4.683 Million Unanswered Questions in Halbig

Appeals will continue, but let’s take the Halbig decision at face value. How much will this decision cost the working poor? The amount varies with income and other variables, but for a 40 year old individual making $30,000 a year, the tax credit was estimated at $1345 (KFF estimate here). Retroactive tax bills under Halbig will be significant and everyone impacted will have trouble paying for health insurance going forward (about 57% of exchange participants were previously uninsured, according to a KFF survey).

How many people will be hurt?

Read more here at “The Incidental Economist” ….

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Here’s a Look at the Week Ahead in Congress!

— Rachna Choudhry, Co-founder, POPVOX.com, rachna@popvox.com

The House returns this week to vote on a bill repealing “Obamacare,” the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, while the Senate continues work on a water resources bill and comprehensive immigration reform. Weigh in on POPVOX — and we’ll deliver your message to Congress. (Learn how it works or link to this update online.)

In the House

Repealing the healthcare law (HR 45): The House will yet again vote on a bill to “repeal Obamacare.”  Many Republicans have been asking for this vote all year as a chance to get new Members on the record as opposing the controversial law. – https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/113/hr45

  • From our Hill Sources: House leaders promised in April that a vote would come, after a failed attempt to pass legislation to adjust the law. House passage will once again give the GOP a chance to remind voters that they are fighting to repeal the law. But just as in the last Congress, House passage will likely be as far as the bill goes, with no indication that the Senate will consider it.

The SEC Regulatory Accountability Act (HR 1062): This bill would require the SEC to conduct an enhanced cost-benefit analysis for all regulations it issues, and ensure that the benefits of a rule outweigh the costs. – https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/113/hr1062

The House will also consider several other bills this week, including:

  • HR 180: encouraging the development of plans for law enforcement to send out information when an officer is hurt or killed.
  • The Hill Creek Cultural Preservation and Energy Development Act (HR 356): To clarify authority granted under the Act entitled “An Act to define the exterior boundary of the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation in the State of Utah”.
  • The Homes for Heroes Act (HR 384): requiring the Department of Housing and Urban Development to pay closer attention to veterans’ housing needs.
  • HR 573: granting the Northern Mariana Islands the same coastal land rights as other US territories.
  • HR 701: setting a fall deadline by which the Securities and Exchange Commission can exempt securities from regulation.
  • HR 767: assigning regional Bureau of Land Management offices as Pilot Project offices under the Energy Policy Act.
  • HR 1580: affirming US policy on Internet governance.
  • SConRes 10: authorizing the celebration of King Kamehameha’s birthday in the Capitol Visitors Center.

In the Senate

The Water Resources Development Act (S 601): The bill authorizes several projects related to flood and storm risk reduction, and coastal and environmental restoration. – https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/113/s601

The bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill (S 744): The Senate Judiciary Committee will continue its consideration of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. – https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/113/s744

 

VanessaCare: Health Coverage Without Lifetime Limits

Thus far in the 112th Session of Congress, no less than 49 bills have been proposed in the U.S. House alone to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, in whole or in part, and that’s not counting all the bills that propose to delay implementation:

