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.

HillaryCare Lessons for Today

By Joe Lieberman, a former U.S. senator from Connecticut, Democrat VP candidate in 2000 and is a national co-chairman of No Labels.
from The Wall Street Journal,

True bipartisan work - wouldn't it be nice.

One of the greatest bonuses of my years in the Senate was getting to know Sen. John McCain. John has consistently served causes larger than himself, beginning with our country. The speech he gave on the Senate floor last week, followed by his “no” vote after midnight Thursday on a health-care bill nobody wanted to become law, was one of his finest hours. His message was eloquent and direct. As he put it: “This country—this big, boisterous, brawling, intemperate, restless, striving, daring, beautiful, bountiful, brave, good and magnificent country—needs [the Senate] to help it thrive. That responsibility is more important than any of our personal interests or political affiliations.” To live up to its promise, the world’s greatest deliberative body needs to return to the spirit of bipartisan cooperation that can lead to real legislative accomplishments. It reminded me of a message another great senator, Pat Moynihan of New York, delivered to another administration 25 years ago. In 1993 Moynihan, the new chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, offered strategists at the Clinton White House a suggestion. He knew many Democrats were pressuring the president to pursue universal health care, but Moynihan believed nearly total Republican opposition would make it a divisive opening flop for the new administration. He argued that instead the president should focus on another promise he had made, to “end welfare as we know it,” because Republicans could be convinced to back welfare reform.

Pat believed the nation’s welfare system was in a more acute crisis than its health-care system. He also believed that major reforms rarely passed Congress with the support of only one party. “They pass 70-30,” he explained, “or they fail.” Moynihan’s wisdom fell on deaf ears. The White House vigorously pursued a broad-based health-care-reform agenda crafted by First Lady Hillary Clinton and her team. They presumed most Republicans would line up against them but figured the Democrats would back them. In the end, Democrats weren’t any more united than Republicans are today. Their disarray doomed the plan before it even came up for a vote. Republicans won resoundingly in the 1994 midterm elections, and President Clinton learned from the experience. The White House reverted to the approach Moynihan had initially suggested. While the senator himself ended up opposing the 1996 welfare reform, his political advice worked. Mr. Clinton’s embrace of bipartisan negotiation and compromise delivered a series of victories, including a balanced budget and the creation of the Children’s Health Insurance Program. What can we learn from Mr. Clinton’s evolution? Maybe most important for President Trump, legislative strategies rarely succeed when they depend on a single party. If Mr. Trump were to extend a hand to Democrats, Washington might well prove capable of solving some of America’s problems and seizing some of its opportunities. For that to happen, Democrats in Congress will have to engage with Mr. Trump the way Newt Gingrich and his party worked with Mr. Clinton.

Rallying both parties to repair America’s infrastructure could be President Trump’s version of welfare reform. Tax reform could also gain bipartisan support. Then Congress can return to more divisive issues, considering them, as Mr. McCain suggested, through regular order. A good place to start would be with the bipartisan health-care reforms that the House No Labels Problem Solvers Caucus released yesterday.

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