Everyone needs to step back and actually look at the decision the Supreme Court made about Obamacare before doing anything.
From the majority opinion:
“The Affordable Care Act is constitutional in part and unconstitutional in part …”
This clearly shows that the Court is saying there are issues with the law.
The Individual Mandate
According to the Court, the individual mandate is a tax and not a power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce. The Court has clearly stated that the federal government cannot compel Americans to purchase insurance as a part of commerce.
“That Clause authorizes Congress to regulate interstate commerce, not to order individuals to engage in it.”
So, the public option the way progressives, including Obama, wanted is out. The Court is saying that universal healthcare through a federal government run agency cannot be done as the sole source of care or coverage. There has to be options for American consumers – they cannot be forced to buy a service from a single source according the commerce clause.
The political ramifications of the individual mandate being legal only as a tax will still be determined. Remember this:
Obama: “…is absolutely not a tax increase…”
According to the Court, it is only legal if it is a tax. So, Joe Wilson was right when he said:
Now, let’s go with the example Obama provided in his interview with George Stephanopoulous – the requirement of purchasing automobile insurance.
What people have to realize is that there is one MAJOR difference – you are not required to even drive much less own a car. Congress is not taxing you for choosing not to own a car or to not purchase auto insurance. You will be taxed if you choose not to purchase health insurance.
Then to pose a question or two for further thought – How do the people who are currently without a job or insurance coverage pay the tax they will be forced to pay for not carrying health insurance? Sounds like a vicious Catch-22, don’t you think? Can anyone explain how these people will pay the tax?
“…the principle that people who can afford health insurance should take the responsibility to buy health insurance.…”
Does that mean we should all quit our jobs and become musicians like Nancy Pelosi said if that means we would not be taxed because we would not be able to afford it? Wonder exactly how many people will do this very thing?
Obama also mentioned in his speech today that people who cannot afford to purchase health insurance will receive tax credits to be able to pay for it. Can someone please explain how they will pay for those tax cuts without raising taxes?
The next part of the decision is the Court stating that the Congress cannot punish states for choosing not to expand coverage as part of state-run Medicaid programs. Congress has to maintain the current funding of states regardless of decisions made by states.
This has far-reaching implications. If you do a search of the text of the PPACA, you will not find the words – federal exchange system – mentioned anywhere in the law. However, there are numerous mentions of state exchange systems and/or state alternative programs.
In a nutshell, the federal government was putting it onto the states to implement Obamacare under federal guidelines and the supervision of the HHS department. Obama has already stated today that the states must take the lead in implementing the law – even encouraging them to do better if they can come up with something.
The Court has now said that Congress cannot do anything to punish the states that choose not to expand coverage under Medicaid. That could lead to the lack of coverage for approximately 17 million Americans — who would not be able to get coverage under Medicaid if states do not expand their programs. States will have to raise taxes to pay for new state bureaucracies to implement this expanded program. It would be reasonably safe to assume there will be states that will choose not expand coverage since their populace cannot afford higher taxes.
Wouldn’t states that do not expand coverage defeat the whole premise of Obamacare – coverage for all Americans?
The decision is a damning declaration that the law – as written – has numerous issues in it on legal grounds. The implication is that the Court is recommending to the government that they fix the issues with the law before it is implemented.
This is going to go back to the courts. It is going to go back to Congress to fix all of the problems in it. Despite what Obama has said in his speech, this is NOT over!