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A look at the ruling upholding Obamacare

Friday, June 29, 2012

(Photo)
An opponent of President Barack Obama's health care law demonstrates outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Thursday, June 28, 2012, before the court's ruling on the law. The Supreme Court's decision Thursday to uphold President Barack Obama's historic overhaul is expected to be a boon to most of the health care industry by making coverage more affordable for millions of uninsured Americans.
(AP Photo/David Goldman)
Download a copy of the ruling by clicking here

WHAT DOES THE RULING MEAN TO ME?

The Supreme Court decision upholding President Barack Obama's health care law affects nearly every American. The law tells almost everyone they must have health coverage and guarantees it will be available to them even if they are already ill or need hugely expensive care. It helps the poor and many middle-class people afford coverage.

WHAT THE JUSTICES SAID

The high court upheld almost all of the law, including the most disputed part: the mandate that virtually all Americans have health insurance or pay a fine. The court said that fine is essentially a tax, and that's why the government has the power to impose it.

The ruling limited the law's plan to expand the Medicaid insurance program for the poor, a joint effort of the federal government and states. It says the U.S. government cannot withhold a state's entire Medicaid allotment if it doesn't participate in the expansion.

Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the court's four liberal justices -- Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor -- to form the 5-4 majority.

HUGE POLITICAL IMPACT

The court upheld Obama's signature legislative achievement. Final word from the court amplifies the most polarizing issue of his re-election campaign against Republican Mitt Romney.

GOP lawmakers and Romney have promised to repeal the law if they are in power after the November election.

WHAT NOW?

The 2010 health care law will keep taking effect. It's expected to bring coverage to about 30 million uninsured people. Overall, more than 9 in 10 eligible Americans will be covered.

Some parts are already in effect: Young adults can stay on their parents' insurance up to age 26. Insurers can't deny coverage to children with health problems. Limits on how much policies will pay out to each person over a lifetime are eliminated. Hundreds of older people already are saving money through improved Medicare prescription benefits. And co-payments for preventive care for all ages have been eliminated.

WHAT'S NEXT?

Starting in 2014, almost everyone will be required to be insured or pay a fine. There are subsidies to help people who can't afford coverage. Most employers will face fines if they don't offer coverage for their workers. Newly created insurance markets will make it easier for individuals and small businesses to buy affordable coverage. And Medicaid will be expanded to cover more low-income people.

Insurers will be prohibited from denying coverage to people with medical problems or charging those people more. They won't be able to charge women more, either. During the transition to 2014, a special program for people with pre-existing health problems helps these people get coverage.

An assortment of tax increases, health industry fees and Medicare cuts will help pay for the changes.

STILL, NOT EVERYONE WILL BE COVERED

An estimated 26 million people will remain without coverage once the law is fully implemented, including illegal immigrants, people who don't sign up and choose to face the fines instead, and those who can't afford it even with the subsidies. That number could be higher, depending on whether any states refuse the Medicaid expansion.

THE TAXING TRUTH

When the law was before Congress, Obama and Democrats avoided calling its penalty for going uninsured a "tax." But the administration argued before the Supreme Court that the law was constitutional as a federal tax. The court rejected two other Obama administration arguments for the law but accepted the tax one.

In 2016, after the law is fully in place, about 4 million people will pay the penalty to the Internal Revenue Service for being uninsured, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated. They would pay $695 per uninsured adult or 2.5 percent of family income, up to $12,500 per year.

The IRS can't prosecute violators or place liens against them, however. Its only enforcement option may be withholding money from refunds.

WHAT ARE REPUBLICANS SAYING?

"Obamacare was bad law yesterday. It's bad law today," Romney said after the ruling.

The Republican-led House already has voted for repeal but can't push it forward so long as Obama's in the White House and Democrats lead the Senate -- making the November elections crucial.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell called the court decision "a fresh start on the road to repeal."

OBAMA'S REACTION

Obama says the decision upholds the fundamental principle that in the wealthiest nation on earth, no one should be ruined financially by an illness or accident.

He called it "a victory for people all over this country whose lives will be more secure because of this law."

ABOUT THAT MANDATE

Many parts of the law have proven popular. But the insurance mandate is widely disliked.

Each time AP has asked in polls, more than 8 in 10 Americans have said the government should not have the right to require everyone to buy health insurance.

The public also has tilted against the law as a whole over the two years since it was passed. About half opposed it and a third were in favor in an AP-GfK poll shortly before the Supreme Court ruled.


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Comments
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It will now be up to Congress and our States to fight this monstrosity that is Obama Care.

Our Representative, Jo Ann Emerson will not be the one to lead the fight for the Repeal of this Act. See her exchange with President Obama and see if you'll trust her to fight for you on this issue.

http://www.semissourian.com/opinion/spea...

