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.

Mending Our Tattered Health Care Safety Net

from Forbes,
Here’s the good news. We are probably as close to universal health insurance as we are ever likely to be. Only a tiny percent of the uninsured who are lawful U.S. residents lack access to subsidized health insurance. Here’s the bad news. Families at the bottom of the income ladder find that as their income goes up and down and as their job opportunities ebb and flow, they bounce back and forth among eligibility for Medicaid, eligibility for subsidized insurance in the Obamacare exchanges, eligibility for employer-provided coverage and sometimes eligible for none of the above. Consider these headlines:
  • Infant Mortality Rises for the First Time in 20 Years
  • For Those Without College Degrees, Life Expectancy Reached Its Peak Around 2010 and Has Been Falling Ever Since
  • Almost Four in Ten Medicaid Enrollees Delay Care Because of Cost
  • Traffic to Emergency Rooms Is Higher Than Ever. The Average Wait Time Is 2½ Hours
  • Patients Wait 13 Hours for Free Health Care
What’s a better answer? Take money already in the system and give everyone a risk-adjusted tax credit to buy long-lasting private coverage in a competitive market. We are already doing that with seniors in Medicare Advantage. Why can’t we do the same for people who are being ill-served by the current system? How to fix our tattered Healthcare system. More From Forbes:

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