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ACA 2016

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 

Since we are on the cusp of the SCOTUS possibly fucking over millions of people, I thought it would be worth it to bring this story to light.

 

David King...the 'King' in King vs. Burwell case the ACA case that  SCOTUS is about to rule on...was interviewed in the NYT.

 

 

Long story short....the guy is in the asshole, "I've got mine, screw everyone else" crowd.

:

Top Plaintiff in Health Subsidies Case Awaits Edict Unperturbed

 

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — Millions of people are waiting anxiously for the Supreme Court to decide the fate of President Obama’s health care law with a ruling this month on health insurance subsidies. But David M. King, a plaintiff in the case, is not among them.

 

Mr. King, 64, said recently that he was reasonably confident he would prevail in his challenge to the subsidies, a central element of the Affordable Care Act.

“We have a good chance of winning,” he said in an interview at his home here.

 

Mr. King and three other Virginia residents are challenging the payment of subsidies in states like Virginia that depend on the federal insurance marketplace.


They contend that the 2010 health care law allows subsidies only in states that establish their own marketplaces.

 

But Mr. King said that he was not really worried about the outcome of the case, King v. Burwell, because as a Vietnam veteran, he has access to medical care through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

 

<cont>

post #2 of 44
What's interesting about this is how rolling back part of Obamacare may actually hurt the Republicans, who've spent the past five years, ahem, trying to roll back Obamacare.
post #3 of 44
post #4 of 44
Your Republican Congressman won't tell you this, but he's breathing a sigh of relief right now. What a mess this would have been for them.
post #5 of 44
Thread Starter 

As someone that has benefited from the ACA implementation, I am relieved that this decision was released.

 

What will be interesting is to hear from those that oppose(d) the ACA....many will twist themselves into Gordian knots of anger.

 

Also, I want to read the SCOTUS dissension opinion (Scalia?) it should be filled with irrationality and anger.

post #6 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by VTRan View Post

 

Also, I want to read the SCOTUS dissension opinion (Scalia?) it should be filled with irrationality and anger.

I believe he called the majority opinion "applesauce," which is a fantastic euphemism for "bullshit."

post #7 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangy View Post
 

I believe he called the majority opinion "applesauce," which is a fantastic euphemism for "bullshit."

He also said that the Act should be renamed "SCOTUScare" instead of "Obamacare".

post #8 of 44

Another good line from Scalia:

 

"The Court’s next bit of interpretive jiggery-pokery involves other parts of the Act that purportedly presuppose the availability of tax credits on both federal and state Exchanges."

post #9 of 44

Statists uphold the State.  News at 11.

post #10 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TzuDohNihm View Post
 

Statists uphold the State.  News at 11.


Is that is all you take away from this...?

post #11 of 44
Thread Starter 

I saw these paragraphs highlighted over at Slate...these are wise words...especially in contrast to Scalia's temper tantrum.

 

 

That said, the jury is still out on whether or not Roberts will be looked at as someone who actually holds the SCOTUS and law above the tide of partisan politics. <cough...Citizen's United....cough>

post #12 of 44

You have to love Scalia's dissent. In one part, he argues against the majority's opinion that, though the wording was ambiguous, it was clearly Congress's intent to have all exchanges treated equally in terms of tax credits by saying that, in doing so, the majority is leaving behind the plain meaning of words. He then argues that the intent of the bill was clearly to have states make their own exchanges, so by ruling as they did, the majority is not following the intent of the bill.

 

Basically, he argues both that the intent of the law doesn't matter, while using (his interpretation) of the intent of the law to support his own position.

post #13 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by VTRan View Post
 


Is that is all you take away from this...?

I can answer this:

 

It's Tzu Doh Nim. OF COURSE that's all he took from it.

post #14 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by dynamotv View Post

Your Republican Congressman won't tell you this, but he's breathing a sigh of relief right now. What a mess this would have been for them.

 

No kidding.  So much of Republican electoral strategy depends on having windmills to tilt at, such that they would be fairly immediately screwed if one were to actually be toppled.

post #15 of 44

Or another analogy would be that the GOP electoral strategy is like dogs chasing a car.   What would they do if they actually caught one?

post #16 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post
 

 

No kidding.  So much of Republican electoral strategy depends on having windmills to tilt at, such that they would be fairly immediately screwed if one were to actually be toppled.

 

Who want's to bet that, despite this decision,  there will still be some GOP Congress members that will still try to get Congress to vote to repeal the ACA?

As I understand it now, if the GOP can't repeal it, they are going to try and de-fund it. If they are successful in doing this they will then come along and say "see, we told you it doesn't work".

IMO, The majority of the GOP are just fucking nihilistic assholes at this point.

 

 

GOP 2016 Candidates Vow to Continue Fight Against Obamacare:

"I am disappointed by today's Supreme Court ruling in the King v. Burwell case. But this decision is not the end of the fight against Obamacare," former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said in a statement.

 

"Today's Supreme Court ruling upholding the administration's implementation of ObamaCare means Republicans in the House and Senate must redouble their efforts to repeal and replace this destructive and costly law," Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who is expected to launch a presidential campaign next month, said in a statement.

 

Any candidate not willing to make 2016 a referendum on Repealing Obamacare should step aside https://t.co/6i4WzLFzKR #FullRepeal

— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz)

June 25, 2015

 

"I remain committed to repealing this bad law and replacing it with my consumer-centered plan that puts patients and families back in control of their health care decisions," Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said.

 

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry said, "While I disagree with the ruling, it was never up to the Supreme Court to save us from Obamacare. We need leadership in the White House that recognizes the folly of having to pass a bill to know what's in it."

post #17 of 44

What I have always wanted to know is what plan Republicans have to replace the ACA. I realize that there is none, but I am just not sure how you create health reform that covers more people and is more friendly to the insurance industry, big pharma, and hospital associations than the ACA. I kow that they don't actually care about reducing the number of uninsured Americans pre-ACA, but they all pay lip service to how this is a major issue. So how do you combat this issue in a way that is more market friendly than the ACA? I'm dying to find out.

post #18 of 44
Thread Starter 

for historical purposes....   : )

 

King v Burwell Petitioner's Full Oral Argument

post #19 of 44
post #20 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangy View Post
 

Justice Scalia is a Sad, Sad Man

 

I have a semantic disagreement with one small thing in that essay....
 

Quote:

It’s hard to argue with reasoning that straightforward, but that brings us to our sad, strange little man. Justice Scalia not only dissented from the opinion, he offered a rant unmoored from any legal principle other than his political opposition to the law. For a guy who rails against legislating from the bench, he sure wants to relegislate a lot.

 

It should read "...unmooped from any legal principle"

post #21 of 44
It's been five years, and I'm still trying to wrap my brain around the psychology of people who DON'T want Americans to have access to affordable health care. Are they sociopaths? They realize this law benefits them too, right? I mean, I have insurance through my job, but I pay less for my meds than I ever have under any company health care plan.
post #22 of 44
I'm willing to bet that even if a Republican gets in the Whitehouse, they won't repeal the ACA. Or they will repeal and replace with the exact same thing under a new name.
post #23 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradito View Post

It's been five years, and I'm still trying to wrap my brain around the psychology of people who DON'T want Americans to have access to affordable health care. Are they sociopaths? They realize this law benefits them too, right? I mean, I have insurance through my job, but I pay less for my meds than I ever have under any company health care plan.


This is a comment I made on another forum in regards to the (majority of?) GOP's current ideology.

 

<excerpt>:

The economic ills we suffer have come upon us over several decades. They will not go away in days, weeks, or months, but they will go away. They will go away because we as Americans have the capacity now, as we've had in the past, to do whatever needs to be done to preserve this last and greatest bastion of freedom.

In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we've been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden. The solutions we seek must be equitable, with no one group singled out to pay a higher price.

Saint Ronnie Reagan
Inaugural Address
January 20, 1981

------
A whole generation of republicans took that bold text above as literal and then ran with it.
The GOP came to revel in decimating programs and policies the are widely beneficial to the American populace....and then, with no small amount of irony, stand up and say, "Look at these programs...they don't work...we told you so."
 

post #24 of 44

A friend's tweet:

 

*Scalia slumps through the door and tosses his keys on the kitchen island*

*his wife slinks in dressed as James Madison*

"No. Not today"

post #25 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by dynamotv View Post

Or another analogy would be that the GOP electoral strategy is like dogs chasing a car.   What would they do if they actually caught one?

One wonders what the GOP would have left to campaign on if they were ever to accidentally succeed at outlawing abortion nationwide. It's amazing that they've been able to fool their constituents, the way Lucy fooled Charile Brown with the football, for as long as they have.
post #26 of 44

Ha, apparently part of Roberts' decision quoted Scalia's dissent in a prior case.

post #27 of 44
Thread Starter 

Because, of course it is a conspiracy....

 

from the Blaze-

Quote:

Was Supreme Court Justice John Roberts Blackmailed?

 

It’s time to start asking the question. It’s time to be cynical. It’s time to assume the worst of this government.

Has Supreme Court Justice John Roberts been blackmailed or intimidated?

 

I would put nothing by the Obama administration that lives and rules by the Chicago thug playbook.

<cont>

post #28 of 44

Any guesses who voted for cert? I'm sure we can put the Three Stooges in there (Alito, Scalia, and Thomas),  but who else?  Kennedy? I would normally guess Roberts, but I picked up some annoyance in his decision when I read it, like he was irritated that they even had to hear this ridiculous case.

post #29 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradito View Post

It's been five years, and I'm still trying to wrap my brain around the psychology of people who DON'T want Americans to have access to affordable health care. Are they sociopaths? They realize this law benefits them too, right? I mean, I have insurance through my job, but I pay less for my meds than I ever have under any company health care plan.


That's just it.  They don't realize the law benefits them too, and no amount of evidence will convince them otherwise.  Certain media outlets and pundits have convinced them that the law has caused their health insurance to go up, caused them to have to switch health insurance, or WILL make them have to change to more expensive health insurance in the future because ZOMG SOCIALISM FOR REALZ GUYZ!

 

Most of the people complaining about the ACA were barely affected by it at all, or blame any increase on their premiums on the law while conveniently ignoring that premiums had ramped up sharply for several years leading up to the passage of the ACA.

post #30 of 44
Thread Starter 

IMO, this is looong overdue.....
 

Quote:

AMA Calls for Ban on Direct to Consumer Advertising of Prescription Drugs and Medical Devices

 

For immediate release:
Nov. 17, 2015

ATLANTA –Responding to the billions of advertising dollars being spent to promote prescription products, physicians at the Interim Meeting of the American Medical Association (AMA) today adopted new policy aimed at driving solutions to make prescription drugs more affordable.

 

Physicians cited concerns that a growing proliferation of ads is driving demand for expensive treatments despite the clinical effectiveness of less costly alternatives.

 

“Today’s vote in support of an advertising ban reflects concerns among physicians about the negative impact of commercially-driven promotions, and the role that marketing costs play in fueling escalating drug prices,” said AMA Board Chair-elect Patrice A. Harris, M.D., M.A. “Direct-to-consumer advertising also inflates demand for new and more expensive drugs, even when these drugs may not be appropriate.”

 

The United States and New Zealand are the only two countries in the world that allow direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs. Advertising dollars spent by drug makers have increased by 30 percent in the last two years to $4.5 billion, according to the market research firm Kantar Media.

 

New AMA policy also calls for convening a physician task force and launching an advocacy campaign to promote prescription drug affordability by demanding choice and competition in the pharmaceutical industry, and greater transparency in prescription drug prices and costs.

 

<cont>

post #31 of 44

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/28/us/kentucky-beacon-for-health-law-now-a-lab-for-its-retreat.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur&_r=0

 

Despite the surprising win for Democrats in Louisiana (which could lead to Medicaid expansion there), I still think this loss in Kentucky overshadows any other victory.  Kynect was a success story, and people who have benefited from it are now scrambling to get stuff done.  Granted, some of the people in this story scrambling didn't even bother to vote, but that's a story all on its own. 

 

Laura Miles' story toward the end of the article, though, was a rough one to read - and further proof that the law needs improvements.

post #32 of 44

I've been convinced that Gov. Bevin would be dismantling Kynect until it was completely ineffectual, but maybe Democrats were right after all that politicians would have a difficult time getting rid of the Affordable Care Act's benefits once citizens got them:

 

http://www.vox.com/2016/1/6/10720958/obamacare-kentucky-bevin-medicaid

post #33 of 44
Thread Starter 

This is worth sharing...

 

https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2016/03/03/brents-letter-president-you-saved-my-life

http://letterstopresidentobama.tumblr.com/post/140398509929/meet-brent-brown-from-mosinee-wisconsin-he-never
 

Quote:

Meet Brent Brown from Mosinee, Wisconsin. He never voted for President Obama, but in June, he wrote to the President thanking him for saving his life.

President Obama is traveling to Wisconsin today to talk with Americans like Brent who were able to sign up for health coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act. The city of Milwaukee won the President’s Healthy Communities Challenge by signing up 89,000 people for health coverage.

Check out Brent’s letter to the President, and follow along today as President Obama visits Wisconsin:


 

:

To My President,

 

I sincerely hope that this reaches you, as far too often praise is hard to come by. Apologies to people who deserve it perhaps even less so.

 

I did not vote for you. Either time. I have voted Republican for the entirety of my life.

 

I proudly wore pins and planted banners displaying my Republican loyalty. I was very vocal in my opposition to you–particularly the ACA.

 

Before I briefly explain my story allow me to first say this: I am so very sorry. I understand written content cannot convey emotions very well–but my level of conviction has me in tears as I write this. I was so very wrong. So very very wrong.

 

You saved my life. I want that to sink into your ears and mind. My President, you saved my life, and I am eternally grateful.

 

I have a ‘pre-existing condition’ and so could never purchase health insurance. Only after the ACA came into being could I be covered. Put simply to not take up too much of your time if you are in fact taking the time to read this: I would not be alive without access to care I received due to your law.

 

So thank you from a dumb young man who thought he knew it all and who said things about you that he now regrets. Thank you for serving me even when I didn’t vote for you.

 

Thank you for being my President.

 

Honored to have lived under your leadership and guidance,

 

Brent Nathan Brown

post #34 of 44

 

"Thank you for serving me  when I didn't vote for you."

 

This right here is why I think this President will be remember fondly years later after the hateful nonsense and spin has died down. This law and many other actions the President has taken will not totally bear fruit until years after he is gone. He isn't perfect sure but people won't realize how good they have it until he's gone especially with the possibility of truly monstrous Republicans getting elected.  

post #35 of 44
Thread Starter 

A nice read from Karoli (one of the writers from DailyKos)
 

Quote:

A message for ACA haters, with love

 

I’m writing this here because this is purely personal and reflects my views and mine alone, not those of my employer.

Throughout this primary, I have tried to contain my frustration at the arguments over the Affordable Care Act. In particular, those which claim that it was just a corporate sellout, that it only benefited insurance companies and not people.

 

Every day, people benefit. Every day. People who now have Medicaid benefits; people who didn’t have the luxury of employer-sponsored insurance; people who would otherwise be excluded from having any insurance at all because they had a pre-existing condition. All of these people — 20 million at last count — benefit.

