Health & Wellness / Politics

Obamacare On the Ropes – Choices in Health Coverage Coming Back!


Big changes are coming to the runaway costs, crazy-high premiums, and loss of individual decision-making that attends America’s bloated, federally mandated Obamacare health program.  Forget the tens of millions kicked off private insurance, those forced to forfeit chosen doctors, penalized by a quantum leap in premiums, empirically less coverage, and tax penalties.  Change is afoot.

Two changes are worth noting.  The first is a hands-down victory for average consumers.  On top of President Trump’s push to lower prescription costs with a combination of increased oversight, transparency and cost reductions, a federal court last week ruled that the Trump Administration can go forward with a plan that returns choice to consumers.

The Trump Administration is about restoring choices or promoting individual liberty.  Taken as a whole, the administration believes in reducing or limiting federal mandates, lowering taxes, rolling back regulations on individuals and small businesses, and less government intrusion.  That applies in the health care sector.

Thus, they have championed – and last week won legal authority to offer – a return to the choice of your own health-care plan.  If you do not want to have an expensive, high premium, government-run, buy-it-or-we-penalize-you, health plan, you can now choose a lower cost, smaller and more manageable plan.  The federal government will not coerce you to buy what you do not need or want.

Radical idea, right?  You get a choice over your own health care plan.  Specifically, a Washington district court judge ruled that “short term” health plans, lower priced and offering less coverage – not necessarily including pre-existing conditions – can be purchased.  The market is allowed.  Choice is returned to the citizen, not taken by the government. 

Predictably, in the era of Democratic presidential candidates pushing “Medicare for all” – or socialized medicine and Soviet-style “breadlines” for health care, paid for by make-believe money – we should not be surprised that Democrats are upset.  They do not like this return of power to the people.  But there it is.  Yes, the federal ruling will be appealed, but odds are it sticks.

Now turn the page.  Victory number two.  In sum, the Obamacare plan was reviewed by the US Supreme Court, and you may recall the esteemed Justice John Roberts – the swing vote who upheld a sea-change in health care – sided with the liberal wing and called Obamacare constitutional. 

In a nutshell, he did this by claiming it was within “taxing authority” of the federal government.  Why?  Because Obamacare had a provision that penalized people for not buying it, and Roberts conveniently deemed that a “tax.”  Hanging the monstrosity on that single provision in the legislation, for which not a single Republican voted, he claimed it was constitutional.

Now comes a return to sanity, or common sense understanding of the law.  In 2017, as part of the Trump-led and Republican-passed tax reduction package, a provision was included that stripped out the penalty provision from Obamacare.  While good, that change also had major legal implications for constitutionality of the entire Obamacare law.

The provision on which Justice Roberts hung his vote – and on which Obamacare presumably depended – is now gone.  For that reason, the bell is tolling for Obamacare.  If it goes, Americans may be free again of the law’s many and onerous mandates.  They may have a wider return to choice over their futures – and the future quality and cost of their health care.

Last week, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals – traditionally a constitutionally-strict circuit – heard legal arguments on the question of whether, without the taxing or penalizing provision, the entire Obamacare law can be still be viewed as constitutional.  Arguments were strong that the law has lost the constitutional leg on which it balanced, and so should fall. 

Keep your eyes on the Fifth Circuit and Supreme Court now.  If the Fifth Circuit follows the Supreme Court’s prior reasoning, and affirms on review or passes on accepting certiorari, the outcome will be important, even extraordinary:  Americans will get their health care system back. 

What then?  First, the 20 million who got booted off their private insurance and forced into Obamacare, which then claimed them as “newly insured” – and all America – will have their free choice back.  That will mean better care, lower premiums, and no more clumsy, ill-advised and unaccountable mandates.

Congress and the President will then have to act, legislatively or by executive power, to assure those in poverty or near the line, who might otherwise fall through the cracks, are not forgotten.  Congress should adopt ideas offered during Reagan and Bush 41 administrations, allow networks of private individuals and businesses to pool bargaining power and negotiate with private insurers to lower rates, assuring or incentivizing coverage for preexisting conditions and catastrophic insurance coverage. 

