Posted on August 8, 2011 by SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center
10:40 AM ET, 08/04/2011
For a law regularly at the center of controversy, there was surprisingly little talk of the health care reform law during the debt ceiling debate. It certainly factored into some discussions — House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) reportedly pushed for the individual mandate’s repeal as a trigger — but the issue never emerged as a deal breaker. That’s a big difference from the budget debate in April, where Republicans demanded a defunding vote as one of their must-have items.
Health policy analysts are still digging through the 74-page debt deal, and are starting to come to a few important conclusions about how it would effect the health care law. The general takeaway: if the trigger goes off, the law comes out a little bruised, but relatively unscathed. But no one knows what the Supercommittee will do.
Legislators have not shied away from using reform funds as an offset: they financed the last doc-fix, for example, by shaving off some funds to the health insurance tax credit. The Gang of Six would have repealed health reform’s longterm health insurance plan, the CLASS Act, to save $86 billion; Republicans have repeatedly voted to defund the health reform law’s $15 billion Preventive Health Fund. It’s changes like these, on the table heading into the next round of the deficit debate, that have the most potential for a serious impact on the Affordable Care Act’s future.
If the Supercommittee does not come up with enough savings, and the trigger cuts go into effect, the Affordable Care Act comes out in relatively decent shape. Medicaid, which will expand up to 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Line in 2014, is shielded from the trigger. So are most of the provisions to cover the cost of insurance premiums for lower -income Americans. Since the funds are provided as refundable income tax credits, they also can’t be touched. Continue reading
Filed under: Debt Deal, Understanding The New Law | Tagged: ACA, Affordable Care Act, Gang of Six, John Boehner, Supercommitte, Tim Jost | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 1, 2011 by SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center
By Noam N. Levey
May 28, 2011
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney
has renounced it. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich
says he doesn’t believe in it anymore. Former Utah
Gov. Jon Huntsman has brushed off suggestions he even considered it.
As the three have discovered, there is hardly a bigger black mark against a Republican presidential candidate today than the hint of past support for requiring Americans to get health insurance — as President Obama‘s new healthcare law mandates.
But Republicans were not always so hostile. Until the healthcare law passed last year, requiring medical insurance had a long history as a mainstream GOP idea.
It was promoted by conservative policy experts at places like the Heritage Foundation more than 20 years ago. In the 1990s, the concept was championed by Republicans on Capitol Hill.
And it was ultimately implemented by Romney in Massachusetts; in 2006 he became the first elected official from either party to sign a mandate into law.
“I still don’t see what the objection is to the idea that people should not be allowed to run around without at least some basic health insurance,” said Mark Pauly, a conservative health economist at the University of Pennsylvania‘s Wharton School.
Emphasizing personal responsibility, Pauly and other conservatives have argued that the uninsured incur medical bills as other Americans do; the tab is just picked up by someone else. Continue reading
Filed under: Health Care Law Implementation | Tagged: Alan Simpson, individual mandate, John Boehner, Jon Huntsman, Lamar Alexander, Mark Pauly, medicaid, Medicare, Mitch McConnell, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, President Obama, Ron Wyden | Leave a comment »