“The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a challenge to the 2010 health care overhaul law, President Obama’s signature legislative achievement, setting the stage for oral arguments by March and a decision in late June as the 2012 presidential campaign enters its crucial final months… The court scheduled five and a half hours of arguments instead of the usual one, a testament to the importance of the case, and the court’s ruling a few months later will present opportunities and challenges for the presidential contenders as well as for candidates in the battle for control of Congress.”
“Before the ink was dry on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare), the wheels started to fall off. Lawsuits were immediately filed challenging the constitutionality of the individual mandate, small businesses wanted the burdensome 1099 requirement immediately repealed, and coalitions were formed to overturn other costly provisions of the law…Thankfully the Supreme Court has decided to take up our case, among others, challenging the individual mandate and whether or not it is ‘severable’ from the rest of the law.”
“The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) — the new health reform law — contains financial incentives for the states to establish health insurance exchanges where qualifying individuals and small businesses can purchase subsidized, individual health insurance, starting in 2014.
The structure of the exchange subsidies will encourage low-income workers to congregate in companies that do not provide insurance and high-income employees to work for firms that do provide it.”
“Lawyers on both sides of the lawsuits over President Obama’s healthcare law were caught off guard Monday when the Supreme Court said it would debate whether the law’s Medicaid expansion is constitutional. The high court was widely expected to take up the law’s individual mandate, and to take the case filed by 26 states and the National Federation of Independent Business. But the court’s decision to also hear the states’ Medicaid challenge came as a surprise to the healthcare law’s critics as well as its supporters.”
“As demand outstrips supply we can expect large increases in waiting time for services and a price war for providers between Medicaid and commercial insurers. Regardless of the administration’s arguments, little in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) addresses this dynamic. Increases in primary care physician fees, funding for Federally Qualified Health Centers, and national health services corps slots don’t build any new physician capacity; they only drive more competition for limited physicians and fuel a price war. It is likely the administration is relying on the Independent Payment Advisory Board and their new premium rate review power over private insurance to try to control prices, but waiting lines and an increased reliance on the emergency room will be a new fact of life.”