The Alan Katz Health Care Reform Blog

Health Care Reform From One Person's Perspective

And the Winners Are … Maybe

Posted by Alan on June 28, 2012


According to SCOTUSblog, the winners are the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the administration of President Barack Obama and the individual mandate … as a tax. But as Amy Howe of that blog notes “It’s very complicated, so we’re still figuring it out.” Chief Justice Roberts joined with the more liberal members of the Court to find the individual mandate (such as it is) constitutional.

So, bottom line: the PPACA is upheld. Yes, the Medicaid provision that allows the federal government to terminate state’s Medicaid funds if they fail to expand coverage to 133% of the federal poverty level is limited a bit through a strict reading of the provision, but the bottom line is the bottom line: the PPACA

The sky is not falling as of yet. The Republic survives. And the Chief Justice, appointed by President George W. Bush (not Justice Anthony Kennedy) is the swing vote. Few predicted that one.

The critical quote, again as reported by SCOTUSblog (which, really, anyone reading this as it’s written should just move over to that site) is “Our precedent demonstrates that Congress had the power to impose the exaction in Section 5000A under the taxing power, and that Section 5000A need not be read to do more than impose a tax. This is sufficient to sustain it.” Section 5000A being the individual mandate.

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2 Responses to “And the Winners Are … Maybe”

  1. I believe people who have not truly considered the long term impact of millions of individuals not having access to quality health care will eventually come around and appreciate what has happened. When we are faced with a critical medical issue ourselves or amongst our loved ones these issues take center stage. Just the pre-existing conditions aspects of the act will provide a protection for many people who today may not be aware of a condition they have but could bankrupt or even take their lives prematurely. There is a huge productivity loss associated with the inability to get adequate health insurance due to an existing condition and often through no fault of their own.

    Next, there are medical conditions driven by toxic habits that affect the cost of everyone’s health tab. Possibly, Americans will learn to focus more on personal responsibility and new improvements and innovations in self-reliance could stimulate a greater use of preventative care.

    All in all, tax or no tax, health care is is a huge social issue besides political and legal. The good news is that Americans have been tuned into an issue that was largely previously ignored as not my problem if you don’t have or can’t get health insurance. Going forward, America can work on reducing the overall cost of providing health care through a multi-dimensional approach including consumer education and emphasis on preventative care, etc. As a licensed Los Angeles, California health agent I see people without health coverage largely due to cost. Ironically, California has long made health insurance consumer and business friendly via strong and effective legislation. The California business community has long provided a great safety net for individuals who could never afford the full cost of coverage on their own. I believe that the advent of new health exchanges and future innovations here in California will once again provide leadership to the rest of the country since the state has a tremendous track record in providing innovative health care solutions to individuals and small business,

    I am speaking on behalf of my agency.

    Thank you Alan for your time and effort in providing reflective thought, information, consultation, and guidance on all of the above.

  2. jim said

    Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, I’m free at last!

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