Her Republican Primary Opponent is Bob Parker. He will lead the fight on the total repeal of this legislation as he has fought and won many battles for our Property Rights here in Missouri. Learn more about Bob Parker at

http://www.electbobparker.com/

Research the Record and Vote your Conscience in the Primary on August 7th

-- Posted by ddshea on Thu, Jun 28, 2012, at 2:58 PM

I agree well said

-- Posted by swampeastmissouri on Thu, Jun 28, 2012, at 4:45 PM

So you are saying that if we support the Supreme Court and their ruling, we should NOT vote for Parker. Correct?

-- Posted by Reasoning on Thu, Jun 28, 2012, at 5:24 PM

I have worked with several people who could afford to play bingo, smoke and drink, but said they could not afford insurance, with the company. I don't think it is constitutional, to make hard working people pay for freeloaders way. I think most hard working, self supporting people feel the same.

-- Posted by snappy pappy on Thu, Jun 28, 2012, at 9:09 PM

Well said snappy pappy, and believe me with this health care law the freeloaders will come out in groves and yes we middle class will pay for it.

-- Posted by swampeastmissouri on Fri, Jun 29, 2012, at 6:56 AM

The insured have always been paying for health care for the uninsured, now it's just official.

-- Posted by commenter on Fri, Jun 29, 2012, at 1:03 PM

"An estimated 26 million people will remain without coverage once the law is fully implemented, including illegal immigrants,"

They may not be "covered" but they will get medical care. It is illegal to deny medical treatment to an illegal (or anyone else) if they need it in this country. All hospitals know this. So illegals will get free medical care.

"There are subsidies to help people who can't afford coverage" - hello Chomp??? Did you read this? Hmm.... so there are millions that will get care and won't pay for it. Another statement that contradicts you. Get educated on this bill.

-- Posted by Dug on Fri, Jun 29, 2012, at 9:15 PM

This sounds like the old USSR, force people to do what you want them to do ? Vote in nov and get this bunch out of office, we can not stand another 4 years of these morons. It is a shame we can't vote out the supreme court to.

-- Posted by ssinteriors on Sat, Jun 30, 2012, at 7:22 AM

This is a good thing. Now people with pr-exisisting conditions can get insurance and they cannot be charged more than other people. What's wrong with that? Taxpayers pay for the un-insured anyway, through higher costs that the hospitals and doctors must charge to make up for what they don't get from the un-insured. So just relax, people, and do the right thing by supporting the health care law.

-- Posted by Make no mistake about it on Sat, Jun 30, 2012, at 11:53 AM

Relax - about socialized medicine?

What are you going to do when the government - who will make all decisions on insurance coverage with Obamacare - decides that preventative breast screenings will not be covered for women until age 50? How will you like that with NO choice?

Oh wait - the Obama administration DID make that decision already. Then backtracked later when people screamed about it. You have no clue what you are supporting - no clue. It's all cotton candy and ponies isn't it?

-- Posted by Dug on Sat, Jun 30, 2012, at 4:26 PM

Dug, you don't understand how things work. If the government says screenings don't need to be done then insurance companies will certainly change their coverage to reflect that, regardless if this new plan is in effect or not.

-- Posted by Make no mistake about it on Sat, Jun 30, 2012, at 5:39 PM

Dug, I suggest you actually read a little more about it. There are many good things in this. Please don't throw out the baby with the bath water.

-- Posted by Make no mistake about it on Sat, Jun 30, 2012, at 5:41 PM

Hmmm, one suggested unintended side-effect -

"How Obamacare Could Help You Retire Earlier" - http://www.dailyfinance.com/2012/06/29/h...

Perhaps behind every cloud, there is a silver lining. :-)~

-- Posted by fxpwt on Sat, Jun 30, 2012, at 6:31 PM

Dug, you don't understand how things work. If the government says screenings don't need to be done then insurance companies will certainly change their coverage to reflect that, regardless if this new plan is in effect or not. -- Posted by Make no mistake about it on Sat, Jun 30, 2012, at 5:39 PM

Make - it won't work that way. Insurance will have *no* say in this. Have you missed the controversy lately where Obama told the Catholic Church they *must* provide abortion coverage and contraception for all their employees or be fined? What do you think that was? I'll tell you, it is simply the way things will be. When the Obama administration says no breast cancer screenings until age 50 no insurance company will be able to disagree. If so, why doesn't the Catholic Church just disagree?

-- Posted by Dug on Sat, Jun 30, 2012, at 10:00 PM

Chomp - did you read fxpwt's link above. Pay special attention to the part that says taxpayers will foot the bill for those up to 400% of the poverty level.

The truth hurts - wrong again.

-- Posted by Dug on Sat, Jun 30, 2012, at 10:16 PM

I am not sure what the right answer is regarding healthcare care, but something needs to happen. Our healthcare system is ridiculous!! In my opinion due away with LOBBYIST!! This should NOT be allowed.

-- Posted by MINT4U on Tue, Sep 25, 2012, at 1:20 PM


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