Supreme Court upholds Obamacare individual mandate as a tax
In a victory for President Barack Obama, the Supreme Court decided to uphold his signature health care law’s individual insurance mandate in a 5-4 decision, upending speculation after hostile-seeming oral arguments in March that the justices would overturn the law. The mandate has been upheld as a tax, according to SCOTUSblog, with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the liberal wing of the court. Tom Goldstein of SCOTUSblog says Roberts’ vote “saved’ the Affordable Care Act.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court’s swing vote, dissented, reading from the bench that he and three conservative justices believe “the entire Act before us is invalid in its entirety.”
Twenty six states sued over the law, arguing that the individual mandate, which requires people to buy health insurance or face a fine starting in 2014, was unconstitutional. Opponents cast the individual mandate as the government forcing Americans to enter a market and buy a product against their will, while the government countered that the law was actually only regulating a market that everyone is already in, since almost everyone will seek health care at some point in his or her life. (more …)
At last night’s CNN presidential debate in Jacksonville, Florida, the GOP candidates told an unemployed woman in need of health insurance that they would repeal the health reform law that could help her find coverage and give her a tax deduction to go out and find her own insurance.
The woman — Lynn Frazier — said she found herself “unemployed for the first time in 10 years and unable to afford health benefits.” Under the Affordable Care Act, Frazier may qualify for temporary insurance in the state’s high-risk pool, which already provides coverage for 3,285 Floridians who can’t find affordable coverage elsewhere. In two years, she’ll be able to pick out a health policy through the state’s Exchange. All private insurers will offer a comprehensive basic set of benefits and allow consumers like Frazier to compare and contrast different plans to find the coverage that works best for them and their family. Insurers won’t be able to deny insurance based on past illness or rescind coverage unexpectedly, as they often do in today’s health market, and Frazier will pay a “community” rate and may even qualify for tax credits to help her afford her premiums and out of pocket cost-sharing expenses.
The Republican candidates pledged to undo these benefits and instead encouraged her to find coverage “as an individual” — on her own — with the help of a government tax deduction: (more…)
If you’re uninsured and on the brink of death, that’s apparently a laughing matter to some audience members at last night’s tea party Republican presidential debate.
Texas Rep. Ron Paul, a doctor, was asked a hypothetical question by CNN host Wolf Blitzer about how society should respond if a healthy 30-year-old man who decided against buying health insurance suddenly goes into a coma and requires intensive care for six months. Paul–a fierce limited-government advocate– said it shouldn’t be the government’s responsibility. “That’s what freedom is all about, taking your own risks,” Paul said and was drowned out by audience applause as he added, “this whole idea that you have to prepare to take care of everybody …”
“Are you saying that society should just let him die?” Blitzer pressed Paul. And that’s when the audience got involved.
Several loud cheers of “yeah!” followed by laughter could be heard in the Expo Hall at the Florida State Fairgrounds in response to Blitzer’s question. You can watch the exchange below via CNN–the clip begins at the 23:30 mark:(more…)
Barbara Bush, daughter of president George W. Bush, appeared as a guest on “Fox News Sunday” this week to discuss her non-profit Global Health Corps, whose mission is to bring health equity to the U.S. and Africa, and she made some comments that surprised host Chris Wallace.
“Why do, basically, people with money have good health care and why do people who live on lower salaries not have good health care?” Bush asked. “Health should be a right for everyone.”
“What do you think about Obama health care reform?” Wallace asked.
“Obviously the health care reform bill was highly debated by a lot of people,” Bush responded., “and I’m glad the bill was passed.”