Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has reassured the electorate that he agrees with the Supreme Court’s ruling that the infamous “individual mandate” that is the cornerstone of the Affordable Health Care Act — i.e. “ObamaCare” — is a tax. He also says it's constitutional. In his own words from his July 4 interview with CBS's Jan Crawford: “The Supreme Court has the final word. And their final word is that ObamaCare is a tax. So it's a tax. They decided it was constitutional. So it is a tax and it's constitutional. That's the final word. That's what it is.”
On Tuesday evening, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), was asked about repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), also known as ObamaCare, if Republicans take back control of the Senate in November. Said McConnell: "Repeal of ObamaCare will be the first item up in the Senate if I am Majority Leader. ... Our goal will be to get it off the books. In my view, it is the single worst piece of legislation that has been passed in modern times."
Florida Governor Rick Scott has said he will not expand the state's Medicaid program or support the establishment of ObamaCare insurance exchange programs in his state. Following last week's Supreme Court ruling on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Scott said in an interview with NewsMax TV he will turn down the additional federal dollars for Medicaid expansion under the law.
Now that the Supreme Court has delivered its final verdict on ObamaCare, which upheld the law’s contentious individual mandate, insurance providers and industry groups are warning of even greater premium increases on Americans’ health plans. While President Obama touted the law as a cost-savior for the healthcare industry — going so far as to call it the “Affordable Care Act” — insurance premiums have consistently risen ever since the law was enacted.
America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the industry’s chief lobbying group, issued a statement following the ruling, stressing the importance of “secure, affordable coverage choices,” but saying that “major provisions, such as the premium tax, will have unintended consequences of raising costs and disrupting coverage unless they are addressed.” AHIP CEO Karen Ignagni suggested that due to the inflated costs, “it’s time for people to roll up their sleeves and look very carefully at those provisions.”
In a 5-4 opinion written by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the main provisions of the “ObamaCare” healthcare law, including the penalty for non-compliance with the mandate that uninsured persons purchase health insurance by 2014. The Court upheld the mandate on the strength of the taxing power of Congress, but not before writing another chapter in the Court’s often tortured and zigzag interpretations of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause.
Beneficiaries of the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program can expect to see their checks cut to 79 percent by 2016, according to the program's trustees.
Federal auditors recently issued a report charging a Kansas-based medical manufacturer with potentially paying out more than $4 million in fraudulent Medicare claims for “male vacuum erection systems,” more commonly known as “penis pumps.” In turn, the auditors requested that the company reimburse all the money to the federal government and “implement policies and procedures to help ensure that it collects and maintains the required documentation.”
Rather than making healthcare more affordable, ObamaCare has made it less affordable — and will make it even less affordable as new mandates take effect — executives told a House subcommittee.
The Obama administration has come under fire after the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) hired a public relations firm to help restore the muddied reputation of the President’s controversial Affordable Care Act. The $20-million, taxpayer-funded contract was awarded to a PR firm called Porter Novelli, which helped launch the Agriculture Department’s renowned healthy food pyramid.
Over 40 Catholic groups across the nation have filed a dozen federal lawsuits to halt President Obama’s contraception mandate requiring employers — including Christian and other religious groups — to include free birth control and sterilization in the health insurance they provide employees. The groups named in the suits, including Notre Dame, Catholic University of America, and the Archdiocese of New York, “accuse the federal government of forcing them to support contraception, sterilization, and birth control in violation of their religious beliefs or face steep fines.”