 physicians and 55,000 nurses.
Peter Dreier is professor of politics and chair of the Urban & Environmental Policy Department at Occidental College.
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