Obamacare Scores Another Win At Supreme Court

So let us tonight come to some factual foundation about the Affordable Care Act.

While I was a supporter of single-payer in 2009, I was also pragmatic in my ability to score a run when it slides across home base. A win is a win. The health care needs of the nation required much assistance in 2009. Obamacare, simply put, was the fix that could pass Congress.

Obamacare is now very much deeply entrenched in America’s health care system. It covers some 31 million Americans directly, and it gives additional protection to people who get their health insurance outside the Obamacare markets — including from their employers. Republicans worked feverishly to derail the bill in 2009, and dismember it thereafter as they feared it would work, and the public would appreciate the benefits. Another social program!! Oh, no!!

My husband, James, runs his own guardianship business, dealing with clients with dementia or Alzheimer’s, and is on Obamacare. In fact, the office of Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius called our home to talk with James about his powerful letter of support for the plan…..and the call came mere minutes after he returned home from foot surgery which was made possible due to ACA.

This program touches on everything from menu calorie labels to the rights of nursing moms to free preventive care to lower drug costs for seniors. It protects people with pre-existing conditions. It helps disabled kids and their families. It has changed payment incentives to try to reward the quality of care, not just the quantity of care.

This program is a win-win no matter where you live, what you like on your pizza, or how you vote. From a policy perspective, the door has been opened and it is time to build on it, and I would suggest there is a clear path to universal coverage. The politics need to get rugged for that to take place, but the end result would be a win for all Americans.

ACA Faces Conservative’s Wrath On Supreme Court

If the 2020 presidential election is the titanic storm politically, there can be no doubt the upcoming legal fight at the Supreme Court over the Affordable Care Act can be rightful termed the same for the health care needs of the nation. With no health care plan to replace the broad-based ACA, which assists millions with pre-existing conditions, the potential catastrophe caused by conservative’s antipathy towards health care for all is soon coming to a home near you.

The case which the court will hear (Texas v. California, No. 19-1019) comes from the far-right wing of the nation. Republican attorneys general, led by Texas, continue to make their claim that the legislation’s individual mandate provision was made unconstitutional when its penalty was set to $0 under Donald Trump’s 2017 tax overhaul. Their argument stems from the court’s 2012 ruling that upheld the Affordable Care Act, and which found that the law was an appropriate use of Congress’s power to tax.  But it the conservatives can swing their partisan ax from the high bench and have the individual mandate provision declared unconstitutional then the wet-dream of the right-wing is closer at hand. Namely, the entire ACA being flushed by the court.

If the knuckle-draggers on the right have their way every home in the nation will feel the negative impact. The most dire consequence of a court that seeks a partisan ruling would harm nearly 100 million people with pre-existing conditions.

2018 analysis by Avalere, a health care consulting firm, estimated that 102 million Americans have preexisting conditions. A 2019 analysis by the Center for American Progress suggested 135 million people.

But there would be other harmful outcomes if conservatives should prevail. Gone would be subsidies to make individual health insurance more affordable, expanded eligibility for Medicaid, coverage of young adults up to age 26 under their parents’ insurance policies, coverage of preventive care with no patient cost-sharing, closing of the doughnut hole under Medicare’s drug benefit, and a series of tax increases to fund these initiatives.

Republicans have long cared more about tax rates for corporations, and some mythical notion of ‘limited government’ than the quality of life for the citizens of the nation. Being anti-egalitarian is their calling and denying accessible health care for all has been one of their fervent undertakings for decades. They are lined up now to have a real chance of succeeding.

Just one more very stark example of what separates the nation, the political parties, and those with a social conscience and those without.

And so it goes.

Best Editorial Cartoon Of The week

As we close out another week I want to again state an absurdity of major proportions.

The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to kill Obamacare completely, eliminating coverage for as many as 23 million Americans and stripping protection from 130 million Americans who have pre-existing conditions. Trump has no alternative plan.

Trump has never offered a workable alternative nor puts an ounce of effort into making the Affordable care Act work better. So with a pandemic in our nation, he has asked the Supreme Court to kill a medical program that’s helping millions of Americans.

Callousness and political stupidity rolled into this action by Trump.   As such, this editorial cartoon is, without doubt, the best creation of the week.

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Donald Trump Gives Huge Election Present To Democrats!

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So….in the midst of a growing pandemic—at a time when new daily national highs for infections occur–and at a time of high unemployment with jobs lost and health care too–comes this following absurdity.

Trump gave the Democrats a huge gift!

The Justice Department has asked the Supreme Court to invalidate the Affordable Care Act, the landmark health care law that enabled millions of Americans to get insurance coverage and that remains in effect despite the pending legal challenge.

In the filing, Solicitor General Noel Francisco said that once the law’s individual coverage mandate and two key provisions are invalidated, “the remainder of the ACA should not be allowed to remain in effect.”

The justices will hear arguments in the case sometime next term, although it is unclear if they will occur before the November election.

There is no way a decent society rations out who gets health care by whether one is employed, or insured, or financially able.  In the end the right to health care comes from the bonds of shared humanity. We either are all in this together, or we are reduced to the level of the animal kingdom where the strongest survive, and the herd leaves the weak to die alone in the tall grass to be devoured by scavengers.

As some rant and rave about the cost and politics of health care might it not be best to get back to the basics of what our guiding moral principles should be regarding the health treatment of our fellow citizens?   Trump and his fellow Republicans are going to take a dreadful beating at the polls over this issue.

And so it goes.

Health Care Is Republican’s Political Albatross

With over 50 attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act during the past years under their belt the Republicans now have the political power to make it happen.  But for all the bombast and bluster the same conservatives who breathlessly work to real ACA have no idea how to bring forth a new health care plan for the nation.

There is a major math problem for the conservatives in that there is no way to have a viable plan that allows for pre-existing conditions, keeping children up to age 26 on the parent’s coverage, and have no cap for coverage without the mandate.  The mandate is the tool which allows for the ACA to work.

So with no real health care plan from the GOP in the works, and the basic problem listed above, many politicos are thinking that ‘repeal and replace’ will instead end up being ‘repeal and reform’.  There is a strong political reason as to why this may be most expedient route for the GOP.

President Obama’s signature health-care law has never been more popular and Republicans are aware of that fact.  According to a new national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll 45% percent of respondents believe the federal health-care law is a good idea — the highest percentage since the NBC/WSJ poll began asking the question in April 2009.  Meanwhile, half of Americans — 50% — say they have little to no confidence that Republican proposals to replace the ACA will be an improvement.

There are over 20 million people who are covered with ACA.  State governors–slightly more than 30 in the nation are Republican–will not wish to see huge spikes in Medicaid cases or feel the need to find ways to fund health care through state programs.  There is a strong desire for the Republicans in congress to not create a real health care crisis.

What has been allowed to happen is that the cranky and undereducated in the nation gained too much leverage within the GOP.  Politicians can be weak and often scared of their own shadow.  So instead of informing their base of facts about the ACA conservative Republicans instead started to mimic the mindless ones to the point that now the nation is fearful about the future of health care.

We know there is a mood in the country for political pay back.  Like nothing of the kind we have seen in our lifetime.  This is time, therefore, for establishment-minded Republicans to think long and hard about the mid-term elections as they deal with health care.