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Tag Archives: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Corporations are a legal construction, they are NOT “people” and as such do NOT have the same rights as individual citizens. But, that doesn’t matter to corporate CEOs who are apparently practicers of far right religious zealotry. To them, it’s not sufficient to sequentially discriminate against individual citizens, they now want the right to discriminate against an entire class of citizens, women, based on the CEO’s religious zealotry. This has to stop!
If SCOTUS strikes the provision in ACA requiring employer policies to assure accessibility to contraception, is that the line they’ll draw? Or, what happens when the next religious zealot decides it’s against his religion to provide ANY healthcare whatsoever and that they should pray the sickness away instead. Will they rule in favor of that CEO’s views as well?
Republicans can use their revisionist history and scream as loud as they want, how this is a “christian” nation and how our founders intended to create a nation built upon those tenets, but that’s simply NOT the case. People migrated to the Americas to escape the religious discrimination and deadly purges present in Europe each time leadership shifted. At the time of our nation’s founding there were multiple religious groups who could have vied for the “official religion” yet that’s not what happened. Instead, our founding fathers created a “secular” nation with no official religion and no religious tests for its leadership. Instead they set into law, the tenet of religious freedom for all “men” (now interpreted for the last century to be a generic interpretation for both men and women).
Just as each individual President of the United States of America is denied the ability to put his religion above the law and impose his religious beliefs on the citizens of this nation, NO corporate CEO should be able to put his religion above the law and discriminate against U.S. citizens he’s hired to work in various roles within his U.S. incorporated business.
If the Supreme Court chooses to bestow religious rights on legal entities, corporations, it will set the stage for our next civil war — deciding which religious entity will be our nation’s official religion. So just like we’re seeing all that religious strife in the Middle East amongst the various religious Muslim sects, this could lead to religious strife across our nation.
Personally, I prefer a secular nation where people have constitutional rights and where corporations have rights to conduct business throughout out nation, but which are not afforded the exact same constitutional rights afforded the actual people of this nation.
NARAL Pro-Choice America on Supreme Court Decision to Hear Case on Contraception Coverage
Today, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in two cases related to the contraception benefit in the Affordable Care Act: Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius. NARAL Pro-Choice America released the following statement from President Ilyse Hogue:
“While most people agree this much ado about birth control is a waste of time that could be spent on more pressing issues in our country, we’re pleased that the Supreme Court will finally lay to rest the question of whether women’s bosses get to decide if we deserve contraceptive coverage. That this reflects an underlying obsession with controlling women’s lives seems obvious when you observe that the enemies of the new law are not pushing to deny men access to Viagra or any other number of similar medical requests covered by insurance.
“Obviously, we hope the court upholds existing rulings that – in a country where over 99 percent of women report using birth control at some point in our lives – bosses have no business imposing their own politics on their employees’ health and decisions. If we start with birth control, will bosses next get to decide whether or not we get our children vaccinated? Or whether we can use treatments from stem cell research for life-threatening diseases? Allowing this intrusion into personal decisions by their employers opens a door that won’t easily be shut.”
By the incomparable John Green, who says the following about his sources: “For a much more thorough examination of health care expenses in America, I recommend this series at The Incidental Economist and The Commonwealth Fund’s Study of Health Care Prices in the U.S. Some of the stats in this video also come from this New York Times story.”
Watch the Obamacare videos & get the facts
Obamacare is making health care work better for all of us, even if you already have insurance. It puts the health of your family first—ensuring access to free preventive care and protecting consumers from insurance company abuses.
|71 Million Kids & Adults With Private Insurance Have Received No-Cost Preventive Care.
“HHS estimates that, as a result of the ACA, 71 million children and adults with private insurance, and 34 million Medicare beneficiaries have received no-cost preventive care. Enhanced federal matching funds in Medicaid are available to states providing all USPSTF-recommended preventive benefits without cost-sharing, but, to date, few states have made the changes required to gain the higher match rate.” “Health Reform-The Affordable Care Act Three Years Post-Enactment,” Kaiser Family Foundation, March 2013.
|Discrimination By Insurance Companies For Children With Pre-Existing Conditions Was Banned.
“Coverage exclusions for children with pre-existing conditions were prohibited as of September 23, 2010. Insurers are no longer permitted to deny coverage to children due to their health status, or exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions. Protections for adults will take effect in 2014. In addition, lifetime limits on coverage in private insurance have been eliminated and annual limits are being phased out.” “Health Reform-The Affordable Care Act Three Years Post-Enactment,” Kaiser Family Foundation, March 2013.
|Consumers Received $1.1 Billion in Rebates From Their Insurance Companies.
“Insurance companies that don’t spend at least 80 percent of its customers’ premium dollars on health care are required to provide rebates to policy holders. In 2012, the first year this rule was implemented, 12.8 million consumers received $1.1 billion in rebates.” “Health Reform in Action,” WhiteHouse.gov, accessed 6/5/13.
|3.1 Million More Young Adults Have Health Insurance Through Their Parent’s Plan.