BILL # DESCRIPTION PROPOSED BY
HR 0002 Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act:  To repeal the job-killing health care law and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. Rep. Eric Cantor [R-VA7]
HR 0021 Reclaiming Individual Liberty Act:  To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the mandate that individuals purchase health insurance. Rep. Scott Garrett [R-NJ5]
HR 0038 To rescind funds appropriated to the Health Insurance Reform Implementation Fund under the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. Rep. John Fleming [R-LA4]
HR 0060 To repeal the expansion of information reporting requirements for payments of $600 or more to corporations, and for other purposes. Rep. Steve Scalise [R-LA1]
HR 0105 Empowering Patients First Act:  To repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and related health-care provisions and to enact in its place incentives to encourage health insurance coverage, and for other purposes. Rep. Dan Burton [R-IN5]
HR 0118 Stop the Federal Exchanges from Destroying States Act or the STOP the FEDS Act:  To amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to permit a State to elect not to establish an American Health Benefit Exchange. Rep. John Fleming [R-LA4]
HR 0127 To deauthorize appropriation of funds to carry out the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. Rep. Tom Graves [R-GA9]
HR 0141 To repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. Rep. Steve King [R-IA5]
HR 0144 Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act of 2011:  To repeal the expansion of information reporting requirements for payments of $600 or more to corporations, and for other purposes. Rep. Daniel Lungren [R-CA3]
HR 0145 Revoke Excessive Policies that Encroach on American Liberties (REPEAL) Act:  To repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111-148) and related health-care provisions. Rep. Connie Mack [R-FL14]
HR 0154 Defund the Individual Mandate Act:  To prohibit the use of funds for implementation or enforcement of any Federal mandate to purchase health insurance. Rep. Ted Poe [R-TX2]
HR 0215 To repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and title I of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 while preserving the reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act. Rep. Donald Young [R-AK]
HR 0299 To repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, repeal the 7.5 percent threshold on the deduction for medical expenses, provide for increased funding for high-risk pools, allow acquiring health insurance across State lines, and allow for the creation of association health plans. Rep. Paul Broun [R-GA10]
HR 0364 Common Sense Health Reform Americans Actually Want Act: To repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and to take meaningful steps to lower health care costs and increase access to health insurance coverage without raising taxes, cutting Medicare benefits for seniors, adding to the national deficit, intervening in the doctor-patient relationship, or instituting a government takeover of health care. Rep. Thomas Latham [R-IA4]
HR 0371 Health Care Choice Act of 2011:  To repeal title I of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and to amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for cooperative governing of individual health insurance coverage offered in interstate commerce. Rep. Marsha Blackburn [R-TN7]
HR 0397 Reform Americans Can Afford Act of 2011:  To repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 and to take meaningful steps to lower health care costs and increase access to health insurance coverage without raising taxes, cutting Medicare benefits for seniors, adding to the national deficit, intervening in the doctor-patient relationship, or instituting a government takeover of health care. Rep. Walter Herger [R-CA2]
HR 0429 To repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 and to amend title 5, United States Code, to establish a national health program administered by the Office of Personnel Management to offer Federal employee health benefits plans to individuals who are not Federal employees, and for other purposes. Rep. Darrell Issa [R-CA49]
HR 0450 To repeal limitations imposed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on health-related tax benefits under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and to treat high deductible health plans as qualified health plans under such Act. Rep. Dave Reichert [R-WA8]
HR 0452 To repeal the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act providing for the Independent Payment Advisory Board. Rep. Phil Roe [R-TN1]
HR 0524 To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that limit distributions from medical-related tax-preferred accounts for medicines only if the medicines are prescribed drugs or insulin and to repeal the increase in additional tax on distributions from health savings accounts and Archer MSAs not used for qualified medical expenses. Rep  Benjamin Quayle [R-AZ3]
HR 0556 To repeal certain provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act related to patient centered outcomes research and rescind unobligated appropriations related to such provisions and to repeal certain health care-related provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and rescind unobligated appropriations related to such provisions for purposes of reducing the national debt. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter [R-MI11]
HR 0584 To repeal the information reporting requirements added by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Rep. Joe Courtney [D-CT2]
HR 0605 Patients’ Freedom to Choose Act: To amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to repeal certain limitations on health care benefits. Rep. Erik Paulsen [R-MN3]
HR 0636 Affordable Health Care Expansion Act of 2011: To repeal PPACA and the health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, and to amend the amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow individuals a refundable credit against income tax for the purchase of private health insurance, and for other purposes. Rep. Kay Granger [R-TX12]
HR 0698 To deauthorize and rescind funding for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health-care-related provisions of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. Rep. Tim Scott [R-SC1]
HR 0734 To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the medical device tax, and for other purposes Rep. Brian Bilbray [R-CA50]
HR 0767 To permit individuals to choose to opt out of the requirement to maintain health insurance minimum essential coverage if such individuals also opt out of specified insurance reform protections. Rep. Peter DeFazio [D-OR4]
HR 0782 To enable States to opt out of certain provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Rep. Thaddeus McCotter [R-MI11]
HR 0816 Provider Shield Act of 2011:  To prevent the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act from establishing health care provider standards of care in medical malpractice or medical product liability cases, and for other purposes. Rep. John Gingrey [R-GA11]
HR 1101 End the Mandate Act of 2011:  To restore the American people’s freedom to choose the health insurance that best meets their individual needs by repealing the mandate that all Americans obtain government-approved health insurance. Rep. Ronald Paul [R-TX14]
HR 1159 To repeal certain provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act relating to the limitation on the Medicare exception to the prohibition on certain physician referrals for hospitals and to transparency reports and reporting of physician ownership or investment interests. Rep. Doc Hastings [R-WA4]
HR 1186 To repeal changes made by health care reform laws to the Medicare exception to the prohibition on certain physician referrals for hospitals. Rep. Samuel Johnson [R-TX3]
HR 1200 American Health Security Act of 2011:  To provide for health care for every American and to control the cost and enhance the quality of the health care system. Rep. James McDermott [D-WA7]
HR 1213 To repeal mandatory funding provided to States in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to establish American Health Benefit Exchanges. Rep. Frederick Upton [R-MI6]
HR 1214 To repeal mandatory funding for school-based health center construction Rep. Michael Burgess [R-TX26]
HR 1217 To repeal the Prevention and Public Health Fund Rep. Joseph Pitts [R-PA16]
HR 1286 Healthcare Fiscal Accountability Act of 2011:  To provide for fiscal accountability for new direct funding under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by converting its direct funding into authorizations of appropriations and by rescinding unobligated direct funding. Rep. Michele Bachmann [R-MN6]
HR 1324 To eliminate sweetheart deals under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Rep. Vern Buchanan [R-FL13]
HR 1370 To repeal the annual fee on health insurance providers enacted by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Rep. Charles Boustany [R-LA7]
HR 1744 American Job Protection Act:  To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the employer health insurance mandate. Rep. Charles Boustany [R-LA7]
HR 2077 MLR Repeal Act of 2011:  To repeal medical loss ratio requirements for health insurance. Rep. Tom Price [R-GA6]
HR 2206 To repeal a requirement that new employees of certain employers be automatically enrolled in the employer’s health benefits plan. Rep. Frank Guinta [R-NH1]
HR 2529 Restoring Access to Medication Act:  To amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to repeal distributions for medicine qualified only if for prescribed drug or insulin. Rep. Lynn Jenkins [R-KS2]
HR 2694 Medicare Firewall Act of 2011:  To firewall the Medicare Trusts Funds by restoring to those Trust Funds funds transferred by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Rep. John Culberson [R-TX7]
HR 3243 Common Sense Deficit Reduction Act of 2011: To amend titles XIX and XXI of the Social Security Act, titles I and II of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and other Acts for the purpose of eliminating certain health entitlement programs and reducing the deficit. Rep. Dennis Rehberg [R-MT]
HR 3299 To amend title XXVII of the Public Health Service Act to apply to retiree-only health plans the extension of dependent health coverage for individuals through 26 years of age provided for by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Rep. Maurice Hinchey [D-NY22]
HR 3682 Patient Centered Healthcare Savings Act of 2011: To repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and provide for comprehensive health reform, and for other purposes. Rep. Sean Duffy [R-WI7]
HR 4224 Offering Patients True Individualized Options Now Act of 2012: To repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the percentage floor on medical expense deductions, expand the use of tax-preferred health care accounts, and establish a charity care credit, to amend the Social Security Act to create a Medicare Premium Assistance Program and reform EMTALA requirements, and to amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for cooperative governing of individual and group health insurance coverage offered in interstate commerce. Rep. Paul Broun [R-GA10]
HR 4242 To repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, to amend the Public Health Service Act to provide individual and group market reforms to protect health insurance consumers, and for other purposes. Rep. Joe Heck [R-NV3]

