Sunday, March 25, 2012

Health care law brawl

 For all it's worth Obama-care has it's good and bad sides.
For all the lofty legal wrangling that's expected at this week's historic arguments over President Obama's health care law, the story of two families running their own business helps boil the Supreme Court case down to its core.
It is a rare and historic case, one that will impact most Americans and potentially a presidential race. 
The ruling, expected in early summer, will come about four months before voters decide whether to give Obama a second term. Every Republican presidential candidate has spoken at length to countless campaign audiences about wanting to repeal the law. It's a guaranteed applause line. Obama enjoys similar approval when he defends the law in front of friendly audiences. Yet he gave it a passing mention during his most recent State of the Union address and let Friday's two-year anniversary pass with only a paper statement: "Today, two years after we passed health care reform, more young adults have insurance, more seniors are saving money on their prescription drugs, and more Americans can rest easy knowing they won't be dropped from their insurance plans if they get sick." Perhaps the relatively modest outreach from the White House makes sense given that poll numbers consistently show Americans aren't thrilled with the law.52 % of Americans oppose the law. While 23 % approve .As Republicans and Democrats alike commemorate the two-year anniversary of the signing of the health care bill today, a more significant battle awaits in the U.S. Supreme Court next week.
And some Republicans are worried that their big challenge to Obama’s health care law could backfire come election time.Obama, of course, does not want to see his signature initiative overturned by the Supreme Court, which holds oral arguments on the bill next week and should render a decision by late June. And Republicans who have long railed against the bill would certainly be overjoyed to see the bill struck down.Republicans already hate the law, and if it gets struck down, there’s nothing to unite against. Obama may pay a price from his political capital for enacting a law that is eventually declared unconstitutional, but all of a sudden, the bogeyman disappears, and the GOP loses one of its top rallying cries.The Democratic base, meanwhile, would be incensed at the Supreme Court, which has generally tilted 5-to-4 in favor of conservatives on contentious issues, and could redouble its efforts to reelect Obama so that he could fill whatever Supreme Court vacancies may arise.On the flip side, if the law is upheld, Republicans’ No. 1 priority — repealing the health care law — is still on the table, and Obama, while his law remains intact, still has to try and explain to a skeptical public why the law isn’t so bad. In other words, pretty much the status quo.


What I heard on the Newshour yesterday from someone speaking for Obamacare, was that of the uninsured, only 2/3 would be helped by Obamacare. (1) Medicaid eligibility would be expanded; and (2) if you still make too much to qualify for Medicaid, then insurance exchanges will be set up and you will be given federal subsidies to help you purchase insurance. You must buy insurance, and if you don't a penalty will be imposed and collected via your federal income tax return. 

Here's a look at the case and the law, by the numbers:
734 Days
It will be almost exactly two years from the time Obama signed the health care law until the Supreme Court hears the first oral arguments on it.
7 Lawyers
Seven lawyers will appear before the court to argue all sides of the complex case.
6 Hours
The court has allotted six hours for oral arguments, the longest time given to one case in the past 45 years. The last time the court heard this many hours of oral arguments in one case was in 1967 when lawyers argued for eight hours.
26 States
More than half the states have joined a lawsuit led by Florida's attorney general against the Obama administration.
3 Cases
The challenge to the Affordable Care Act is broken into three separate cases: Department of Health and Human Services v. Florida, National Federation of Independent Business v. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, and Florida v. Department of Health and Human Services.
2 Courts
Two appellate courts have ruled that the individual mandate, which requires people to have health insurance by 2014 or face a penalty, is constitutional. One court struck down the mandate and another dismissed the case against it.
67 Percent
Two-thirds of Americans said the Supreme Court should strike down either the individual mandate or the entire health care law, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll released last week.
$1.08 Trillion
The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the Affordable Care Act would cost more than $1 trillion over 10 years.
$48 billion
The price tag for caring for uninsured patients was $48 billion in 2008, a cost that was passed on to doctors, insurance companies and people who did have insurance.
50 Million
More than 50 million Americans did not have health insurance in 2011.
26 Years Old
Under the Affordable Care Act, young people can stay on their parent's insurance until age 26.
10 percent
The health care law includes a 10 percent tax on indoor tanning.



No comments:

Post a Comment