“Under the law, most young adults who can’t get coverage through their jobs can stay on their parents’ plans until age 26.” “Health Reform in Action,” WhiteHouse.gov, accessed 6/5/13.
|Seniors Have Saved More Than $6.1 Billion on Their Prescription Drugs Since 2010.
“Seniors who hit the gap in Medicare’s prescription drug coverage, often called the ‘donut hole’ now receive 50 percent discounts on covered brand name drugs. The new health reform law will provide additional savings each year until the coverage gap is closed in 2020.” “Health Reform in Action,” WhiteHouse.gov, accessed 6/5/13.
Americans for Prosperity have begun running “scare” ads to convince people to take action against their own interests. Their goal is to sufficiently lie about what Obamacare does or doesn’t offer in an effort to get low-knowledge citizens to support the #GOP’s plan to gut meaningful healthcare protections for American families across our nation.
Take a moment to watch this great ad from AmericansUnited refuting claims being made in one of those Americans for Prosperity scare ads:
- Affordable Health Insurance Options Becoming Available in Preparation for 2014 (The Nevada View)
- 4 carriers will offer policies on Nevada health exchange (Las Vegas Sun)
Oh, and when one of your neighbors claims “Obamacare is going to cause insurance premiums to skyrocket” … tell them it only takes one quick search on the terms “insurance premium drops” to prove them absolutely WRONG:
- Maryland Touts Low Premiums in Health Exchange (Wall Street Journal)
- Maryland issues insurance rates that are among lowest in U.S. (Washington Post)
- Health insurance rates in New York drop by 50% (Live Insurance News)
- Thanks To Obamacare, New Yorkers’ Health Insurance Premiums Will Plunge 50% (ThinkProgress)
- Health insurance premiums in Massachusetts drop for a second year (Med City News)
And then there’s the Obamacare side effect — job mobility — once healthcare exchanges are in place, one will no longer being tethered to a job one hates only because one needs the healthcare benefits provided by that job:
- Obamacare side-effect: Job Mobility (International Business Times)
I found the letter below, from Senator Heller, in my inbox this morning. I am astonished! For someone who’s been in Congress for as long as he has, you’d think he’d understand how things work. Congress passes a bill delineating all parameters of how things will work under that particular bill and then the President signs that bill into law. It’s clear that Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) doesn’t understand that and thinks the President can just waive any provision in any law on any whim of the day via Executive Order (you know … those same orders they’re always complaining about).
Yesterday, Senator Heller sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking that he require House and Senate Leadership and the Executive Branch be subject to ObamaCare’s healthcare exchanges even though Congress, during the creation of ObamaCare, specifically exempted Members of Senate and House Leadership and their staffs in the provisions of that bill.
Mr. Heller, can say he’s been “vocal,” but he failed to even make that argument when the bill passed BOTH houses of Congress. HR3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), deemed “Obamacare” by the GOP, had 506 Amendments, none of which were introduced by Heller. If you want something different than what’s being offered, thou must introduce an Amendment, or having failed to do so or not having an opportunity to do so, thou must convince a party in the opposite house of Congress to do so for you. You can’t just wait until all is said and done and then ask the President to do something that YOU should know HE cannot legally do! And, if all else fails, thou must introduce a bill that would modify the implemented law.
Well, Senator Heller along with Senator Vitter have finally gotten around to submitting a bill. But—like all bills, it was referred to committee for investigation and action. If he doesn’t want it to die in committee (like most bills d0), then Senator Heller, who’s in the minority, needs to work his butt off to get enough Senators from the majority side to support his bill and vote it out of committee. He should know that. That’s the way Congress works. Playing cry-baby about this or that is childish, and writing the President about it, is not the way the process works. Plus, pursuing such antics as writing a cry-baby letter to the President only serves to ensure his bill will never make it out of committee, nor will it see the light of the floor for a vote.
And then there’s the section of Public Law 111-148, Sections 1312(D)(i) and 1312(D)(II) he specifically references in his letter:
|(D)||MEMBERS OF CONGRESS IN THE EXCHANGE.|
|(i)||REQUIREMENT.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, after the effective date of this subtitle, the only health plans that the Federal Government may make available to Members of Congress and congressional staff with respect to their service as a Member of Congress or congressional staff shall be health plans that are|
|(I)||created under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act); or|
|(II)||offered through an Exchange established under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act).|
|(ii)||DEFINITIONS.—In this section:|
|(I)||MEMBER OF CONGRESS.—The term ‘‘Member of Congress’’ means any member of the House of Representatives or the Senate.|
|(II)||CONGRESSIONAL STAFF.—The term ‘‘congressional staff’’ means all full-time and part-time employees employed by the official office of a Member of Congress, whether in Washington, DC or outside of Washington, DC.|
I don’t know about you, but to me, it clearly says members of both the House and the Senate are covered by this section and will receive their health care coverage through the Health Care Exchanges once they’re up and running. Senator Heller should learn to read and accurately quote the law before he wastes time and effort sending a childish, cry-baby letter to the President when he thinks he’s not getting his way.
