ObamaCare (PPACA)
A simple summary of where we are with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) or ObamaCare. The Supreme Court ruled on June 28, 2012 that the law was not unconstitutional, but offered confusing explanations within its decision. “The Affordable Care Act is constitutional in part and unconstitutional in part,” Roberts wrote. First, The Court upheld the federal takeover of 1/6th of the US economy and ObamaCare implementations will continue. On August 1, 2012 the controversial HHS contraceptive mandate took effect. Second, the Court said that it is reasonable to construe what Congress has done as increasing taxes on those who have a certain amount of income, but (who) choose to go without health insurance. Such legislation is within Congress’s power to tax.” But, “the individual mandate cannot be upheld as an exercise of Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause. That Clause authorizes Congress to regulate interstate commerce, not to order individuals to engage in it.” Third, as for the Medicaid expansion, "that portion of the Affordable Care Act violates the Constitution by threatening existing Medicaid funding," Roberts wrote. "Congress has no authority to order the States to regulate according to its instructions. ... The remedy for that constitutional violation is to preclude the Federal Government from imposing such a sanction." So there you have it; ObamaCare continues as a tax, the mandate is unconstitutional (but because the program continues as a tax that item is irrelevant), and the Medicaid expansion cannot be forced on the states. Open enrollment for the new federally run health-care exchanges are scheduled to start Oct. 1, 2013, with all Americans having access to affordable health insurance options effective January 1, 2014. See timeline here. Find your state's Health Exchange here. State-by-State Insurance Information is available at this site.

Republican Senators Face Pushback From Governors on the Health Bill

from The Wall Street Journal,

Some states that expanded Medicaid under the ACA are urging lawmakers to rethink funding cuts.

Republican senators back home on recess this week are hearing from some influential critics of their health-law effort: GOP governors, many of whom are urging them to push back on the legislation because it would cut Medicaid funding. Governors of states including Ohio, Nevada and Arkansas, which stand to lose billions of dollars in Medicaid funding under the Senate bill, want senators to keep as much of that money as possible. That pressure reflects a risk taken by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), perhaps unavoidably, in deciding to delay a vote on the GOP health-care bill until after lawmakers return to Washington the week of July 10. Most vocal are governors of states that expanded their Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act. The bill would phase out that expansion and transform the state-federal safety-net program into one in which the federal government’s share would be capped. In all, the bill would cut $772 billion in funding for the program over a decade.

“It’s a pretty big deal, because in most cases these states have had bitter battles inside the state legislature and [with the] governor about [Medicaid], and it’s been settled in favor of expansion,” said Stewart Verdery, a former GOP Senate aide and founder of Monument Policy Group, a lobbying and public-affairs firm. For any Republican senator “to blow that up from afar is really dicey,” Mr. Verdery said. Newsletter Sign-up In Nevada, Republican Sen. Dean Heller, who faces a tough re-election fight next year, appeared with GOP Gov. Brian Sandoval at a news conference recently and said he opposes the health bill. Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio has said the bill’s opioid-addiction measures don’t go far enough, and he said he has conveyed his worries to the state’s GOP senator, Rob Portman. Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he has spoken to his state’s GOP senators, Tom Cotton and John Boozman, almost daily about his concerns with the bill. All Democrats are expected to oppose the measure, which means Mr. McConnell can afford to lose no more than two GOP votes to pass the health bill, with Vice President Mike Pence breaking a 50-50 tie if necessary. That means Republican leaders must flip at least seven of the nine GOP senators who have already said publicly they oppose the bill, a challenge compounded by the recess. “The further you get away from this place, the more pushback you’ll get,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), who has said he prefers the Senate bill to the ACA, said in the Capitol last week. In a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, 16% of respondents said the version of the bill passed by the House, which also included deep cuts to Medicaid, was a good idea.

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