Thursday, June 28, 2012

BREAKING: Supreme Court Upholds Mandate of Health Insurance

Live Stream from "Democracy Now! Live Coverage of U.S. Supreme Court Healthcare Ruling: Tune in Thursday 10-11am EDT"
Democracy Now: "Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Care Act"
A one-hour Democracy Now! special broadcast hosted by Amy Goodman, covering the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Chief Justice John Roberts was the swing vote in upholding the Act, joining Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer. From outside the Supreme Court in Washington DC, to New York and around the country we get reaction from: filmmaker Michael Moore, health insurance industry whistleblower Wendell Potter, Georgetown University law professor David Cole, Elisabeth Benjamin of the Community Service Society of New York, Congressmember Keith Ellison (D-MN), Dr. Margaret Flowers of Physicians for a National Health Program, Hilary Shelton of the NAACP, Russell Mokhiber of and Karen Higgins of National Nurses United.

Jeffrey Young, "Supreme Court Health Care Decision Preserves Biggest Expansion Of Coverage In 45 Years" --Huffington Post, June 28, 2012
Voting for upholding Barack Obama's individual health insurance mandate law: Justices John Roberts, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
Chief Justice John Roberts' swing vote to the liberal direction saved bill: Mike Sacks, "Supreme Court Health Care Decision Preserves Biggest Expansion Of Coverage In 45 Years" --Huffington Post, June 28, 2012
Truth be told, this is a liberal sell-out to the private health insurance industry. It is ironic that Mitt Romney and conservative company decry it, as Heritage Foundation, a right-wing think tank proposed this individual mandate. As Cenk Uygur at Huffington Post points out in "The Mandate Is the Perfect Symbol of the Central Mistake of Obama Administration", June 25, 2012, the conservative Heritage Foundation originally proposed this.
From Alternet:
"Supreme Court Upholds Most of Obamacare"
The Supreme Court--with Chief Justice John Roberts leading the majority--has voted to uphold the heart of Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, according to reports on Scotusblog, in its first quick reading of the Supreme Court's historic health care reform decision.
The ACA's requirement that all Americans (except the very poor) have a health insurance plan by January 2014 or pay a tax penalty was upheld, giving the Obama administration a tremendous political victory.
However, the decision appeared to allow the coverage mandate to stand based on the Congress's ability to impose a tax, not under its constitutional authority to regulate interstate commerce. That interpretation is a victory for conservative ideologues, as it may constrain future congressional action on national economic issues.
Scotusblog said this was the Chief Justice's key quote, "Our precedent demonstrates that Congress had the power to impose the exaction in Section 5000A under the taxing power, and that Section 5000A need not be read to do more than impose a tax. This is sufficient to sustain it."
Another major element of the law, concerning the expansion of state-based Medicaid programs to help the working poor and elderly was largely upheld, but apparently with restrictions that may allow red states not to implement the ACA, according to early reports.
On the Medicaid expansion, this was Robert's key quote, "Nothing in our opinion precludes Congress from offering funds under the ACA to expand the availability of health care, and requiring that states accepting such funds comply with the conditions on their use. What Congress is not free to do is to penalize States that choose not to participate in that new program by taking away their existing Medicaid funding."
In other words, it remains to be seen if red states will still be able to thumb their noses at the Obama administration and Congress and not implement the Medicaid expansion--such as opening clinics in underserved areas--without losing any funds for its other existing Medicaid programs.
Reading from the bench, Justice Anthony Kennedy made it clear that he--and presumably the other conservative judges would have thrown out the entire law.
Alternet will have more reports and update its analysis as the day proceeds. By Steven Rosenfeld | Sourced from 358 Posted at June 28, 2012, 7:34 am
Contrast this lame system with some of the best systems in the world, which do not have individual mandates to get private insurance. Sweden -government-run, costing approximately 9 percent of Sweden’s gross domestic product (GDP). Italy -government-run, costing 9.0% of GDP in 2006.
France, the top rated globally by the World Health Organization, is closer to the approaching American model than the above systems. BUT, with its private component, it is much costlier than most European systems: it cost 11.2% of GDP on health care in 2005, or US$3,926 per capita, a figure much higher than the average spent by countries in Europe.

No comments: