Health care reform has dominated our nation’s political and social conversations for the past six years. After the implementation of ObamaCare, it is clear the law brought radical change and real pain to our nation’s families, economy, and health care system. The promised “affordable health care fix” made things worse.
The pending King v. Burwell case reveals another interesting legal problem with the policy and text of the Affordable Care Act. As written, the federally controlled subsidies and employer mandates are not allowed, unless a state chooses them. Now the Supreme Court debates, behind closed doors, the question of state responsibility and textual intent to determine the direction of health care in America. The resulting Supreme Court opinion could dismantle the structure of ObamaCare and give America a second chance to get health care reform right.
Ironically, the issue of state responsibility could take ObamaCare down and lift individual citizens up.
Health insurers on many state exchanges are requesting the right to increase premiums by upwards of 50%
President Obama’s signature legislative achievement–the healthcare law popularly known as Obamacare–is facing a potentially existential fight in the Supreme Court in 2015.
But it’s not just the courts that supporters of the program need to worry about. According to a report published Friday in the The Wall Street Journal, health insurers are requesting the right in many states to increase premiums by upwards of 50%. Health Care Service Corp.–the leading health insurer in New Mexico, has asked state regulators to allow it to increase its premiums on average by 51.6%, for instance. Customers of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield in Maryland may face an average premium increase of 30.4%.
Health Reform: So much for the “affordable” part of the Affordable Care Act. Looks like ObamaCare premiums will rocket next year while sky-high deductibles make it too costly for many to see the doctor.
Last Monday, IBD’s Jed Graham broke the news that big insurers in six states “are seeking to raise rates an average 18.6% next year.”
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee — which currently accounts for 70% of the ObamaCare enrollees in that state — is looking to increase premiums a whopping 36.3%.
CareFirst — which has 80% of the ObamaCare enrollees in Maryland — is pushing for a 30% increase.
Oregon’s Moda Health wants a 25.6% increase, on average, for the roughly half of ObamaCare enrollees it covers in the state.
The Wall Street Journal followed up on Graham’s reporting later in the week, noting that New Mexico’s market leader, Health Care Service, wants an average 51.6% boost in premiums.
“A different health care issue has emerged for Democrats, in sync with the party’s pitch to … middle-class voters … high out-of-pocket costs for people already covered. Democrats call it ‘underinsurance.’ After paying premiums, many low- and middle-income patients still face high costs when trying to use their coverage. … [T]he value of a health insurance card is being eaten away by rising deductibles … Several liberal-leaning organizations have recently focused on the issue.”