Posts Tagged - ‘obamacare’

Post border

First Step for GOP: Repealing Health Insurance Reform?

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Image: Gage Skidmore under CC 3.0

After a mostly triumphant Tuesday, Republicans are gearing up to take on several legislative centerpieces of the Obama administration. Most significantly, they are looking to say sayonara to healthcare reform by repealing what they refer to as “Obamacare”.

On CBS’ Face the Nation, current Senate Minority Leader (the Democrats retained control of the Senate) Mitch McConnell stated that the GOP was given a wide mandate by independent voters to repeal healthcare reform. According to them, they owe it to the American people to do better and come up with another way of making health insurance plans more accessible.

For their part, Dems are skeptical that the law can actually be reversed so easily. Those looking for it to happen as soon as the new congresspersons are sworn in in January will be disappointed. For one thing, Obama is sure to veto any such legislation that reaches his desk.

Post border
Post border

IRS’ Affordable Health Insurance Reform Implementation in Danger

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Image: numberstumper under CC 3.0

Understandably, most people aren’t huge fans of the IRS. For the most part, Americans communicate with them when they’re taking money out of their pockets during tax season. However, a provision of the new healthcare reform law has the Internal Revenue Service actually attempting to give money back!

The law is meant to make affordable health insurance more widely available through tax credits to small businesses that provide coverage to their employees. Doing so will require more manpower and resources for implementation and enforcement of the program. Some Republican candidates are considering defunding the IRS and other agencies involved to stifle healthcare reform, since it is predicted to take $5 to $10 billion for each agency to fully implement it.

Congress has the power to do so, and does not require President Obama to sign off on a repeal he would be guaranteed to veto. Ironically, one of the most business-friendly provisions may suffer as a result.

Post border
Post border

Can Healthcare Reform “Repeal and Replace” Promises Be Trusted?

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Image: Keven Law under CC 3.0

The Republican party is staunchly against the Obama administration’s healthcare reform law. So much so, that its politicians promise that if they regain the majority in Congress, one of their first tasks will be to repeal “Obamacare”. Then, they promise that they will replace it with a more moderate, business-friendly solution.

What they promote sounds like a good idea–retaining the popular measures, such as making it easier for people with pre-existing conditions to buy a health insurance plan; while dropping the potentially troublesome elements like the individual mandate.

However, history may make some skeptical of the GOP’s pledge. After helping to torpedo President Bill Clinton’s health insurance reform proposal in the early 1990s, they basically ignored the issue for over a decade of controlling the House of Representatives and the Senate. In the meantime, the issue became more pressing–and may need more drastic solutions than it did back then.

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
Post border

Florida Individual Health Insurance Controversy Rages On

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Image: perpetualplum under CC 3.0

Months after national healthcare reform passed, it is still a hot topic during state election primaries. Florida is a case in point. As expected, Democratic candidate Alex Sink supports it. Lawton “Bud” Chiles, an independent, is ambivalent; he thinks the law should stand with some modifications.

One of the Republican contenders for governor, Bill McCollum, is best known as the attorney general behind the class-action lawsuit against the law, which over 20 states have joined. He contends that the provision that serves as a Florida individual health insurance mandate is unconstitutional, because it forces residents to purchase the product. Obviously, he is highlighting his opposition as a campaign talking point.

The other man in the race, Rick Scott, is also against the law. In the 1990s, he ran a hospital chain that was accused of Medicare fraud. More recently, he spent $5 million of his own money to defeat the legislation. Scott also wants “Obamacare” repealed. We will see what happens during the 2010 election primaries next month.

Post border
Post border

Tips: Beware of Health Insurance Reform Scams

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Image: ToastyKen under CC 3.0

Many people are using the healthcare reform law to sell products and services. Unfortunately, some are using scare tactics to scam consumers out of their hard-earned money.

Here are some tips to avoid being ripped off:

  • If anyone calls you and claims that they are a government employee collecting payment for an Obamacare health insurance plan, don’t give them any information. The federal government will not be collecting premiums directly.
  • There is no such thing as coverage against “death panels”. However, telemarketers are attempting to sell that non-existent coverage.
  • Make sure that you are speaking with a licensed health insurance agent before giving out any bank account information, either over the phone or in person.
  • If rates seem too good to be true, they probably are. $30 a month plans are extremely rare.
  • Do not buy coverage from an anonymous fax. Most of them list no company information.

States are increasingly investigating health insurance fraud. Be careful out there!

Post border
Post border

Is Health Insurance Plan Reform Truly Socialist?

Friday, April 16th, 2010

Image: Mike Licht under CC 3.0

One of the primary objections to the Obama administration’s health insurance reform is that it is a socialist takeover of a significant part of the American economy. While that is a legitimate concern, actual card-carrying socialists disagree.

According to Socialist Party USA co-chair Billy Wharton, the legislation that passed is far from socialist. Instead, it’s more of a “corporate restructuring”; it gives private sector health insurers millions of new customers with relatively little incentive to radically change their system. He considers the law as something that was written by private health insurance plan companies for their benefit.

What would real socialists have preferred? They would have liked a national single-payer system with a government-run public option. Tea party skeptics say that regardless of the fact that President Obama isn’t extreme enough for the far-left fringe, he is nevertheless promoting socialist policies.

Post border
Post border

Should Romney Run Health Insurance Reform?

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Image: Andrew Feinberg under CC 3.0

President Obama has to hire someone to be in charge of the new affordable health insurance reform office in the government. Some have suggested a somewhat surprising choice: Republican Mitt Romney.

Why may he be suited to the position?

  • Romney has experience in both private and public employment, which makes him appropriate for a job that involves the cooperation of both the government and health insurance plan providers.
  • As governor of Massachusetts, he spearheaded healthcare reform in the state. There are many similarities between the legislation he supported and the final bill eventually passed by the Senate: they both involve attempts at cost controls, tax credit subsidies and individual mandates. Of course, the Massachusetts health insurance reforms have had their own issues, but Romney is more likely to have learned from those mistakes.
  • Obama has appointed a handful of other Republicans to cabinet posts in the past, although there may be less appetite for bipartisanship on both sides than there was post-inauguration.

The prospects of Romney taking a job in the Obama administration are relatively unlikely. After all, he’s making another run at the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. In order to gain primary support, he has largely disowned the “Romneycare” that he once touted as a conservative solution that promotes personal responsibility. However, his management and venture capital experience may work against him in a political climate where so-called “establishment” party members are being shunned.

Post border