If all this sounds like a hopeful return to common sense – it is.  Americans of every age and disposition, health condition and demographic, region and economic level would then breathe easier.  Gaps would be filled, and options restored, with a sense of balance and connection to the individual.

We are all interested in good health, but the predicate for good health for each American – is preserving their choices.  The Administration and thoughtful courts appear to be coming around to the idea – and not a moment too soon.   So, in closing, here’s to your good health!

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2 years ago

Finally some common sense!

2 years ago

What we really need is association plans. Obamacare made them illegal. There was no undrwriting in these plans, so preexisting conditions were not a factor. We went from paying $400 a month to $1100 for just 2 people once we couldn’t get these plans. Of course we got less coverage.
The reason the Republicans failed is because paul Ryan’s wife was making 6 figures lobbying for Blue Cross/BS. That should be illegal.

Jim Young
2 years ago

This is just one more reason that Americans need to keep President Trump in office for as long as he wants to service us. Democrats are off base when you have such a large business as the U.S. Government, you have to balance the budget every year. Printing money with no return during the physical year is sure bankruptcy. It has always caused the same for governments who have practiced it.

Paula F Winne
2 years ago

The sad part is after ACA who really believes the health insurers are going to lower premiums. I have the ACA bronze plan which basically covers nothing and it is more than premiums before ACA for much better coverage. This is pure profit for the insurers and I can’t imagine they will lower premiums.

Carol H
2 years ago

I was one of the unlucky to have lost their health care. After paying outrageous amounts for the “privilege” of health care coverage a doctor mistake sent me to the emergency room and my “insurance ” did not cover because after nine hours in the ER I was sent home. It cost me in the end over 10k. I have not had “insurance” since. I’m also old enough to retire but not old enough for Medicare. I hope the President fixes this so I can be insured. Hopefully congress will get off their collective backsides and do something to which they are hired to do

2 years ago

As my mother used to say, “One can only hope.” ? Oh! and also, “We’ll see.”

You might check out Proverbs 22: 2, 7 and 9.

2 years ago

Now we all know why BHO jumped into healthcare reform at the get go. The intention was to get things so tangled it could not be fixed. (8 years to do that)
Watch, the mess correcting it becomes. Why do you think all the dems are saying they will give single payer healthcare? They expect us (you and I) to come begging them for it when the disastrous mess BHO created becomes full blown. They believe we will call them hero’s and thank them. What do you say, let’s not give them what they want, and instead wait out the necessary hardships.

2 years ago

As my mother used to say, “One can always hope.”?

2 years ago

As most of you probably already know, the illegal aliens from all Countries have been quite ILLEGALLY getting $600 BILLION in benefits from our Nation. Welfare food stamps, housing assistance, and FREE college, our children never received. Not to mention interpreters for their children in our Schools. I cannot get any answers as to WHY they continue to let it happen! But they do, and democrats LOVE giving away our money to them. Sadly all of their medical needs are paid for by us and written OFF by the Hospitals which is hurting Americans. I pray you ALL lift your voices to have our LAWS enforced and this gifting of our hard earned money just handed to those who do NOT deserve it and never worked a minute for it. I have yelled and screamed at my Democratic senators and Congressman here in Va. but I am ignored. Insurance costs can come down, and are tied to how much it costs our Medical centers and Hospitals to run. Illegals are draining us dry. They also have Health care through Obamacare, and that cost has not yet been estimated. Let’s take America back! It belongs to us, I do not hate anyone, and legal Law abiding immigration is good, but the numbers must be controlled. We have become a swinging door to all Nations. Lift up your voices! DO what the Democratic constituency does….they call and complain over and over until our conservative voices are drowned out. Liberals do not even act as if we exist!

2 years ago
Reply to  LumbeeIndian

You are correct. The invasion of illegals is destroying our country. Now they want to take in hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans. We cannot help them all. Democrats want them here to allow them to illegally vote for Democrats. Venezuelans must fix their own country, just like Americans do. We can assist them in their own country.

