Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Preparing for defeat at the Supreme Court over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the Obama Administration is looking at how they can implement parts of the law if only the individual mandate is struck down:
[T]he Obama administration will move ahead to implement major elements of the law if the individual coverage requirement is struck down, two senior Democrats told The Associated Press. One is a leading Democrat familiar with the administration’s thinking, the other a high-level Capitol Hill staffer. The two Democrats spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid appearing to be out of step with the administration’s public stance.
Because the law’s main coverage expansion does not begin until 2014, there would be time to try to fix serious problems that losing the individual coverage requirement may cause for the health insurance industry.
Surviving parts of the law would “absolutely” move ahead, said the congressional official. A Congress mired in partisan trench warfare would be unable to repeal or amend what’s left of the law, allowing the administration to advance. Much of the money for covering the uninsured was already provided in the law itself.
“Legislatively we can’t do a thing, and we are going to move full speed ahead (with implementation),” the official said.
With the impending decision on ObamaCare, the Left is already trying to knock the Supreme Court. For example, Juan Williams, a frequent contributor on Fox News, explained yesterday in The Hill that, if they do strike down ObamaCare, the Court will be betraying the trust of voters:
Every political strategist working the fall elections sees a game changer coming by the end of the month.
That’s when the Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of President Obama’s signature legislative accomplishment, the Affordable Care Act.
The Democrats have a nuclear option in this political game if the high court throws out the healthcare law as unconstitutional.
the heart of any attack on the Supreme Court for derailing healthcare reform will come from Obama.
After oral arguments at the Supreme Court, he signaled his willingness to target the court’s conservative majority during the presidential campaign. Obama told reporters that if the court overturns “a duly constituted and passed law,” the justices will be guilty of “judicial activism.” With words that sounded like a threat he added: “I’m pretty confident that this court will recognize that and not take that step.”
The hardball political fact is that attacking the court will help the president’s campaign and it will damage the court for years to come.
A CBS News/New York Times poll released last week shows most Americans already believe the ruling on healthcare reform will be based on justices’ personal and political views. According to the survey, 55 percent of Americans believe the justices’ political ties will play a role in the healthcare decision.
Though no one thought a ruling on ObamaCare would come yesterday, there was quite a turnout of reporters at the Supreme Court as decision were announced in several pending cases. We don’t yet know how the nation’s High Court will go in this specific case, but some hints may have been recently dropped by two justices, as Avik Roy explains:
On Friday, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spoke at the annual Court review of the American Constitution Society, a group “dedicated to…countering the activist conservative legal movement.” Ginsburg said that she was quite aware of the controversy surrounding the Obamacare case. “Some have described the controversy as unprecedented and they may be right if they mean the number of press conferences, prayer circles, protests, counter protests, going on outside the court while oral argument was under way inside.”
In her ACS remarks, Ginsburg suggested that she might be on the dissenting side of the case. “I have spoken on more than one occasion about the utility of dissenting opinions, noting in particular that they can reach audiences outside the court and can propel legislative or executive change,” said Ginsburg, in the context of a 2007 pay discrimination case.
Most tellingly, she touched upon the key question that I believe the Court is still working through: what to do with the law if the individual mandate is indeed found to be unconstitutional.
The Supreme Court will any day now issue their decision on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), also known as ObamaCare. There is little doubt that, from a constitutional perspective, much is on the line. But from a fiscal perspective, there is just as much to be concerned about.
We’ve noted that ObamaCare will cost more than the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) originally estimated. Recent studies, both from the CBO and Medicare trustee Charles Blahous underline the fiscal threat of the program to taxpayers. But the Heritage Foundation notes another recent study from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Office of the Actuary (OACT) showing that ObamaCare will do nothing to lower health care costs:
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Office of the Actuary (OACT) just released its projections for national health spending through 2021. The picture isn’t pretty, as health spending will continue to increase at a much faster rate than the gross domestic product (GDP), consuming 19.6 percent (almost one-fifth) of the nation’s economy in 2021.
As we get closer to a ruling from the Supreme Court over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), also known as ObamaCare, a recent poll from The New York Times and CBS News shows that Americans want to see President Barack Obama’s signature domestic law dismantled:
Forty-one percent of those surveyed said the court should strike down the entire law, and another 27 percent said the justices should overturn only the individual mandate, which requires most Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty.
