Louisiana Governor, Bobby Jindal calls out Republican leaders on being “fearful” of repealing President Obama’s Affordable Healthcare Act. The Republican’s failed to act on their primary issue even now that it’s a Republican run Senate and Republicans have more pull in the House.
According to Jindal, leadership is afraid they will be chastised for doing anything that would upset the apple cart; otherwise, it would have come to a vote. Jindal told reporters that he hoped Republicans would honestly say that they campaigned to abolish the Affordable Healthcare Act.
Jindal is a Presidential prospect for the Republican Party reaching out to conservatives. There were 200, in attendance at the meeting ending Saturday of the Club for Growth. There are five others campaigning as well: Texas Senator, Ted Cruz, Florida Governor, Jeb Bush, Indiana Governor, Mike Pence, Florida Senator, Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Governor, Scott Walker.
They met for the Club for Growth’s winter meeting. The Club for Growth conducts thorough reviews of the presidential candidates’ records on taxes, budgets and spending. It ‘guides’ its members together. The Club for Growth has a political action committee that is playing a part in this campaign, contributing for and against Republican candidates. 2016 would be the first time the Club for Growth has supported a presidential candidate.
Wednesday King v. Burwell will be heard in the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court votes against the administration, it will crush the Affordable Healthcare Act, a clear Republican goal. There will no longer be healthcare for lower-income Americans because subsidies for government healthcare marketplaces will be gone.
Conservative activists filed this lawsuit on the behalf of four Virginians who want to do away with the Affordable Healthcare Act. There were 34 states that did not accept the Affordable Healthcare Act and the government had to step in, those healthcare exchanges are controlled by the federal government so those who live in those states, do not receive a tax-credit on subsidies.
The Affordable Healthcare Act’s formal purpose is to provide, “quality, affordable health care for all Americans.” This healthcare law is accomplishing its goal. Over 11 million Americans are now covered by health insurance, because of the Affordable Healthcare Act and the subsidies are the core of its proper function, without the subsidies, it would fall apart.
Within the law are the words, “established by the State” concerning tax credit calculations. Opposition to the law concludes that tax credits are only for the 16 states that have set up exchanges themselves, twisting those words of the law. These words were sought out to take down the Affordable Healthcare Act because they were unable to stop it, the honorable way in 2012.
The 2010 chairman of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Michael Greve, commented that the Affordable Healthcare Act needed to be “killed as a matter of political hygiene.” Michael Greve did not care how the law came down, as long as it did. The Competitive Enterprise Institute is providing money to this current lawsuit being heard by the Supreme Court. Those in political power actually went to states telling officials not to set up exchanges at the threat of losing subsidies. It is those who challenged the Affordable Healthcare Act that created this issue. No one believed federal exchanges would not support subsidies.
The court agreed to hear the case because it is the requirement of the court to interpret the language, the context the language is used and the statute as a whole, of a law, according to Justice Clarence Thomas. Also there are many Supreme Court justices who are opposed to the Affordable Healthcare Act itself.
It is understood, clearly, in the 900 page law, that Congress intended to provide subsidies for both federal and state exchanges. It would be unproductive to create a federal exchange that is ineffective. However, the opposition truly believes that the interpretation of the law presented to the Supreme Court is the only interpretation that could be legitimate.
Most federal judges have thrown out this argument. Even if the Supreme Court considered the law questionable, it would have to confer with the I.R.S. to be able to determine a fair interpretation of the law’s wording. The I.R.S. has already put rules in place stating subsidies are made available regardless of who established the exchanges.
The Affordable Healthcare Act is not just being attacked but the health of Americans teeters under this case. It is not even sure there is any legal standing in this lawsuit. Only the Supreme Court can answer what happens next.
Many are considering what life would be like without the Affordable Healthcare Act. One woman in Miami, Florida, pays $23 a month for healthcare and a federal subsidy of $475 covers what she cannot pay. She suffers from ailments such as arthritis, and hypertension and would not be able to afford health insurance any other way. This woman’s name is Sylvia Maltzman, 56, and she plans to demand that elected officials help the people who use those federal subsidies to pay for healthcare coverage if the Supreme Court rules that people who use the government’s marketplace for insurance cannot receive subsidies. She would let elected officials know that losing health insurance could be “fatal” for her.
Steven Brizuela, 20, disagrees. Steven only signed up for healthcare because it was mandated by the law. He receives a subsidy of $90 monthly, but he would prefer to not have healthcare. He is healthy and says his $45 a month is a financial burden. He works in retail and attends school part-time.
If the Supreme Court agrees that only state-run marketplaces can give subsidies, subsidies will be taken from people like Ms. Maltzman whose state does not have its own marketplace. Almost all of the states that do not have their own marketplaces are under Republican government. Florida would be the most affected due to the fact that over 1.6 million have obtained their insurance through the Affordable Healthcare Act.
If the Supreme Court says there are no subsidies available to states using a federal marketplace to receive their health coverage, it would be possible to have state exchange programs so people can still receive subsidies. The highest enrolments in the nation are all 10 zip codes in the Miami and Fort Lauderdale area. The Representatives of this area have not commented on the law or the Supreme Court hearing. Florida Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen are both Republicans.
The Obama administration and many Democratic officials in Congress are not talking about what to do if the ruling ended subsidies in most states. They are focused on the general opposition of the Affordable Healthcare Act from Republicans. In a letter to Congress on Tuesday, secretary of health and human services, stated that there was no contingency plan.
There are Republican leaders who are worried about backlash and the party’s liability concerning the Affordable Healthcare Act. Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Orrin G. Hatch of Utah and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin are looking into alternatives to help anyone who could lose their subsidies. Former Senator Phil Gramm of Texas told Republicans there would be tremendous political pressure to deal with the loss of subsidies as well as from the insurance companies that would lose most of their customers and their money to facilitate their businesses. Healthcare providers would also have to be contended with because with affordable insurance, people are finally having their physical health needs met the way they should.
If the Supreme Court rules against the administration, there is no Plan B. No plan from the President. No plan from the Democrats or the Republicans who want to abolish the Affordable Healthcare Act, also offers no alternative.
By Jeanette Smith
New York Times (1)
New York Times (2)
Photo courtesy of Frank M. Rafik – License
Photo courtesy of Alasam – License