First of all, I take great offense to people who refer to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as ‘Obamacare’. Like, it gives me hives. It started as a pejorative but I suppose the left has kind of taken it back after the President said - and I’m paraphrasing here - ‘They call it Obamacare and it’s OK because I do care’. Or something. But it still irks me.
Thursday will be the day that the Supreme Court issues its ruling on National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius one of the cases that where SCOTUS will determine the constitutionality of the individual mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act. Linked to this decision are the cases of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services v. Florida and Florida v. Department of Health and Human Services. Both of which also deal with the individual mandate and whether or not removing that section of the Affordable Care Act will invalidate the entirety of the legislation. The latter will also determine whether or not Congress can determine that a state will lose its Medicaid funding if it chooses not to impose the individual mandate.
I, like millions of people, have been waiting anxiously for the court’s decision. Though I am insured - very well I might add - I also have a pre-existing condition that will weigh me down for the rest of my life. I shudder at the thought of what if and know that so many do not have that option. For some, what it comes down to is their individual liberty. For me, what this comes down to is empathy and knowing that so many people are hurting. Not to say that those who are worried about the constitution are not empathetic but...you know...actions speak louder than words. Politics also comes down to personal circumstances and I have personally watched loved ones struggle with health care costs and it is not something I would wish on my worst enemy. So there that is.
And now a piece from the NY Times that will break your cold, black heart:
Oregon Study Shows Benefits , and Price, For Newly Insured
"It's scary for me, having cancer and knowing I can't do anything about it," said Ms. Kious, her hair in an elaborate plait. "It's an I-don't-know-when-my-next-meal-will-be- sort of thing. It's really difficult because health problems make you scared and emotional."
11 Facts about the Affordable Care Act via Wonkblog
When the individual mandate is fully phased-in, those who can afford coverage — which is defined as insurance costing less than 8 percent of their annual income — but choose to forgo it will have to pay either $695 or 2.5 percent of the annual income, whichever is greater.
The Kaiser Family Foundation’s Health Care Reform Portal is brilliant and breaks things down into plain English.
On Thursday I’ll be tuned into the SCOTUSblog. You should be, too.