Sketches of challengers to health care law subsidies

AP News
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Posted: Feb 14, 2015 8:54 AM

A look at the four Virginia residents who are suing the Obama administration over the health care overhaul. They all are eligible for subsidies that would significantly reduce the cost of their health insurance premiums, but say they would rather not have to purchase the insurance.

—David King, 64, of Fredericksburg: The tax credits that King appeared to be eligible for would have sliced the cost of insurance for the most basic plan by nearly 60 percent last year, according to sworn statements from King and an official from the federal Department of Health and Human Services. The administration argued that King still would have received a hardship exemption because the cost of the policy was too high for his income as a limousine driver. King is no fan of the health law and, more generally, President Barack Obama, according to his Facebook page. King says he served in Vietnam and is a die-hard New England Patriots fan, a doting grandfather and enthusiastic cook.

—Douglas Hurst, 63, of Virginia Beach: Hurst's bill for the basic plan was estimated at $62.49 a month last year, $400-plus less than it would cost without tax subsidies, according to the HHS official and Hurst's affidavit. Hurst and his wife, Pamela, used to run a home remodeling business. They filed for bankruptcy in 2010 and showed $8,590 in medical expenses on their 2009 tax return, according to court records. "I do not want to purchase ACA-compliant health coverage in 2014," Hurst said in his sworn statement. Hurst also is a Vietnam veteran, according to his wife's Facebook page.

—Rose Luck, 57, of Williamsburg: The administration estimated the cost of Luck's basic health plan at $332 a month, even with the subsidy, but said she would have qualified for the hardship exemption based on her projected income of $45,000 last year. Luck refers to Obama as the "anti-Christ" on her Facebook page, but also appears to support enhanced authority for the Environmental Protection Agency to fight smog. Last month, Luck took to Facebook to say she needed to see a specialist and surgeon for her back and spine. She said Obama won election because "he got his Muslim people to vote for him." Luck lists Williamsburg as her place of residence. Other records list a post office box in Prince George, near Petersburg. In her court statement, the address she listed is a motel in Petersburg.

—Brenda Levy, 64, of North Chesterfield: Based on her projected income, Levy appeared to be eligible for a nearly 60 percent break in monthly premiums for the basic insurance plan. She, too, signed an affidavit saying she did not want to buy health insurance in 2014. But she also was quoted in a report in Mother Jones magazine saying she did not "like the idea of throwing people off their health insurance." Levy is a substitute teacher in the Richmond area who has previously identified herself as an opponent of gay rights. She contributed to Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum in 2012.