Supreme Court Again Settles Health Reform Debate

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By Blake Hutson on Monday, June 29th, 2015

Last week, the Supreme Court reaffirmed a key element of the health reform law that allows millions of Americans to get tax credit discounts on their health insurance.

The Court put to rest a longstanding argument over whether or not these discounts apply in all states. The decision ensures that no matter where you live, if you qualify for a discount on health insurance, you will continue to get it.

We all know insurance can be wildly unaffordable, particularly for those that have to buy it outside of an employer. The Court’s decision puts to rest challenges to the law, and gives us an opportunity to move beyond political rhetoric and focus on critical reforms that are still needed to make sure each of us has access to decent, affordable coverage.

Consumers Union is working on important issues like stopping surprise medical bills, wrangling rising healthcare costs and fighting the overuse of antibiotics.

We know the debate will continue about the healthcare law. Some things can’t be stopped. But remember that the nation’s uninsured rate has dropped from 20 percent to 13 percent since the Affordable Care Act was put in place –the lowest since Gallup started tracking it. And more than 14 million people have gained coverage because of the new law.

There’s plenty of work to be done, and we will be focused on making new gains while celebrating the Supreme Court decision.

20 responses to “Supreme Court Again Settles Health Reform Debate”

  1. NORMA says:

    no way!!!!!!! i got insurance throught the market place the agent calculate wrong monthly payment i got tax credit bill for $1590 i cant afford it!!!! i cancel obama care now i have to pay the invoice and i don’t have insurance

  2. NORMA says:

    i was offered 2 years ago for Obama care now i got taxes bill for $1580 that i have to pay i had to cancel my insurance because we cant afordd it . I tried to follow the law but wasn’t work anyways

  3. Michael Holdcraft says:

    I hope Consumer Reports isn’t really saying they support the ACA (Obamacare). This is another step by government to put people in a dependance situation. The figures used to show more people covered are false, produced by the Feds, to make a federal program look better than it really is and you can read examples of what is wrong with it above. I work along side folks who have the ACA and are paying penalties through their taxes this year because they went out and earned a little more income than they estimated when they signed up for the ACA. So yes they have medical insurance which happens to be more expensive than what they had previously. All ACA has done is add another middle man to the insurance business. If we really wanted to get medical coverage for all, especially the poor, the way to go is free clinics for the poor, not insurance. The government could pay for doctor’s education for 5 or 6 years of service in those Clinics. Setting up clinics to operate similarly to the VA would be cheaper than the ACA for the taxpayer and provide the medical care needed for those folks who really can’t afford medical insurance. The government subsidies will end in the next few years because the government can’t continue to take in less than it spends and when medical subsidies directly compete with National Defense and Medicare for the Federal Budget, who do you think will lose? When those subsidies go, people will see the real cost of adding that new money wasting middle man to the insurance process.

  4. Cathy says:

    My husband and I used to have semi decent coverage with a fairly high deductible and co-pay, but now thanks to this health care reform, our premiums rose by $6,500 per year with the same high deductible and co-pays. We are fairly healthy so I rejected this policy and now have the catastrophic plan which covers ones annual exam (which I don’t want) and now we have to pay $8,000 out of pocket or full price for most doctor or medical visits per year before the catastrophic portion kicks in. It’s basically like not having insurance. I spend my own money for preventive supplements and gym memberships, doing all I can to stay healthy and avoid toxic western medicine. It’s nice to help others but it shouldn’t be at the expense of my insurance policy.

  5. Lynette Taylor says:

    My husband and I have always had fairly decent healthcare insurance for us and our family. However, I became disabled and was forced to quit work. My husband was working for WalMart at the time and had good insurance, but they wouldn’t allow me to opt into Medicare Part D, so we paid far more for my medications than was realistic. My husband continued to work for WalMart until they terminated him for his 10-year anniversary. While he could go back to work for WalMart after 30 days, he was hesitant to stick his neck out, so we have gone a year and a half without healthcare insurance for anyone other than me and have been living on my disability income. We qualify for Medicaid, but they want us to pay $1,030 per month that we use it for me or my husband, even though our income is only $1,330 a month. Sadly, our two daughters who are still living with us also have no insurance because Medicaid in the State of Utah won’t cover them for some unknown reason. The older of the two is autistic and will turn 20 in September, yet Medicaid has turned her down twice because she doesn’t qualify for Social Security Disability Income. So, we got lucky on our taxes this year, but have been assured by tax advisers that we will be penalized next year unless we can obtain insurance before the end of the year. So, I have gone onto healthcare.com or whatever website it is that the government has us look up programs on and it continues to state that the only insurance we qualify for is Medicaid — AS IF I DIDN’T ALREADY KNOW THAT! However, every time I apply for Medicaid, there is a rediculous spend-down and they deny my husband coverage. So, last November, he had an ER trip that we couldn’t avoid. It is now costing us around $7,000 and he was bed-ridden for 4 months. We qualified for Medicaid, but they denied him and the hospital has played games with hardship workouts. We just have not seen ANY benefit whatsoever to requiring people to be insured, nor to the states having the right to choose whether or not they will extend coverage to those who qualify. Sadly, our adjusted gross income for 2014 was $2,410, yet we didn’t qualify for any help in the State of Utah. I realize that my thoughts are very disorganized, but I have been very frustrated with the entire situation and it has caused problems for us in every way possible, including with our mortgage and utility bills and food. And, our daughters have experienced employers over and over again in the past two years who have given employees lower and lower hours in an attempt to not have to pay for healthcare or benefits.

