President’s Speech To Catholic Health Association

The White House

On Tuesday, U.S. President Obama spoke about America’s healthcare in a speech to the Catholic Health Association’s annual assembly, in Washington, DC.  He attempted to make the case that The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is an integral part of the country’s social safety net, much like Social Security or Medicare.

He condemned opponents of his signature health care law as “cynical” partisans seeking to deprive Americans of an important benefit, writes The New York Times. He built a tough political case against Republicans as the Supreme Court weighs whether to strike down a key element of the Affordable Care Act in the case of King v. Burwell.

“This is now part of the fabric of how we care for one another — this is health care in America,” the president said in a speech to the Catholic Health Association, an organization that championed the law and has written a brief asking the high court to uphold it. “It seems so cynical to want to take health care away from millions of people.”

More Than 10 Million Signed Up For Health Insurance This Year Under Affordable Care Act

According to The Associated Press, more than 10 million people have signed up for private health insurance this year under The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), the White House said Tuesday.

The 10.2 million consumers enrolled in a plan and followed through by paying their first month’s premiums, states The Associated Press.

The report comes from the Department of Health and Human Services as insurers are reportedly proposing premium hikes for next year, raising concerns about affordability.  Also, the Supreme Court is weighing the legality of subsidized premiums for millions of consumers in more than 30 states.  That decision is A decision is due around the end of the month.

By the end of June, the Supreme Court is expected to issue its decision in King v. Burwell, the case that centers on whether the Internal Revenue Service can allow payment of Affordable Care Act subsidies to individuals enrolled in the federal exchange.

The lawsuit is widely considered to be based on a technicality.  The actual law reads “state exchanges” as opposed to “federal exchange.”

Should the Court rule against the Obama administration, subsidies no longer would be available to individuals who purchased coverage through HealthCare.gov, the federal website, in the 34 states that chose not to establish their own state-based exchanges, writes The Daily Signal.

It also would mean the Obamacare employer mandate would be effectively unenforceable, according to The Daily Signal.

Things would probably get ugly if that happens. Democrats would probably go on the offensive, blaming Republicans for “every case of a person who lost coverage just before giving birth, or having another round of chemo,” according to nhpr.org.

Currently, the 10 million sign-ups exceed the target of 9.1 million set last year by HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell.

However, “(e)nrollment has been lower and slower than what most people projected,” said Caroline Pearson of the data analysis firm Avalere Health.

Still, the combination of subsidized private coverage sold through online insurance exchanges in every state, along with Medicaid expansion in most states, has resulted in large coverage gains.

Nearly 9 out of 10 adults now have health insurance, writes The Associated Press.  It is about the same proportion of Americans who buckle their seatbelts.

http://dailysignal.com/2015/06/02/theres-broad-public-support-for-congress-to-reduce-insurance-costs-in-response-to-king-v-burwell/

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/more-10m-enrolled-under-obamas-183140101.html

http://nhpr.org/post/4-reasons-both-parties-should-be-sweating-bullets-over-king-v-burwell

Senator Ted Cruz Threatens To Subpoena Treasury Officials To Testify About Obamacare

Roll Call states that Senator Ted Cruz is warning he might seek to compel testimony from the Treasury Department about the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

The Texas Republican senator – who is also a presidential candidate – is in control of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts.

He said his staff had been informed by the Obama administration that witnesses would not be available to testify about the rule-making process for providing subsidies under Obamacare because of ongoing litigation.

“For two main reasons, this excuse is entirely invalid,” Cruz wrote in a new letter to Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew.

“First, Congress retains its right to conduct oversight of the executive branch at all times, regardless of any perceptions of poor timing by, or inconvenience to, the executive branch. The Senate Judiciary Committee has obligations to ensure the proper functioning of the federal government at all times, and not just during windows of convenience for political officials. Second, your Department’s pending litigation justification is without basis, particularly given how you have provided at least one Department witness for the exact same topic during the pendency of other litigation over the last few years.”

http://blogs.rollcall.com/wgdb/cruz-threatens-to-subpoena-treasury-officials-to-testify-about-obamacare-rules/