Responding to a lawsuit brought by attorney generals of 20 states, and led by Texas A/G Ken Paxton, Texas Judge Reed O’Connor ruled the Affordable Care act is Unconstitutional. The ruling cited Congress’ 2017 repeal of the individual mandate (a tax penalty for not buying insurance) as “inseverable from the ACA,” and hence grounds for nullifying the US Supreme Court’s rationale for deeming the ACA constitutional in 2012.
The case is certain to make its way back to the Supreme Court, whose vote in support of the government position (under heavy political pressure) in 2012 was excoriated by Justice Scalia (who later died under suspicious circumstances). The Justice Department has affirmed that it cannot defend the constitutionality of Obamacare.
During the appeals process, the nation seems likely to become even further divided, with the issue destined to exert an influence on the 2020 general election. The White House stated that until a final court decision is rendered, ACA will still be treated as law, and participants won’t be affected. The administration also announced a plan to reduce prescription drug prices.
Liberals predictably wailed in agony, while Trump rejoiced, while promising a new strong federal law, which is ALSO NOT necessary. Healthcare is an issue best left to individual states, or even communities.
As for Nancy Pelosi’s claim that people with pre-existing conditions are in danger, one needs only to recall the pre-ACA system, in which insurance companies who sold medical insurance in a given state were required to contribute to the state “pool” of funds that paid the cost for uninsurable individuals. Regarding the current cost of coverage, one of the reasons premiums have climbed so much since ACA was introduced is that a mass of government requirements and new federal employees came with it.
The economy would benefit in many ways from the expiration of Obamacare. For example, employers could increase weekly working hours above 30 without having to shoulder the cost of medical coverage. Federal government tracking and control mechanisms over you and I would noticeably shrink. And more…
Meanwhile, rates will continue to increase, as ACA’s “death spiral” becomes increasingly evident to any observant American; after doubling since 2013, rates are increasing substantially in 2019. The upwards spiral will accelerate as healthier individuals and groups obtain other coverage, leaving behind the most unhealthy participants and groups with ACA being the only practical choice.
The State of Idaho isn’t waiting, planning to defy the federal ACA program and offer a stripped-down, cheaper version of health coverage.
And in the background, big tech is racing to the rescue: implementing telemedicine, augmented reality, smart hospitals, and using the Cloud, mobile devices and wearable technology to monitor health parameters at home. And Amazon’s independent healthcare company is teaming with Berkshire Hathaway & JPMorgan Chase to cover their combined one million employees.
Our current situation wasn’t supposed to happen: by now, with Hillary in the White House, insurance companies were supposed to be destroyed … and Congress would be reacting to American anguish by adopting a “single payer” government-directed national plan similar to those of the UK and Canada.
(Click the ICON on our website for more information on the Affordable Care Act and available alternatives – we are in that business.)