The Republican-led house (and even NV3’s Joe Heck) is seriously looking to overturn the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and return control of our health to their for-profit insurance company benefactors so they can once again deny coverage, assert that coverage doesn’t apply because you have an pre-existing condition, or for example, that you’ve exhausted your lifetime benefit and you’re no longer eligible for insurance coverage.  That is not what Americans want, and the Republicans are way off base in their efforts to return to a time where medical expenses drove far too many Americans in to bankruptcy courts across our nation.

Whitehouse.gov started a new program called MyCare to collect stories about just how PPACA has helped individuals across this nation.  Here’s one of those stories which walks you through the differences it’s made for just one American family:

Vanessa Mishkit, a nurse in Tampa, knows firsthand what it’s like to go up against insurance companies on behalf of her child. Vanessa thought she had excellent health insurance, until her son was born with birth defects. He met his million-dollar lifetime limit and the family was told he was no longer eligble for insurance. The Affordable Care Act changed that.

Her son was born with birth defects: developmentally delayed, legally blind, and near deaf. And even though Vanessa had health insurance through work at Tampa General Hospital, she was constantly fighting for her son’s coverage: He was born with a pre-existing condition.

“I had what I thought was excellent health insurance, and then after David was born we received notification that he had met his million-dollar limit and he wouldn’t be eligible for coverage,” Vanessa says.

“There are thousands and thousands of families” who are in similar situations, she says. “They can’t advocate for themselves at this time because they’re caught up in day-to-day survival.” Vanessa points out that the Affordable Care Act now prevents insurance companies from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. “We fought a huge battle and now with health care reform” other families won’t have to fight just to keep their keep their children well, she says.

In 2014, insurance companies will be barred from discriminating against anyone with pre-existing conditions. Additionally, the health reform law bars low annual and lifetime caps on claims, a way that insurance companies have used to avoid paying claims.

David “has a heart of gold and now I’m looking at him and he’s 23 years old. He is learning how to take as well care of himself as he possibly can within his limitations. I’m very proud of him,” Vanessa says.

The Affordable Care Act is designed to give hard working families the peace of mind they deserve in meeting their health care needs.

If you have a story like Vanessa’s, share it at Healthcare.gov/MyCare.