    The other problem that we have seen a great deal of is that employers no longer want to employ “millenials” (Those over the age of 50. So, experience is worth next to nothing anymore. My husband basically has no option but to go back to WalMart and to hope that the same people who shafted him –who still work in the region he would be employed by–wouldn’t shaft and burn him again. (Yes, there’s a very long 10-year story there, but one that does no good at this point.) How does anyone who finds themselves unemployed after age 50 get a job? Even the State of Utah turned him down for one of 18 positions he was completely qualified for. We are now trying to get a massage studio up and running in our home where we perform proven therapeutic massage methods for preventative healthcare. That’s a difficult task when people have insurance and the only insurance that you can take is HSA cards which your card reader can read because people seldom want to pay for preventative healthcare when it isn’t covered by their insurance, even though it is a tax deductible expense.

    Wow! I have never been one to say “feel sorry for me.” I have spent my entire life working hard to achieve anything in life. I think I’ve finally given as much as I could and then some, and so now I’m ready to give up and say “have at me.” What a sad travesty because I hear this kind of talk all over the place by friends and family and community members. What a negative world we have created! Now, how do we fix it?

  6. retiredtaxpayer says:

    What TRULY bothers me, is all the health care bills that have been adjudicated are going to fail! Look at who handles our Medicare… it will be broke…look who handles our Social Security checks…..it’s going broke….look at the billions of dollars in checks written to dead people, and we’re told it won’t get fixed soon….Look at the Errors by the FDA…they inspect under 2% of imported foods. Do you think GMO’s and Monstanto’s chemicals are good for America? Would you bet your LIFE on our legislators, PAC and SUPERPAC moneys, lawyers, lobbyists and “judges” making the right decisions to help America eat well and be well? IF NOT, believe me, I don’t and I damned well deserve the right to know what I’m eating.
    What has been happening is shear insanity! If it continues, we are being led down the path of death and disease.

  7. Agreed, if we had a plan akin to Medicare for all and didn’t cowtow to health insurance providers, we’d all be better off health wise and monitarily.

    • Laura says:

      I’m sorry but I’m going to have to disagree with pretty much all of you except for alternative health care. Maybe things are different here but I doubt it.

      I’ve been buying private health insurance since 1994 at the cost of $540.00 a month and only actually meeting my deductible maybe 5 times in all those years. I was classified as a high risk then told i was no longer and found regular insurance was even more so I stayed with the high risk. Now I’m on medi-caid the state put me there because I’m suppose to be high risk. But it has it’s drawbacks. Most specialists here in Oregon don’t take medi-caid patients so you have to go to university hospitals. Which can be very hard. My answer to this is not to tell them and just pay the bill it’s still cheaper than 10 or 12 grand a year.

      On another note I have 2 autistic grandchildren and their getting more and better care than they ever got with full coverage from Blue Cross. It’s worth it to help these kids. They will work out the bugs it will take some time.

  8. S. Donovan says:

    If the original idea, health care for all, had been implemented, none of these concerns would be relevant. We don’t need insurance; we need health care. We don’t need a stranger who has never reviewed our medical files to determine whether or not a certain treatment or drug is appropriate for us, how many times we should have a preventive procedure, etc. We don’t seem to focus on the problem; paying the middleman deflects the reality of how much healthcare costs. If we were not paying someone to say “no” to what we need, how much less would it all cost?

    • Marvin L. Zinn says:

      Oh no! If prevention prevents drugs needed they would have less profits. More disease and errors make more money. (Please send me $1,000 each year and I promise you will become sick.)

