Did Romneycare Save Obamacare In The Recent Supreme Court Decision?

Chief Justice John Roberts cited Massachusetts’ own Romneycare law extensively throughout his opinion explaining the court’s 6-3 decision to uphold Obamacare’s subsidies.  The Affordable Care Act (the ACA, aka Obamacare) relied on a similar framework to Romneycare, writes MSNBC.

Legal scholars say the 2006 Massachusetts law, which Romney supported and signed as governor, played a key role in bolstering the White House’s case that the ACA always intended to provide subsidies to federal and state exchanges, despite a clause that referred only to “an exchange established by the state.”

Democrats have Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts health care law to thank as inspiration for the Affordable Care Act, which relied on a similar framework. Now they can credit the 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney with helping to save it from an existential legal threat in King v. Burwell, writes MSNBC

(Updated posting)

Read the Supreme Court decision here:

Click to access 14-114_qol1.pdf

http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/how-mitt-romney-saved-obamacare

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

Do Death Panels Exist Under Kansas’ Privatized Medicaid?


Secular Talk

Recently, a High school senior was rejected by the privatized state Medicaid system in Kansas.

Changes to the Kansas health care system instituted by state’s governor Sam Brownback channeled about 400,000 Kansas residents out of the public Medicaid health insurance program into a new, privately-run, profit-making system called KanCare.

Three health insurance companies now coordinate that care.

The student said that he was just days away from dying when he fled the state and found treatment at a hospital in Tennessee, states RawStory.

Ross’ doctors advised him to get treatment out of state, but after not responding for weeks, his insurance provider rejected the advice.

The private insurance provider told him that he had to get the surgery at a hospital in Kansas, even though his own doctors told him that was impossible.

The Inquisitr states that St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee told Levi he could have his surgery there, and he will have to make payments to them.

Levi Ross will still have considerable costs associated with his cancer care and even though he is back in Kansas, they won’t all be covered, states The Inquisitr.

His family has created a crowdfunding page to help with those costs on GiveForward.com, which can be reached here at this link.

(Updated article)

http://www.rawstory.com/2015/04/cancer-patient-with-a-week-to-live-flees-kansas-for-profit-medicaid-for-life-saving-surgery-in-memphis/

http://www.inquisitr.com/2049480/levi-ross-cancer/

http://www.kansascity.com/opinion/editorials/article2174129.html

CNN: Ted Cruz To Join Obamacare

TYT Network

Presidential candidate Ted Cruz was reportedly on his wife’s health insurance in the past.  However, his wife will take a leave of absence from her job to help Cruz on the campaign trail. Where will they get their health insurance?

Irony of ironies…Ted Cruz is known for opposing the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) health insurance law.

Did FEMA Help Out During Katrina?

Raw Story: “Fox Business host John Stossel on Sunday asserted that most government was unnecessary because companies like Walmart would spontaneously provide assistance to disaster victims “in many more ways” than the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) could.”


Secular Talk

Harvard Study: 45,000 Deaths A Year Because Of Lack Of Health Insurance

A 2009 study is meant to offer a strong reminder of why lawmakers should continue to try to provide health insurance to the millions of Americans who don’t have it and continue to fund Obamacare or find a suitable replacement.

“Replacing it with nothing” is not a viable option.

Researchers from Harvard Medical School said that a lack of insurance coverage can be tied to about 45,000 deaths a year in the United States.  That’s per year.  Compare that to the 58,000 Americans who died in the Vietnam War.

“If you extend coverage, you can save lives,” said Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, a professor of medicine at Harvard who is one of the study’s authors. The research was published in the American Journal of Public Health.

The Harvard study found that people without health insurance had a 40 percent higher risk of death than those with private health insurance — as a result of being unable to obtain necessary medical care.

The risk appears to have increased since 1993, when a similar study found the risk of death was 25 percent greater for the uninsured.  The increase in risk, according to the study, is likely to be a result of at least two factors.

One is the greater difficulty the uninsured have in finding care, and the other is improvements in medical care for insured people with treatable chronic conditions like high blood pressure.

“As health care for the insured gets better, the gap between the insured and uninsured widens,” Dr. Woolhandler said.

More:

http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/17/harvard-medical-study-links-lack-of-insurance-to-45000-us-deaths-a-year/?_r=1

Tennessee Minister Gives Prayer Asking Jesus To End Medicaid Expansion

June Griffin, a “longtime crusader for Christian values,” gave the opening prayer for the Tennessee Senate recently.