 

Instead of applauding that advance and criticizing the Republican governors who refuse to expand Medicaid and achieve near-universal coverage, you complain about what a “sellout” it was.

 

It’s almost as if those who make that argument would rather that people like me just suffered with nothing rather than benefit from something. No one argues that it’s perfect, but when you’ve got 50 separate states with 50 separate laws on healthcare policy, it’s pretty damn close to exceptional.

 

Yet. It’s never something worth applauding to you people. Instead, I hear you grouse about how insurance companies got things. How pharma companies got things. How it’s imperfect, and flawed, etc.

 

<cont>

post #36 of 44

Not the greatest news:

 

http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/276787-unitedhealth-pulling-out-of-most-obamacare-markets

 

Quote:
The moves by UnitedHealth, the nation’s largest health insurer, have drawn attention for what they could indicate about the sustainability of ObamaCare as a whole.  

The Obama administration has downplayed the importance of UnitedHealth, saying the insurer is a fairly small player in the marketplaces, with about 6 percent of all enrollees. The insurer’s coverage was often not priced competitively, officials have said.

post #37 of 44
Thread Starter 

I don't pretend to have high end accounting knowledge but about UnitedHealth bitching about losing money....

 

this is dated 4-19-2016 :

Health insurer UnitedHealth reports higher profit

 

Health insurer UnitedHealth reported a better-than-expected quarterly revenue helped by strength in its Optum business which offers healthcare services and drug benefit plans.

 

Optum revenues grew 54 percent to $19.7 billion. Revenue from Optum's pharmacy division rose 72 percent, the company said on Tuesday.

 

Net earnings attributable to the company's shareholders rose to $1.61 billion, or $1.67 per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, from $1.41 billion or $1.46 per share, a year earlier.

 

On an adjusted basis the health insurer earned $1.81 per share.

 

Revenue rose to $44.53 billion from $35.76 billion, beating analysts' average estimate of $43.96 billion.

 

The company now expects 2016 adjusted net earnings of $7.75-$7.95 per share, up 15 cents per share from its previous estimate. The increase is due to changes in the expected income tax rate, the company said.

 

Quote:

 

The nation’s largest health insurer saw a 19% drop in fourth-quarter profit in 2015 after lamenting financial hits on Obamacare insurance exchanges — but it still ended the year exceeding analysts’ expectations.

 

UnitedHealth (UNH) posted fourth-quarter earnings Tuesday of $1.22 billion, compared with $1.51 billion in the last three months of the previous year. Total revenue in the fourth quarter hit $43.6 billion, up 30% from the previous year’s fourth quarter.

 

<cont>

 

Oh, darn....they only made $1.2B instead of $1.5B.....fuck them.

post #38 of 44
Thread Starter 

Not that I didn't already know this but, wow, what an asshole....

 

 

John Stossel Uses Lung Cancer Diagnosis To Rain Haterade On US Health Care System

post #39 of 44

Interesting developments in Colorado regarding the possibility of a single payer system and the Democrats looking to squash that:

 

https://theintercept.com/2016/05/03/single-payer-dems-colo/

 

Quote:
A number of other Democratic firms have signed up to help defeat single payer, too. Hilltop Public Solutions, a firm managed by former campaign staffers to Barack Obama, was paid $45,000 by the group. Hilltop has also provided consulting services to Ready PAC, another Clinton-supporting Super PAC that eventually folded into the Clinton campaign.
post #40 of 44

The Supreme Court was split on this ACA contraception case:

 

https://www.yahoo.com/news/supreme-court-avoids-major-ruling-144116405.html

 

Quote:
The justices asked lower courts to take another look at the issue in a search for a compromise, issuing an unsigned, unanimous opinion. The case concerns the administration’s arrangement for sparing faith-based groups from having to pay for birth control for women covered under their health plans.
post #41 of 44
post #42 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron Maiden View Post
 

UnitedHealth is leaving California's ACA market as well:

 

http://money.cnn.com/2016/05/31/news/companies/unitedhealth-obamacare-california/index.html?section=money_latest

 

See my post above about the state of Unitied Health's finances.....it's all about greed/profit.

post #43 of 44

That mythical health plan Republicans have been talking about for over five years?  Well, they finally sort of released something:

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/22/us/politics/house-republicans-unveil-affordable-care-act-replacement.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur

 

Quote:

Many of the ideas — for “health savings accounts,” “high-risk pools” and sales of insurance across state lines — are familiar. Democrats in and out of Congress have for weeks been rehearsing their lines of attack.

 

Others are sure to be contentious. House Republicans would gradually increase the eligibility age for Medicare, which is now 65. Starting in 2020, the Medicare age would rise along with the eligibility age for full Social Security benefits, eventually reaching 67.

 

Following Mr. Ryan’s budget plans of recent years, the health proposal would transform Medicare into “a fully competitive market-based model known as premium support.” The traditional fee-for-service Medicare program would compete directly with private plans offered by companies like UnitedHealth, Aetna and Humana.

 

In their blueprint, to be formally unveiled on Wednesday, House Republicans say they would eliminate the requirement that most Americans carry health insurance. They would offer a flat tax credit to each person or family in the individual insurance market, regardless of income or the premium for a particular insurance policy.

 

House Republicans also said they would roll back the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid and give each state a fixed amount of money for each beneficiary or a lump sum of federal money for all of a state’s Medicaid program.

 

In addition, House Republicans would allow states to establish work requirements for able-bodied adults on Medicaid, requirements that the Obama administration has refused to permit. Under the House Republican plan, states could also “charge reasonable enforceable premiums or offer a limited benefit package” and use “waiting lists and enrollment caps” for certain groups of Medicaid beneficiaries.

 

Using these options and others proposed by House Republicans, states could profoundly reshape the Medicaid program, which provides health insurance to more than 70 million people at a federal cost of more than $350 billion a year.

 

Meanwhile, it turns out that the Affordable Care Act will cost less money than initially projected:

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/06/21/u-s-will-spend-2-6-trillion-less-on-health-care-than-expected-before-obamacare-study-projects/

 

Quote:

Expanding health insurance coverage to millions of Americans was bound to increase overall spending. After the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, the actuaries for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services projected that, as the economy recovered, the historically low growth in health spending would return to higher levels, reaching $4.6 trillion by 2019. But in the intervening years, the annual expenditure increases have been more modest than expected, and the new estimate from the Urban Institute suggests national health spending is on to track reach $4 trillion by 2019.

 

"When CMS originally made those projections, they really thought the slowdown in health-care spending [growth] was mostly due to the recession, and afterward we'd see a return to the higher rates of spending growth — and that didn't really happen," said Katherine Hempstead, a senior adviser at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which funded the new study by the Urban Institute.

 

Looking forward, the study's authors also point to recent evidence that a 2014 uptick in health spending that had seemed to signal a return to higher growth may have been temporary. If slower growth persists, they argue that it will become harder to argue that it is just the economy and not the cost containment policies enabled by the Affordable Care Act that are tempering spending.

 

Hempstead said it's becoming increasingly plausible that the federal policies included in the Affordable Care Act — and its ripple effects as programs implemented within Medicare influence the private market — are having a tempering effect.

post #44 of 44

I hate to follow up good news with bad, but...

 

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/07/05/financially-unstable-connecticut-obamacare-co-op-now-under-state-supervision.html

 

Quote:

Connecticut's financially "unstable" Obamacare health-insurance co-op was placed under state supervision on Tuesday, as regulators said 40,000 people covered by the company will ultimately have to find new plans for the coming year.

 

HealthyCT is the 14th of 23 original Obamacare co-ops to fail since they began selling health plans on government-run Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges. Several of the other remaining co-ops, at least, are believed to be on shaky financial ground.

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