Friday, February 13, 2015
Sunday, June 17, 2012
My inkling is that they vote against the mandate but keep the rest of it. But what then? Andy over at eletoral-vote.com has the answer.
If the mandate is struck down, the Democrats have an easier path if they choose to take it. The Court's argument in striking down the mandate will no doubt be something like the government does not have the power to compel people to engage in commerce (like buying insurance) if they don't want to. The solution is simply to structure the mandate differently. Congress could amend the internal revenue code to say everyone has to pay a tax of $1000 to cover the costs generated by uninsured people getting treated at hospital emergency rooms (because Congress has mandated this). However, to help people who are not part of the problem, the same change to the law could give a $1000 credit to anyone who can prove they have health insurance. In effect, this is almost the same as a mandate except that failing to have insurance is no longer a violation of the law. It simply means you lose out on one of the myriad of credits the tax law provides. There is little doubt Congress has the power to tax, so such an approach is likely to be acceptable to Justice Anthony Kennedy, who seems to have acquired the power to veto laws singlehandedly, even though he never campaigned for the job.
And what of the Republicans?
Be careful what you wish for, you might get it. If, as Republicans are hoping, the Supreme Court strikes down some or all of the Affordable Health Care Act later this month, they will cheer for a week. Then Democrats will pound them on what they plan to replace it with. An answer like "Nothing. The current system works well" is not likely to get many votes among the 50 million people currently uninsured. But despite the real possibility that the Court may strike down part or all of the law, the GOP does not have a plan of its own.
The problem for the Republicans is that coming up with a minibill that just includes the popular features of the ACA would be a disaster. Allowing young people up to 26 to stay on their parent's plans until 26 would be easy to do--in fact some health insurance companies may do it voluntarily because it means more customers. The tricky part is the provision that allows anyone to sign up for health care regardless of any preexisting conditions. A bill that included that but did not have a mandate for everyone to get health care would bankrupt all the insurance companies in short order since many people would wait until they were seriously ill before getting insurance. Every country in the world that requires insurance companies to take everyone also has a mandate in one form or other.
If this happens, it would be a great example of what I mean when I say that one can win the argument and still lose.
The more I think about this, the more I realize that I'd rather have SCOTUS strike down parts or all of the law so it be changed for the better. The GOP has signaled that they are going to keep the more popular provisions anyway so raising taxes and/or offering tax credits seem much more likely now. Even the public option could make a bold reappearance and pass. It would simply be Medicare for all and that is perfectly legal under the Constitution.
Here is a handy dandy flow chart to help you with all the possible outcomes.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
VERY interesting. But why?
I'd say that's pretty good news. Even more interesting...
If this continues to be the case, all of the arguments we have heard about health care may be going out the window. Wow.
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Friday, March 30, 2012
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
First of all, today is the key day as they are discussing the issue of the mandate. I'm wondering the team that is arguing to uphold the law as is will look to this bill, enacted in 1798 by the 5th Congress and signed by founding father John Adams, as an example of how the government can more or less force people to get health care. An Act For The Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen would never pass muster with the Republicans of today. Clearly they would label it as "government overreach" and "something our founding fathers would never do"...even though our founding fathers did just that!
The type of question that each justice asks is usually indicative of how they are going to vote. I think it's safe to say that Thomas and Alito will be voting to strike down the mandate. Scalia is likely to vote that way as well, although there is some early indication that he doesn't like to mess around with bills that Congress have already passed. With Kagan, Sotomayor, Ginsberg and Breyer likely to support the bill, that leaves Roberts and Kennedy and I think it's very possible that each will support to uphold the law as is given the other precedents that are being introduced.
PolitiFact has a page up that lists all the misconceptions about the health care law which have, no doubt, helped drive up its disapproval rating to around 47 percent. Here's the one that most people believe but is, in fact, a "Pants on Fire" lie.
Chris Christie slams health care reform as “a government takeover of health care”
While the reform gives the federal government a larger role in the health insurance industry, it doesn’t eliminate the private market. In fact, the reform is projected to increase the number of citizens with private health insurance. We know Christie doesn’t like the national health care reform, but he should know better than to call it a "government takeover." That’s been proven wrong over and over again, making his claim simply ridiculous.
Yeah, well, never touch a man's paranoia. It's a sacred thing.
The outcome of their ruling is going to be very interesting. How much will it affect the president's chances of re-election?
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Sunday, February 27, 2011
1 in 5 Americans think that the Health Care Law has been repealed. And another 25 percent don't know or refused to answer the question. Wow.
With this complete lack of involvement, it's amazing to me that our country is still functioning.
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
- Starting Jan. 1, 2013, 3M retirees eligible for Medicare will get a health reimbursement arrangement: an account with credit in it to buy a Medicare supplement plan or a prescription drug plan.
- Starting Jan. 1, 2015, retirees not eligible for Medicare will also get a retiree health reimbursement arrangement to buy an individual insurance plan on the open market
"I got to tell you, I would like to take Congress and wring their necks," said Horne, of Hudson, Wis. "They've taken a very satisfactory and good health insurance program and going to I don't know what."
Her husband, 75, who's had cancer and open-heart surgery, said he knew this day would come ever since "Obama passed Obamacare."
"You would think every corporation in America would do the same. Number one, it's going to save a hell of a lot of money and number two, it's probably as fair a system as you can get out of anybody," he said.
Will the new plan save money for him? Horne laughed: "I have no idea."