2 years ago
Reply to  LumbeeIndian

Don’t give up! None of us can afford to.

2 years ago

My opinion , one of the biggest problems with healthcare is liability/lawsuits in USA. Need a major limit on tort reform, so that Doctors/Hospitals do not have to pay high cost of liability insurance & lawsuits that award millions of dollars. I know of several doctors or hospitals that will not deliver babies due to liability ?? Also , the high cost of prescription drugs are due to lawsuits & need to charge more to save up for the one in thousand person that has side effects from medicine. But , do not see any mention of this in press cuz guess nobody was to upset the lawyers ?? Look at the tobacco settlement, and who got the most billions out of that ???(lawyers) And do not even try to tell me that you do not understand with your own mind that smoking is bad for you …….

Keith H
2 years ago

We use to have great health care before Obamie. Now it’s crap and it costs a fortune. I thank God I’m healthy. And don’t have any. Early 60’s and no health care. Stupid Roberts and Stupid McCain. If it wasn’t for those 2 fools, it would be long gone by now !! Please drive a stake in the heart of this crap ObamieCare !!! Our social security goes to people who don’t deserve it and now the Dumocrats are going to give Medicare away to everybody before I even have a chance at signing up for it. Way to go you welfare bum politicians !!! Wish I had all that money I’ve been paying into this Ponzi scheme all these years. Worthless politicians !!!

2 years ago

THANK GOD, THANK GOD, THANK GOD! I am one of the self employed people with a small business that was told my carrier no longer offered individual plans. This has come close to bankrupting me. I have had my own insurance since I was 18. I’m now 60, the last 4 years have cost me $650.00 a month with a $6000.00 deductible! With NO other option. After being a contractor for the last 40 years I’ve had two spine surgeries, both covered by insurance. Now I need injections several times a year to manage the pain, each procedure cost me in excess of $2000.00! This is what individuals and small businesse owners are up against with Obamacare. Choosing between living in pain and trying to work or feeding the family. Insane! If It goes to single payer it WILL become ; ” you don’t have to live in pain, just die.” Thank God for President Trump! If you think the other party would care about us you are a FOOL! Four more years, please.

2 years ago

I know i will get all kinds of dislikes but i am 65 years old and haven’t had any medical insurance for abt 30 years. 30 years ago i was paying almost $800 a month and on a surgery Blue Cross and Blue Shield paid $800 on a $15,000 hospital bill sticking me, that trusted I was covered, eating the rest. I now take those monthly premiums and bank it. Gamble, maybe but at 65 my money is my money and actual,y haven’t needed a dime in medical since the 1990’s. Do the math! I never bought into the Obamacare garbage but of course had to pay the tax. Now that is over also! My problem with medical insurance is they don’t pay a dime for alternative medicine which is my choice…always. Never saw the reality of the cut, burn and drug way of doing things we are led to believe as the right choice.

Penny P Rayfield
2 years ago

It’s about time. Some things done to the citizens of our great country have needed to be ”set free” from the powers that be. Decisions made for a choice few are wrong. Thank the Lord for ”reversing the curse” on behalf of all.

Ed Curtis
2 years ago


2 years ago

Remember,we are a Republic. Smaller government is always better. Just watch for cracks, so nobody falls.

2 years ago

I am in Missouri, retired early, (62), try getting health insurance! Yes, I make too much for most ACA plans. Only one available here, AmBetter. More than $2,300 per month!
Let’s hope more options become available soon………

2 years ago

That is what we really need now !!!!!

Fred A Loe
2 years ago

The same should apply to those of us whose doctors we like no longer can afford to take Medicare part B.Also the law George W Bush past penalizing higher income folks with larger, and larger Medicare part B premiums.Well I am also eligible for VA health benefits.I think it is socialistic to charge different premiums for the same Insurance. I go with best doctors and preventive care over Medicare providers everytime

Chris Emerson
2 years ago

So sorry fellow country men i didn’t prof read my response ,hope you get what I’m trying to say.

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