Tuesday Short Cuts: LIGHTNING ROUND!! 21 stories you might have missed.
Now that the Supreme Court has rendered its decision in King v. Burwell on federal subsidies under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Open Enrollment is approaching, there is no better time to reflect on the important mission of access to affordable and quality health coverage for the residents of all states. Health insurance is complex; it engages a range of stakeholders from state agencies and insurance carriers to brokers and solution providers, it requires eligibility determination, various payment models, and a myriad of funding mechanisms, to name a few.
Senate Republican leaders this week narrowly averted an intra-party battle over ObamaCare by again promising to get a repeal bill to the president’s desk through budget reconciliation.
But the use of reconciliation — a budget tool that allows bills to bypass the Senate’s 60-vote threshold — is still a matter of debate among Republicans in Congress.
A growing number of GOP lawmakers say they would rather save reconciliation for bills that stand a chance of becoming law, unlike repeal of the healthcare law, which President Obama is certain to veto.
When the Affordable Care Act was first implemented, many (mainly Republican) states refused to set up health insurance exchanges, putting pressure on the federal government to run the exchange. The hope was that it would fail having to coordinate coverage for more than half the nation. When the exchanges largely functioned as they should, a lawsuit was filed claiming that the federal exchanges were not legal under the law. The suit eventually made it to the Supreme Court where the Court ruled that the exchanges were indeed legal and could continue. This prevented tens of thousands of Americans from losing their coverage.
It has also opened the door for more states to shut down their failing exchanges and rely on the federal government's.
During the legislative debate over the passage of President Obama's healthcare law, supporters of the program were sensitive to any suggestion that it represented a government takeover of the healthcare system.
Back in 2010, PolitiFact branded the charge that Obamacare was a "government takeover" as its "lie of the year."
But as time has gone on, it's become clear that the critics of Obamacare were correct about the government's role under the program – a reality that was reinforced by new federal data.
Conservative opponents of the Affordable Care Act tried to warn us that it was a government takeover of the health care system.
And while this may come as a surprise to all the privately employed doctors, hospital employees and insurance companies executives across the land, the takeover has apparently already happened, if you believe the Washington Examiner. But you shouldn't believe the Washington Examiner, because it doesn't understand how numbers work.
"Turns out Obamacare is a government takeover," reads the headline of an item published Friday by Philip Klein, the newspaper's managing editor. Big, if true. Except it isn't. Let's review Klein's "argument" first, though.
As a geriatrician who practiced for years in some of Philadelphia’s most disadvantaged communities, I have seen the profound impact that Medicare and Medicaid can have. These two programs help mothers, fathers, grandparents and children get the care they need, when they need it most, and I’ve seen the relief on patients’ faces when they know it’s going to be all right.
In addition, here's 15 more ACA/healthcare-related stories you might have missed: