Sunday, March 1, 2015

Be Careful What You Wish For

Seems to me, and I only play at political prognostication on this blog, but it's not that good for Republicans if the Supremes hack away a big part of the ACA. I don't think they're going to do it, but what do I know. I have the good fortune to live in King Andrew's Socialist Fiefdom where we have healthcare exchanges, thank God. Chris Christie must have been too busy closing bridges to set them up in Jersey.

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday on a challenge to the Affordable Care Act that would end the federal subsidies for people who bought health coverage on the federal marketplace, a decision with enormous potential impact in New Jersey — and not just for the 210,000 insured residents directly affected.

The loss of subsidies — which average $309 a month for eligible consumers in New Jersey — would make it difficult for many recipients to afford to continue insurance coverage, experts say.

The ripple effects could be substantial. Without the subsidies, the ranks of uninsured in New Jersey would grow, leading tens of thousands of people to fall back on charity care and putting more stress on hospitals and other health care providers, according to the state hospital association and groups that have filed briefs with the court.

Hey, fuck it, he's losing to Jeb anyway. But, how about those guys who have voted 67 times to implode it?

The possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court will soon eliminate federal subsidies for people buying health insurance through the Affordable Care Act is the biggest story in politics and economics that no one wants to talk about... Democrats won’t talk about what they would do because they don’t want the court to believe they could contain the fallout. Republicans don’t want to talk because they’re loath to admit that, even after voting 67 times to repeal or defund the ACA, they have no plan to help the millions who would be affected. (But they’d sure love the court to kill the law anyway.)

Yeah, it's that last part. My Rep doesn't have to worry. She campaigned on killing it. Maybe she can find a way to take credit. And her constituents aren't going to be hurt, thanks to Guv Cuomo. The author of the article did come up with a turncoat, RINO Heritage refugee named Stuart Butler.

Practically alone among Republicans, Butler is sounding an alarm about what a decision in favor of the King plaintiffs would carry with it. While Democrats would be dismayed if the court guts Obama’s signature initiative, Butler’s worry is grounded in an understanding that voters with skyrocketing premiums may not blame Obama, as Republicans assume. They’ll expect the party hellbent on destroying the law to have a solution—and react badly if none is forthcoming. Because 16 states operate their own exchanges and therefore won’t be affected by the court’s ruling, Butler believes the ACA will stagger on and eventually recover, since voters won’t abide a system wherein some states have affordable, federally subsidized health-care coverage and others do not.

I just want to interject here that we would be counting on the same group of insane right-wing ideologues who can't even provide funding to protect us from teh terrorists for more than a week at a time. I'm thinking, do Republicans, or possibly did they, get a lot of campaign donations from the healthcare industry?

The result would not just leave millions uncovered but also risk destroying the individual health-care markets in states that don’t act. According to a brief filed by a consortium of hospital trade groups, “A market without subsidies will trigger a premium ‘death spiral’ in those states: With subsidies gone and premiums pushed higher, younger and healthier patients will likely drop coverage. Those that remain, paying the higher rates, are likely to be sicker and use more health-care resources. That, in turn, will push rates for everyone in those states even higher, which will cause more to drop coverage, and so on.”
On the business front, the effects would be no less significant. “If the U.S. health-care system were its own economy,” says Butler, “it would be the sixth-largest in the world—larger than Britain’s.” Entire segments of the health system redesigned their business models to take advantage of the ACA’s incentives. Hospitals, for instance, were given a trade-off: They stopped receiving government payments to offset the cost of treating the uninsured, cuts that amount to $269 billion over a decade. In return, they were promised millions of new patients insured through federal subsidies. “All the major hospital systems and big insurers like Kaiser and Geisinger spent a ton of money adapting to the ACA,” says Butler. If subsidies vanish, “suddenly the market is misaligned. If you’ve hired all these new doctors and health-care workers to cover all these new people walking in the door, and they don’t come, what do you do? You lay them off.”

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