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.

Freedom Caucus drives dagger into heart of young Trump presidency

3/25/17
from FoxNews,
3/24/17:

It is hard to overestimate the damage the Freedom Caucus has done to the fledgling presidency of Donald Trump, and to the country. By blocking the American Health Care Act of 2017, the conservative group has guaranteed that Americans will struggle forward under the burden of Obamacare. In the next few months insurers will announce their premium hikes for the coming year; chances are, given the continuing withdrawal of major companies from the marketplaces and the ongoing failure of the bill to attract enough young and healthy participants, the new rates will not be pretty. Last year premiums went up 25%; it’s likely the increases will be higher this year. Republicans will own those higher rates. Their failure to repeal the financial underpinnings of Obamacare and start replacing that failing program with an approach that encourages competition and that embodies numerous other common sense reforms will mean that families hit by ever-higher costs will blame the GOP. Voters elected Donald Trump and a GOP Congress to get this job done – the number one promise of every Republican campaign since 2010.

Now the Republican Party inherits the Sisyphean task of managing Obamacare’s inevitable decline. They are no longer critics; they are now the producers of the show. It is unlikely that House Speaker Paul Ryan or Trump will have the political will and patience to return to the drawing board and attempt to craft a brand new bill. They have made other commitments to voters, and so Obamacare, as a defeated Paul Ryan admitted after withdrawing the AHCA, is the law of the land. Live with it. Of course, the damage is not limited to healthcare reform. The undermining of the House leadership is profound and clouds prospects of tax reform, infrastructure spending and other important jobs to be done.

It is the young Trump presidency, however, that takes the biggest hit here. ... His credibility and credentials now lie in tatters. All that optimism that has stoked the stock market and boosted investment plans – all that may fade.

Who is to blame? House Speaker Paul Ryan will be dragged through the mud for failing to win enough votes.

Nancy Pelosi mocked Trump for bringing the bill to the floor before he had the votes; that won’t sit well with a president who likes winning.

Outraged Republicans should save most of their ire for the Freedom Caucus. The group of 30-odd conservatives are patting themselves on the backs this evening; joining their celebration are Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. Hillary Clinton declared the failure a victory, while disgusted Republicans across the country wonder how it went so wrong.

Caucus leader Mark Meadows, who hails from western North Carolina, may find himself under scrutiny.

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