Health & Wellness / Politics

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

obamacare

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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Read more articles by Robert B. Charles

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Todd Taylor

Government has no business being in health care.

Marie

It is about time. The Republicans could have done this 2 years ago when Trump took office – Control of both houses and a President willing to sign. Shame on them and Paul Ryan.

Hdrydr

It was never about “health care”. It was about CITIZEN CONTROL. A badly planned heist of our control of our health to further usher in the FAILED policies of SOCIALISM. Anything the government touches will end up costing more than it ever did before.

Todd Taylor

Competition will drive the cost down; government regulations drive the cost up.

Wayne

Want good health care? Get the government and insurance companies out of making the decisions for your doctor!

Emmett

Meanwhile at AARP, the fools there are hyping up Obamacare and trying to get it reinstated. Unless you’re a liberal, I don’t understand the attraction to AARP.

andy

Want something to get messed up, Give control to the government!!

Kay Carter

By signing the executive order last year allowing Americans to purchase short-term health insurance for more than just a few months, President Trump has already saved me thousands of dollars on insurance! With AMAC’s help, I was able to get a short-term health insurance policy that will bridge me to Medicare next year…at a monthly cost of under $300! HUGE savings over what Obamacare would cost me. Thank you, Mr. President!

Phil Hammersley

The cost of college skyrocketed in the 60s when the government started interfering. They have tenured professors who don’t teach (or teach communism) making big money by writing books and doing lecture tours.
Medical costs followed the same pattern. If the government or insurer will guarantee to pay any amount for something, doctors and hospital jack up what they charge.
They couldn’t charge what they do if the patient had to pay because the patient couldn’t pay! Also, the cost of extra bureaucrats and law suits don’t help!

Dave Campbell

I would rather not be the one throwing water on all this, but it needs to be said. That all sounds good, but the Democrats will “resist” all of this and find a way to make it not happen, or at least make it drag on for years until they gain power again, all the while dangling “free government healthcare for all” in front of thier deluded followers.

If you hate The United States of America, vote for Democrats.

gin

Not everyone is capable, but to the best of their ability, each person has to take care of themselves. It starts with diet. Check Dr. William Davis’ books. The whole world is getting in trouble eating too much of non nutritional foods. You definitely need medical care for accidents, necessary surgeries, etc., but too much of health need is due to irresponsible eating. Jon Barron and Life Extension are other good sources.

LumbeeIndian

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… Read more »

Steve

About time , it’s been since 08 . How much longer is it gonna TAKE !! Lose your job and can’t afford Healthcare and then get FINED !! For no insurance , Say What !!! Get this rule outta here !! I will believe it when Hilary is in a organge jumpsuit .

Marijayne Loveall

Here is what I dont understand I am home health aide There is no way I can afford insurance little alone through the company I am with. I can not be on any not even Medicaid Because I am not disabled or on s.s. oh by the way I live in Mo. And I am for our President. Thankyou for listening.

Carol

I would like to know how they will bring the price of premiums down. I understand that competition between insurance companies is key, but what I don’t understand is HOW. Insurance companies are gouging us with their high premiums and low coverage based upon the deductible you choose. How do they go backwards? I just don’t see it happening. By the time I pay for my premium, there is barely anything left. Let alone to actually need to go to the doctor and then pay out of pocket to get to my deductible. In my opinion, the whole medical insurance industry needs an overhaul. The democrats have gotten us so far under, that I am not sure anything can be salvaged. Of course, this is what they are hoping for. Get us to the breaking point, then pass the medicare for all.

Irv C

The worst thing was your doctor who dedicated his life to Medicine was taken out of the picture. I almost died and now have a dying liver thanks to insurance (Obamacare) blocking not one but THREE liver specialists from saving me. Doctors need final say Period! How is it a insurance adjuster can make life saving decisions that over rule a Specialist in Medicine? It was about money and culling Seniors. THAT is the Democratic Party. Evil, corrupt, pushing for communism in the end.
Trump is our Great hope. Why he sat
Back When Republicans had the House & Senate is a question for Donald Trump. I can’t grasp it.
I would love to have My old doctor of 35 years back instead of a new intern every 6 weeks.
Trump 2020

Fred A Loe

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

Thomas Honka

This is a good start to reverse Justice Roberts miscarriage of freedom of choice, but to really lower health care costs, the government should encourage real competition among all providers. For instance the evidence is clear that medical error is now the third leading cause of death at 250,000 per year. (Heart disease is 600,000, cancer 500,000). Where are the government websites with the science behind alternative treatments. Where is the push to lower obesity and inactivity?

For example, the most studied and proven alternative to opioids, steroids, injections, and surgery for back and neck pain, is chiropractic care. It alone could save the country billions every year according to the latest research if only doctors and hospitals would read their own research and make appropriate referrals.

Kathy Heiss

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Big Al

Great News and my personal healthcare has never been involved, just my pocketbook.