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.

McCain Votes To Save Obamacare

from The Wall Street Journal,

‘Skinny’ Repeal of Obamacare Fails.

The Republican effort to dismantle the Affordable Care Act collapsed early Friday when a slimmed-down Senate measure to pare back selected pieces of the 2010 health-care law failed, undermining the GOP leaders’ efforts to deliver on a longtime campaign promise. Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) cast one of three GOP no votes that sank Senate Republicans’ latest effort to roll back a handful of elements of the law. GOP Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska also joined with Democrats to block the measure in a 49-51 vote. The bill’s failure exposed the difficulty Senate Republicans faced in trying to corral 50 votes for any legislation making changes to the ACA, whether modest or major.

Friday’s vote leaves Republicans without any clear next step in their months long effort to roll back the ACA and with no significant legislative accomplishment during President Donald Trump’s first seven months in office. Newsletter Sign-up “This is clearly a disappointing moment,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said on the Senate floor moments after the vote. “I regret that our efforts were simply not enough this time.”

“One of the major failures of Obamacare was that it was rammed through Congress by Democrats on a strict-party line basis without a single Republican vote. We should not make the mistakes of the past,” Mr. McCain said in a statement after the vote, urging GOP leaders to hold hearings and solicit Democratic ideas. The defeat left Senate Republicans with little to show for their weeks of difficult deliberations. Although the House overcame a setback to pass a sweeping health-care overhaul in May, the Senate GOP’s narrow majority and deep internal divisions made such a comeback difficult. Mr. McConnell said after the vote that it was now Democrats’ turn to propose fixes to the ACA. “It’s time for our friends on the other side to tell us what they have in mind and we’ll see how the American people feel about their ideas,” Mr. McConnell said. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) said Democrats were ready to work with Republicans to shore up the health-care law. “Obamacare was hardly perfect. It did a lot of good things, but it needs improvement,” Mr. Schumer said.

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