These numbers have not changed much in recent months and appeared to be largely unaffected by the more than six hours of arguments in the Supreme Court in March.
There was greater Republican opposition to the law than Democratic support. About two-thirds of Republicans in the recent survey said the entire law should be overturned, while 43 percent of Democrats said all of the law should be upheld.
More than 70 percent of independent voters said they wanted to see some or all of the law struck down, with a majority saying they hoped to see the whole law overturned. Twenty-two percent of independents said they hoped the entire law would survive.
During the debate over health care reform, President Barack Obama said that they only way to lower health insurance premiums and costs was to pass the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which would bring more regulation and intervention in markets. We know the experiment in Massachusetts, which provided the blueprint for ObamaCare, has had the opposite effect as health insurance premiums continue to rise. And unsurprisingly, we’re seeing the same thing with ObamaCare.
With the Supreme Court’s decision looming in the legal challenge against the law (it’s expected later this month), Republicans are scrambling to find a way to deal with the health care issue as it may play a prominent role in the fall, perhaps they need only look to the recent reforms in Maine, where deregulation of the market has caused health insurance premiums to fall:
In 1993, Augusta passed coverage laws that resemble those that ObamaCare is about to impose nationwide: Insurers could only vary premiums within narrow bands regardless of age or health status, a regulation known as community rating. Four of Maine’s five insurers in the individual market stopped offering coverage and fled, and the state entered an insurance “death spiral” in which premiums don’t cover underlying medical costs. That leads to higher premiums, consumers dropping coverage as a result, and still higher premiums in turn.
Reiterating their support for full repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care act, key Republicans are now campaigning on promises that their version of health care reform will implement some of the same provisions as the one they have spent years campaigning against:
Speaking to more than 100 students at American University, Cantor said, “What you will see us do is to push for repeal of the healthcare bill, and at the same time, contemporaneously, submit our replacement bill, that has in it the provisions [barring discrimination due to pre-existing conditions and offering young people affordable care options].”
Cantor stressed that while he supports full repeal of the current law, Republicans share some of the same goals as Democrats, although they propose different ways of achieving them.
“We too don’t want to accept any insurance company’s denial of someone and coverage for that person because he or she may have pre-existing condition,” Cantor said, addressing a young woman in the audience who noted that she had a pre-existing health condition.
“And likewise we want to make sure that someone of your age has the ability to access affordable care, whether it’s under your parents plan or elsewhere,” Cantor added.
If the Supreme Court decides to overturn the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, they may make President Barack Obama angry, but according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll, Americans will be happy.
While the White House and Democrats continuing to claim that the public will benefit from ObamaCare, the poll, which is heavily skewed towards Democrats, shows that a majority of Americans oppose the law and two-thirds believing that the Supreme Court should throw out at least the individual mandate:
Fifty-three percent of Americans now oppose the law overall, while just 39 percent support it – the latter the lowest in more than a dozen ABC/Post polls since August 2009. “Strong” critics, at 40 percent, outnumber strong supporters by nearly a 2-1 margin in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates.
Two-thirds continue to say the high court should throw out either the entire law (38 percent) or at least the part that requires most individuals to obtain coverage (29 percent) or face a penalty; just a quarter want the court to uphold the law as is. Those numbers, like views on the law overall, are essentially unchanged from a month ago.
Again, this is a poll that is tilted toward Democrats and they still can’t find substantial support for ObamaCare, which is the most touted domestic achievement of the administration. Here’s hoping the Supreme Court does the right thing in overturning the law, regardless of the empty threats from Obama.
BREAKING: ObamaCare won’t reduce the deficit. Of course, you already knew that. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration and Democrats in Congress still insist that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will be good for taxpayers.
But a new report from Charles Blahous, a Medicare Trustee and senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center, once again exposes ObamaCare as a boondoggle for taxpayers, what opponents of the law have been saying since before it was passed, that will add $340 billion to the deficit over the next 10 years.
The study [released yesterday] by Charles Blahous, a conservative policy analyst whom Obama approved in 2010 as the GOP trustee for Medicare and Social Security. His analysis challenges the conventional wisdom that the health-care law, which calls for an expensive expansion of coverage for the uninsured beginning in 2014, will nonetheless reduce deficits by raising taxes and cutting payments to Medicare providers.