Now that Democrats are about to get their hands on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russia /Trump collusion, some of President Trump’s critics claim the Dept. of Justice’s (DOJ) reversal in a pending legal case is meant to be a shiny object to draw attention away from Mueller’s report. Even if the critics are right it’s a shiny object that deserves EVERYONE’S attention.
On Monday the DOJ sent a 2 sentence letter to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals stating that the entire Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) should be invalidated. This is the shiny object because this was a sudden reversal, prior to the letter DOJ opposed Texas Federal District Court Judge Reed O’Connor’s 2018 ruling in Texas v. United States that Obamacare was unconstitutional. Texas v. United States was a lawsuit filed by Attorney Generals and Governors of Texas, Wisconsin, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, and Maine.
The states argued Obamacare relies on the individual mandate that requires everyone to buy health insurance. The Supreme Court upheld the Obamacare individual mandate as a tax. Now that a Republican-controlled House and Senate eliminated the individual mandate penalty beginning in 2019, the mandate is no longer enforceable as a tax and thus is no longer valid. They further argued that without the mandate Obamacare is unconstitutional.
Despite the fact that prominent conservatives like the National Review editorial board are critical of this legal argument, “The Department of Justice has determined that the district court’s judgment should be affirmed,” three Justice Department lawyers wrote to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is now considering the case.
As usual with President Trump, his actions are contrary to his words. He campaigned saying that he would come up with a healthcare plan that would be better than Obamacare, plans that would be cheaper, provide better care and would cover people with pre-existing conditions. With this move by his Justice Dept. to invalidate Obamacare President Trump is making a lie of his campaign promises.
In fact, if President Trump gets his way and Obamacare is ruled unconstitutional, American healthcare would return to the days when healthcare was truly controlled, not by false government control Republicans lie about, but control by corporations who cared only about their profit and not our health. These were the horrible days of the penny-pinching Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO). Horrible days when Doctors had to call insurance companies to ask for permission to give us treatment. Horrible days when Pharmacist would call insurance companies to get guidance on whether to fill our prescriptions with the brand name or generic drug, Obamacare stopped all of that and gave control of our healthcare back to our Doctor’s.
Giving control of our healthcare back to our Doctors was not the only good thing Obamacare brings to life. It also brings the following 4 good things to life for American citizens that President Trump never mentions:
1) The rate of rising healthcare cost for most people has slowed considerably. In 2014 there was a 3% increase, in 2015 a 4% increase and in 2016 a 3% increase. The 25%, or the cases like Arizona’s 2017 100% premium increases with the high deductibles, affect the 10 million plus people buying insurance through Obamacare State exchanges. 85% of these people are not affected by the increases because they receive federal subsidies. So we are left with approximately 2-3 million people who make too much to qualify for the subsidies but don’t make enough to afford the insurance premiums. Democrats have just announced legislation to give those 2-3 million people the help they deserve.
According to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, the bill unveiled last Tuesday would make more middle-class people eligible for subsidized health insurance through Obamacare, while increasing aid for those with lower incomes who already qualify. And it would fix a longstanding affordability problem for some consumers, known as the “family glitch.”
2) Rebated premiums Prior to Obamacare annual double digit premium increases hit everyone but since Obamacare, some have had their premiums rebated. Obamacare requires insurance companies to rebate consumers if the amount they spend on the policy holder’s health benefits and quality of care is too low. The insurance company must spend 80% of the premium they collect from the policy holder on their healthcare, and cannot spend more than 20% of it on the insurance company’s administrative cost. Since this requirement was put in place in 2011 through 2014, more than $2.4 billion in total refunds have been paid to policy holders.
3) Obamacare prevents insurance companies from offering any plan that does not cover a minimum of 60% of actual healthcare cost. This requirement goes away with a repeal of the law meaning premiums and deductibles for everyone’s current health insurance plan will increase. President Trump tries to hide this fact by saying that people will have increased access to health insurance. What he really means is insurance companies will be able to offer many cheap plans that provide barebones healthcare coverage. With no requirement that insurance cover 60% of healthcare cost companies can design and sell any plan they want, regardless of what type, what quality and how much healthcare the policy holder actually receives.
4) Obamacare is not a job-killer it has helped create jobs. Obamacare has led to 20 million people gaining health insurance and that’s created a great demand for healthcare workers to provide it. Since 2012 over 500,000 jobs were added to the health-care sector. Private sector job growth has occurred every single month since Obamacare passed in March 2010. The healthcare sector created 234,600 jobs in the first half of 2016, including 39,000 new jobs in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The 2016 growth outpaced the 225,300 healthcare jobs created in the first six months of 2015, a year that finished with a record 471,600 new jobs in the healthcare sector, according to BLS data. Nearly one in four jobs created in 2016 were in the healthcare sector.
If President Trump’s true intent is to provide a shiny object to divert attention away from the Mueller report, his marketing genius has struck again! He was smart to pick killing Obamacare as that shiny object and Democrats are equally smart to allow their attention to be diverted to it, especially now that the Mueller report has made it clear that President Trump didn’t collude with Russia. Now for Democrats, it’s damn and forget the impeachment torpedoes, its full speed ahead to save and fix Obamacare!!!