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Supreme Court largely upholds controversial health care law

Author: Rebecca Rak

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The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was upheld for the most part in a Supreme Court decision on June 28, 2012. Congress passed the Act into law in early 2010. The PPACA was passed in order to increase the number of Americans covered by medical insurance, and also to decrease health care costs. The law came under much scrutiny after politicians challenged the validity of two main provisions. The individual mandate came under the most fire, as it required individuals to purchase a minimum amount of health care coverage, otherwise the persons would be subject to fines. The other mandate, the Medicaid expansion, also became controversial as it allowed the federal government to deny states Medicaid funding based on if those states insured all persons under a certain income level.

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Hi, I’m Becca! I’m currently a Senior journalism major at Oh… (more)

Jul 11
Rebecca Rak

Hi, I’m Becca! I’m currently a Senior journalism major at Oh… (more)

(Jul 11 2012 1:54PM) : 11 facts about the Affordable Care Act [Edited] more

An Article by Ezra Klein for the Washington Post:

1. By 2022, the Affordable Care Act will have extended coverage to 33 million Americans.

2. Families making less than 133 percent of the poverty line — that’s about $29,000 for a family of four — will be covered through Medicaid.

3. For families making less than 400 percent of the poverty line, premiums are capped.

4. When the individual mandate is fully phased-in, those who can afford coverage but choose to forgo it will have to pay either $695 or 2.5 percent of the annual income.

5. Small businesses that provide insurance for their workers will get a 50 percent tax credit on their contribution.

6. Insurance companies are not allowed to discriminated based on preexisting conditions.

For a complete list, visit:
http://wapo.st/MwIygR

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The PPACA was largely upheld, with a close vote of 5-4. The Court ruled that Congress did have the power to enforce taxes on individuals based on certain stipulations, such as not having health insurance if your income is above a certain level. The Court did not however,  uphold the withholding of funding from states based on their coverage rates.

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The majority opinion, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, concluded:

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"The Affordable Care Act is constitutional in part and unconstitutional in part. The individual mandate cannot be upheld as an exercise of Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause. That Clause authorizes Congress to regulate interstate commerce, not to order individuals to engage in it. In this case, however, it is reasonable to construe what Congress has done as increasing taxes on those who have a certain amount of income, but choose to go without health insurance. Such legislation is within Congress’s power to tax.

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As for the Medicaid expansion, that portion of the Affordable Care Act violates the Constitution by threatening existing Medicaid funding. Congress has no authority to order the States to regulate according to its instructions. Congress may offer the States grants and require the States to comply with accompanying conditions, but the States must have a genuine choice whether to accept the offer.

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The Federal Government does not have the power to order people to buy health insurance. Section 5000A [of the Internal Revenue Code] would therefore be unconstitutional if read as a command. The Federal Government does have the power to impose a tax on those without health insurance. Section 5000A is therefore constitutional, because it can reasonably be read as a tax. The Court cited an estimate that as many as four million people will choose to pay the tax rather than buy insurance."

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Though the Court has ruled "Obamacare" unconstitutional, many are still dismayed at it's existence. Presidential Republican hopefull Mitt Romney said, "I disagree with the Supreme Court's decision, and I agree with the dissent. What the Court did not do on it's last day in session, I will do in my first day if elected President of the United States. And that is, I will act to repeal Obamacare."

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Hi, I’m Becca! I’m currently a Senior journalism major at Oh… (more)

Jul 11
Rebecca Rak

Hi, I’m Becca! I’m currently a Senior journalism major at Oh… (more)

(Jul 11 2012 1:59PM) : House repeals ObamaCare for 33rd time [Edited] more

ABC’s John Parkinson did a great article on the efforts to repeal the PPACA:

http://abcn.ws/Nn1rCu

The House of Representatives voted today to repeal the Affordable Care Act. It was the 33rd time Republicans have voted to chip away at, defund, or repeal the health care law. Democrats called the move a political charade since the repeal law has no chance of becoming law this year.
But leading into the Supreme Court’s health care decision on June 28, Speaker Boehner vowed to repeal anything that the justices left standing.
“We’ve made it pretty clear and I’ll make it clear one more time: If the court does not strike down the entire law, the House will move to repeal what’s left of it,” Boehner, R-Ohio, pledged the day before the ruling. “Obamacare is driving up the cost of health care and making it harder for small businesses to hire new workers.”
Thirteen days after the historic decision upholding the law, Boehner and the House Republicans made good on that promise. But it was a symbolic gesture. The repeal bill faces a Democratic double road-block in the form of the Senate and White House, there is not a snowball’s chance that this repeal will be signed into law.
The House vote was largely along party lines, 244 – 185. Five House Democrats – all of whom also opposed the law when it passed in 2010 – crossed party lines to vote with the majority. No Republicans defected on the vote.
The five Democrats voting for repeal are hailed from red or purple states and included Rep. Dan Boren of Oklahoma, Reps. Mike McIntyre and Larry Kissell of North Carolina, Rep. Mike Ross of Arkansas, and Rep. Jim Matheson of Utah.

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Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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President Obama applauded the ruling, saying, "Today, I'm as confident as ever that when we look back five years from now, or 10 years from now, or 20 years from now, we'll be better off because we had the courage to pass this law and keep moving forward."

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DMU Timestamp: June 22, 2012 12:37

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Hi, I’m Becca! I’m currently a Senior journalism major at Oh… (more)

Jul 11
Rebecca Rak

Hi, I’m Becca! I’m currently a Senior journalism major at Oh… (more)

(Jul 11 2012 2:02PM) : Forbes: The Supreme Court's Obamacare Decision Is By No Means The Final Word [Edited] more

Sally Pipes, wrote a very interesting OpEd for Forbes:

You’d think that winning one of the most significant cases in the history of the Supreme Court would leave liberals satisfied. But they’re not. Soon after news broke that Obamacare would live on, Democrats from all corners were calling for bolder reforms — including a government-run, single-payer, “Medicare-for-All” healthcare system.

Even Obamacare’s biggest defenders admit that it leaves a lot of pressing problems unsolved. But now that the law has received the Supreme seal of approval, big-government types are arguing that those problems can only be solved with a complete federal takeover of health care.

Read more at: http://onforb.es/ROiWN7

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