After taking special prayer requests, she went into a prayer to end any effort to expand Medicaid in Tennessee.

More:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/02/03/1362064/-Christian-minister-opens-Tennessee-Senate-with-prayer-to-end-Medicaid-expansion#

Majority Report

Who Is David Barton?

According to Wikipedia: “David Barton (born January 28, 1954) is an American evangelical Christian minister, conservative activist, and author. He founded WallBuilders, a Texas-based organization which promotes the view that it is a myth that the US Constitution insists on separation of church and state. Barton is the former vice chair of the Republican Party of Texas.”

Also, “In 2012, Barton’s New York Times best-seller The Jefferson Lies was voted ‘the least credible history book in print’ by the users of the History News Network website.”

Patheos.com claims Barton has had to walk back on many false claims he’s made over the years.

Barton does some work for conservative commentator Glenn Beck. On Beck’s show, Barton made the claim that the average welfare recipient gets $61K per year.  This was based on calculations done by Senator Jeff Sessions, who includes insurance and other payouts in his calculations.

Also, Sessions adds up many means-tested programs, which are aimed at people with low incomes, but then divides the figure by the number of people under the poverty level — even though millions of people above the poverty level receive these benefits.

The Washington Post gave the claim “three Pinnochios.”

Think Progress states:

“In reality, many of these benefits that families rely on are paltry and, worse, have recently shrunk. The value of benefits from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF), formerly known as welfare, have fallen so that their purchasing power is less than what it was in 1996 for the vast majority of recipients.

A family of three that relies solely on TANF won’t be able to make market rent for a two-bedroom apartment and will live at just 50 percent of the poverty line, or $9,765 a year.

Food stamps from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) were reduced in November to an average of less than $1.40 a meal  ($126.00) and more cuts are likely on their way after Congress agrees to a new farm bill.”

Secular Talk video.  Sources:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2013/06/19/capitoltourchanges/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/a-misleading-chart-on-welfare-spending/2013/02/20/1b40bcde-7ba4-11e2-82e8-61a46c2cde3d_blog.html

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/12/18/3081791/welfare-recipient-spending/

House Republicans Move Forward To Sue President Obama Over Healthcare

Cathey Park of Cambridge, Massachusetts wears a cast for her broken wrist with ''I Love Obamacare'' written upon it prior to U.S. President Barack Obama's arrival to speak about health insurance at Faneuil Hall in Boston October 30, 2013.  REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Court documents state that one day after the President’s decision speech on immigration reform, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives filed a lawsuit challenging the implementation of Obama’s signature healthcare law over employer-based coverage and payments to insurers, apparently as retribution.

Jonathan Turley, the lead counsel for House Republicans, said in a Friday blog post that the president’s actions blurred the lines between branches of government and usurped the ability of Congress to use the “power of purse” during the appropriations process.

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday filed the lawsuit challenging the implementation of President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law over employer-based coverage and payments to insurers, according to court documents.

Republican officials say the House can still—and very well might—sue Obama over his orders to protect as many as five million immigrants from deportation, but the fact that they chose Friday morning to file their healthcare lawsuit sent a message that they would follow through on their own threats of action.

The lawsuit, filed in a federal court in Washington against the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Treasury, targets a decision to delay implementation of the law’s employer mandate, which requires employers with more than 50 employees to offer healthcare coverage.

House Speaker John Boehner, in a statement, said that Obama had bypassed Congress to take “unilateral actions” when implementing the healthcare law, named The Affordable Care Act, and also known as Obamacare.

Is Giving People Health Care ‘Elitist?’

Meghan McCain – daughter of John McCain – argued in a debate on TakePart Live that Obamacare is “debatably one of the worst things to happen to America in the last 25 years.”

She argued with co-hosts Jacob Soboroff and Baratunde Thurston over the popularity of the health care law and whether Howard Dean was right to say its writers were “elitist.”

Meghan made the confusing claim that the government runs healthcare under the ACA.  The government organizes the exchanges, but it does not actually run the insurance companies.

Some have made the claim that Obamacare is “elitist.”

It’s not clear how getting people covered under health insurance is “elitist.”  Wouldn’t “elitist” be if only a few people have health insurance?

Secular Talk video.