Posts Tagged - ‘health insurance mandate’

Post border

Florida Rep. Tries Anti-Health Insurance Mandate Amendment Again

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Image: turtlemom4bacon under CC 3.0

Last year, State Representative Scott Plakon (R-Florida) attempted to put a measure that would amend the state’s constitution to forbid mandating the purchase of health insurance on the ballot. That time, a judge rejected it due to what was considered overly political and misleading language.

Undaunted, Plakon is trying again. House Joint Resolution 1 would challenge the Obama administration’s healthcare reform legislation, which will eventually fine certain individuals and employers for failing to purchase affordable health insurance. It would give Florida more legal standing in its lawsuit against the federal government’s provision.

Post border
Post border

Another State to Join Healthcare Reform Lawsuit?

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Image: davis.jaque under CC 3.0

Although the very first challenge to the Obama adminstration’s affordable health insurance reform law was rejected by the Supreme Court, that isn’t stopping states from continuing to oppose it. Over 20 attorney generals launched a lawsuit over the individual mandate provision earlier this year; it is predicted that arguments will be heard sometime in 2011.

Now, Kansas is mulling over the possibility of becoming yet another plaintiff in the large Florida-led case. The Republicans recently elected to state office, Governor-elect Sam Brownback and Attorney General-elect Derek Schmidt, have vowed to mount legal challenges. However, it will most likely take awhile for them to gear up for it.

Ironically, former Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, who retired in order to become the Secretary of Health and Human Services, is in charge of promoting and implementing the healthcare reform legislation.

Post border
Post border

Oklahoma Passes Ban On Health Insurance Plan Mandate

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Image: KB35 under CC 3.0

The big story involving last week’s elections is the resurgence of Republicans; they took over the House, and made up lost ground in the Senate. That will surely impact several policy priorities, including healthcare reform repeal.

Voters in Oklahoma also spoke out by passing an amendment to their state constitution that prohibits the federal government from forcing residents to purchase a health insurance plan, in response to the unpopular mandate provision.

Two thirds of voters in the state sent a message that the Obama administration should not become involved in Oklahoma health insurance matters. However, the amendment will probably have little actual impact on the federal government’s actions.

Post border
Post border

Virginia Judge To Rule on Health Insurance Mandate on New Year’s Day

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Image: USA Today

Those hoping for a quick resolution to the lawsuits seeking to overturn a portion of the Obama administration’s healthcare reform law are out of luck. At least one of the suits–the one filed by Virginia–will take longer to resolve. According to U.S. District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson, he will rule on whether the affordable health insurance mandate provision is constitutional on January 1st.

If Hudson determines that the state’s Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II has a case for the federal government overstepping its boundaries, the challenge will be one step closer to the Supreme Court. Since Virginia has its own specific law forbidding anyone from mandating that its residents purchase health insurance, it filed a lawsuit separate from the class action joined by over 20 states.

Post border
Post border

Will Student Health Insurance Survive?

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

Image: swatjester under CC 3.0

The shape of health insurance plans is set to change due to healthcare reform. Health coverage for students is no different.

Colleges and universities all over the country are waiting with bated breath for new guidelines from the Department of Health and Human Services. They want to ensure that their offerings meet the minimum standard for adequate coverage as “Bronze Plans”. If not, such plans are in danger of disappearing: students with employed parents can stay on their health insurance until age 26, while others can buy coverage through the newly-created health insurance exchange markets.

Student health insurance is often maligned for charging high rates for inferior coverage–especially nonsensical given the generally young and healthy population. Moreover, many campuses have their own mandates.

Post border
Post border

Michigan Judge Says Health Insurance Reform is Constitutional

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Image: Seattle Municipal Archive under CC 3.0

Opponents of healthcare reform are pinning their hopes of overturning the law on the legal system. Specifically, they contend that the individual mandate provision that requires people to purchase a health insurance plan violates states’ rights.

That argument was recently rejected by one federal judge. In Michigan, U.S. District Judge George Sheeh accepted the Obama administration’s contention that the refusal to buy health coverage materially affects interstate commerce; therefore, Congress has the right to create the mandate.

Of course, the plaintiffs will appeal. Also, two other similar lawsuits are pending in Florida and Virginia–which may be in more conservative districts.

Post border
Post border

Arizona Proposition Would Ban Affordable Health Insurance Mandate

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

The issue of healthcare reform is very controversial. Proponents admit that while the bill isn’t perfect, one of the most unpopular elements is necessary. Basically, in order to provide affordable health insurance without a public option or a national health service, private health insurers must be induced to accept the more popular regulations (such as accepting people with pre-existing conditions) by guaranteeing them a larger supply of healthy consumers, which is where the individual mandate comes in.

In November, Arizona voters will try to launch a challenge to that provision. Proposition 106 would write a ban against forcing residents to buy health coverage into the state constitution. Tea party groups believe that the Healthcare Freedom Act will inspire conservative voters to head to the polls, voting for Republican candidates at the same time. A similar proposition narrowly failed in 2008.

Post border
Post border

Health Insurance Plans’ Autism Coverage Under Fire

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Image: Bob Bobster under CC 3.0

Republicans running for Congress this year are touting their anti-Obamacare credentials. Nevada’s Sharron Angle is no different. Boosted by the tea party past a more moderate candidate in the GOP primary, she is going up against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in November. As one of the key architects behind the controversial healthcare reform law, Reid is in danger of losing his seat.

Angle is obviously against the individual coverage mandate, as well as health insurance plans being forced to cover certain conditions. She blames the latter for raising costs. Video from a speech last year on that issue has recently been released to controversy. In that speech, Angle railed against a state law that requires health insurers to cover early treatment for autism spectrum disorders. When she mentioned the word “autism”, she used air quotes, which some have interpreted as meaning that she doesn’t believe that autism is a legitimate condition that children’s health insurance should treat.

Not done offending people, Angle went on to say that maternity coverage should not be mandated, since she herself is done having children.

Post border
Post border

Impact of Affordable Health Insurance Reform on Farming Families

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Image: AJay Tallam under CC 3.0

Although agriculture currently employs under 2% of American workers, farmers play a significant role in feeding the nation. How will affordable health insurance reform affect them?

For farming families, the impact is mixed.

On the positive side:

  • Health insurance exchanges will be created in 2014, which are meant to make prices more competitive for farmers and others.
  • A family of four that earns up to $88,000 will be eligible for subsidies to help them purchase health insurance. Most small farmers fall under this threshold.

Unfortunately, there is also bad news. Most significant is the individual mandate, which will require everyone to buy an individual health insurance plan. However, the annual penalty for not purchasing it is fairly minor.

Post border
Post border

Health Insurance Plan Reform Lawsuit Will Probably Continue

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Image: Robotclaw666

The healthcare reform lawsuit launched by 20 states is currently being argued in a federal district court. According to the judge presiding over it, Roger Vinson, he will probably rule that the states have general jurisdiction to sue the federal government.

Vinson does not appear to be much of a sympathetic ear for the Obama administration’s lawyers, who claim that the health insurance plan mandate inherent in the bill should be considered as a tax–which they are allowed to impose.

When he decides on the lawsuit’s fate on October 14, Vinson predicts that the bulk of the lawsuit will be allowed to proceed to further arguments on December 16. However, some of it will probably be dismissed; a bittersweet fate for health insurance reform opponents.

Post border