  9. I swore that I would NEVER get Obamacare for my health insurance! I am not working and I had said that I have yet to see anyone get blood from a turnip! Now I have state subsidized health insurance which is a real God send. I have medical, hospitalization, pharmacy, dental, and vision. This is NOT Obamacare!

  10. Cheryl Norman says:

    We are currently paying more than 20 percent of our total gross income. If it goes higher we may have to opt out. I work a part time job for the local school system. Many that I work with have had their hours restricted, so that our employer will not be required to offer benefits to them. My husband works for a government contractor who gives him under $4.00 per hour ( up to 40 hours per week) to pay for his health insurance, but that is before taxes.
    I am past my child bearing years, my children are grown and on their own, yet I have to pay for birth control and prenatal care ( At my age it would be a miracle of God and considered a high risk pregnancy!) plus children’s dental care. Due to the cost of our healthcare insurance, we cannot afford dental insurance for ourselves, so now we have none.
    Our doctor has ordered blood tests for my husband and myself. There are no independent labs contracted with our insurance company within 50 miles. The local hospital’s estimate of the cost will be $1,500.00. If we go to an independent lab that is closer, it will raise our deductible (which is $5,000.00) and raise our out of pocket (which is over $6,000.00). So, we cannot afford our “Affordable Healthcare”!
    While I am happy to help those in need, we need to provide for our selves first. I’ve had health insurance my entire life. But now I’m afraid, that before long, we will be the uninsured.

    • Marvin L. Zinn says:

      Thank you for revealing common sense mathematics instead of forced lies on us by politicians who were voted to obtain it. Anyone who votes or claims in favor of this should also pay our share.

      Yes, I favor helping the poor, but it would cost a lot less if we did that personally than the huge government waste and inefficiency.

      marvin

    • Lynn says:

      It is by far a terrible law for so many people. The rates have skyrocketed for those who don’t receive subsidy and if you want to be able to keep your insurance you will have a small network just to keep the costs down as low as possible. The only people it helped are people with pre-existing conditions and those on subsidy. How long do you think the government can continue to foot the bill!??

  11. Lisa Shaw says:

    This is a terrible bill and for middle class citizens such as my husband and I, and has increased our health care costs tremendously! Our insurance costs have increased and our deductibles and “co-pays” are ridiculous. I do hope Consumer Reports is NOT advocating for this hastily written and poorly conceived legislation that left no room for debate on ideas that would actually lower costs.

    • Tim says:

      I agree with you that the so – called Affordable Healthcare Act (a real oxymoron) is a bad bill, but don’t be fooled into thinking it was hastily written. That bill had been sitting in a safe or on a hard drive for years waiting for the right moment to be forced on the American people.

      My premiums were $162 a month the year before the bill passed. The year it was passed my premiums went to $274 per month. The following year they went to $483. The next year they were to go to over $700, at which point I dropped the policy. When I signed up for nearly the same insurance coverage (sans HSA) through the federal exchange, the plan costs over $750 with a $300+ subsidy. The best part? The rep who signed me up, after hearing the above information, said she was glad they were able to save me money. Government math at it’s best.

  12. Marvin L. Zinn says:

    My biggest complaint is that any insurance they will only pay for something on their list, usually what the government approves, and they will not pay for what I need and will accept.

    In my case, from prostate cancer I refused surgery and radiation. I chose two herbs (graviola and turmeric). Yes it works! It only took three weeks before the symptoms to begin to reduce. Then with a lot of three time tests to positively confirm, I also know I have to avoid too much sugar and any dairy products, or the herbs would fail. Now I am back to good shape instead of dead by the end of last year as doctors expected. Yes, I probably still have the cancer, but it is obviously shrinking!

    Graviola is expensive for my income only social security, but it would certainly cost the insurance company almost nothing compared with what they pay now. All of us should have the right to make our own choice, regardless of the results.

    • Lynn says:

      I couldn’t agree more. We are under one system of care and it’s not a good one. Alternative treatment should be allowed but since it’s all under the monopoly of Big Pharm, that will never happen.

      • Beverly says:

        You are so right! I was able to find an OTC treatment for my underactive thyroid, that not even the CRNP knew about! It’s much cheaper than the prescription stuff! My insurance won’t cover it (it’s considered alternative medicine ) but at less than $10 a year, I don’t care.

      • Marvin L. Zinn says:

        I learned from my work in 20 countries that some people wonder why such bad products are actually used here. (Mostly Asia uses more herbs.) Side effects are often worse then the disease. Timothy 6:10 “Love of money is the root of all evil.”

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