July 16, 2013
The Honorable Barack Obama President of the United States The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20006
Dear Mr. President,
Since the inception of ObamaCare, I have been very vocal in my concern about the cost and quality of care associated with health care exchanges. While Members of Congress and their staff are included under Section 1312(D)(i) and 1312(D)(II), Members of Senate and House Leadership and their staff, as well as the Executive Branch, are exempted from going into the exchange. The fact that lawmakers exempted themselves serves as further evidence that I do not stand alone in my concern about these health care exchanges.
However, it is only fair that lawmakers and all Congressional staff are beholden to the same laws as every other American. As you may recall, I wrote to you regarding this issue in 2009 to encourage you to require that any health care bill you sign include a provision that all elected officials enroll in the government-run health insurance plan, including the President. As a Member of the House Ways and Means Committee during the health care debate, I introduced an amendment to the bill that would require all Members of Congress and their dependents who choose to receive health care coverage do so through the exchange.
Now, on the eve of the deadline to enter these exchanges, some elected officials and their staff still are not included in the health care law. Senator Vitter and I introduced legislation in May ensuring that those who wrote the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and mistakenly left themselves out could now be included in the exchanges. Unfortunately, a hearing or floor action has not been scheduled. Perhaps now is the time for the Administration to consider making use of the Executive Order to ensure that all Senate and House Leadership and their staff, as well as the Executive Branch, are covered under the health insurance exchange created by the ACA. This would help ensure fairness is maintained across the board. I appreciate your leadership on this issue to make sure the $1.5 billion being delegated to the Department of Health and Human Services under your budget leaves no one out, including yourself
These individuals need to be held accountable for the law which they created. Since you have been selective in what is enforced in the ACA, I ask that you use this same power to include all elected officials, including yourself, in the health care exchange through the use of Executive Order.
- Public Law 11-148, Section 1312
- Samuel Lovett posted a blog post (govloop.com)
- Ted Cruz Proposes Bill to Fully Defund Obamacare (nicedeb.wordpress.com)
- The ACA and Part-Time Workers (aleksandreia.com)
- Is Missouri’s law requiring state licenses for ACA insurance ‘navigators’ helping the consumer or putting up barriers? (medcitynews.com)
- Thanks To Obamacare, New Yorkers’ Health Insurance Premiums Will Plunge 50 Percent (ThinkProgress)
The Obama administration today kicked off the Health Insurance Marketplace education effort with a new, consumer-focused HealthCare.gov website and the 24-hours-a-day consumer call center to help Americans prepare for open enrollment and ultimately sign up for private health insurance. The new tools will help Americans understand their choices and select the coverage that best suits their needs when open enrollment in the new Health Insurance Marketplace begins October 1.
“The new website and toll-free number have a simple mission: to make sure every American who needs health coverage has the information they need to make choices that are right for themselves and their families—or their businesses,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
“The re-launched Healthcare.gov and new call center will help consumers prepare for the new coverage opportunities coming later this year,” said Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. “In October, HealthCare.gov will be the online destination for consumers to compare and enroll in affordable, qualified health plans.”
HealthCare.gov is the destination for the Health Insurance Marketplace. Americans may now access new educational information and learn what they can do to begin to get ready for open enrollment this fall. The website will add functionality over the summer so that, by October, consumers will be able to create accounts, complete an online application, and shop for qualified health plans. For Spanish speaking consumers, CuidadoDeSalud.gov will also be updated to match HealthCare.gov’s new consumer focus.
Key features of the website, based on consumer research and online commercial best practices include integration of social media, sharable content, and engagement destinations for consumers to get more information. The site will also launch with web chat functionality to support additional consumer inquiries.
The website is built with a responsive design so that consumers may access it from their desktops, smart-phones, and other mobile devices. In addition, the website is available via an application interface atwww.healthcare.gov/developers.
Between now and the start of open enrollment, the Marketplace call center will provide educational information and, beginning Oct. 1, 2013, will assist consumers with application completion and plan selection. In addition to English and Spanish, the call center provides assistance in more than 150 languages through an interpretation and translation service. Customer service representatives are available for assistance via a toll-free number at 1-800-318-2596 and hearing impaired callers using TTY/TDD technology can dial 1-855-889-4325 for assistance.
To view the new look and new focus of the website, visit www.HealthCare.gov.
HHS is on target for open enrollment in the Marketplace, which begins Oct. 1, 2013, and other key milestones approaching in the months ahead. Coverage will begin Jan. 1, 2014.