START OF 2018 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD

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Texas & Florida: Up to 2.2 million stories like this in two states alone.

Of the 6.5 million people who would lose their federal tax credits, and almost certainly their healthcare coverage (completely apart from the additional 6.5 million who would have an economic boulder dropped on them indirectly) in the event of a King v. Burwell plaintiff win, over 1/3 live in just two states: Florida and Texas. 1.34 million Floridians and 846,000 Texans would be be among the direct casualties...close to 2.2 million between the two of them.

Given that both are completely run by off-the-rails batcrap-insane Republicans in the House, Senate and Governor's office, it's safe to say that you can expect a LOT of stories like the following from the Sunshine and Lone Star states.

Nicole Peterson already struggles to provide for her three daughters with the $36,000 she makes managing a Kenneth City day care center.

If she were to lose her $150-a-month health insurance subsidy from the federal government?

"That's an electric or a water bill, or groceries and gas," Peterson said. "These aren't luxuries. These are things we need for survival."

So in between 11-hour days at the child care center and the demands of being a single mom, Peterson looks for updates on the U.S. Supreme Court case known as King vs. Burwell.

"It's going to affect the people who don't get the tax credits and pay out of pocket for their insurance today," said Laura Brennaman, a registered nurse and health policy consultant for the consumer advocacy group Florida CHAIN. "Those premiums are going to become unaffordable to them."

[Beverly Borrelli], a 63-year-old Tarpon Springs resident who was laid off by her longtime employer in 2012...receives $625 a month to help offset the cost of health insurance. It's the only way she can afford the $670 monthly premium for her "silver" plan living on a fixed income, she said.

"If they eliminate the (subsidies), I will have no medical insurance until I qualify for Medicare," Borrelli said, naming the federal health insurance program for adults 65 and older. "It's that simple."

Borrelli worries about the potential consequences. She suffers from chronic bronchitis and arthritis. She's also allergic to insect bites. Last year, she needed steroid shots five times.

"I'm going to gamble with my life," Borrelli said. "Hopefully, I won't get critically ill."

Slightly more than 1 million Texans very well may lose their health coverage if the Supreme Court rules against the Obama administration in a lawsuit over subsidies in states such as Texas that did not set up a health insurance exchange, according to a study released Friday.

The report, commissioned by groups representing Texas’ safety-net health clinics and family doctors, predicts a cascade of bad economic consequences if the court strikes down the subsidies.

Even if a few of the 1 million Texans who lost their subsidies somehow managed to retain coverage, they “can be expected to have serious health problems,” the study says. “As a result, as healthy people exit their plans and only the sickest remain, premiums will skyrocket for everyone, including the 14 percent of plan enrollees who do not receive subsidies.”

...Such a ruling also could cause an increase in demand for charity care at the state’s already beleaguered hospitals, “as thousands of previously insured people with serious health conditions turn to their hospitals for help,” it says. In Dallas County and other major urban counties, that could lead to higher property taxes for the local hospital district.

“The consequences to local communities and their citizens are very real, tragic, preventable, and not limited to the outer reaches of rural or south Texas,” the study says.