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Obamacare slowing recovery

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:12 pm    Post subject: Obamacare slowing recovery Reply with quote

Obamacare is just the beginning of healthcare reform: Holtz-Eakin
June 23, 2015

The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is back in the spotlight once again. This time it’s under dissection by both the Congressional Budget Office and the Supreme Court.

The highest court in the U.S. will decide on King vs. Burwell before the end of June. The case could potentially end the subsidies of 6.4 million Americans who buy their health care through the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, the CBO has released an analysis on the costs of repealing Obamacare-- a repeal that it says could add $137 billion to the U.S. deficit over the next 10 years. The number comes from an estimated $353 billion in deficits and an economic boost from increased supply of labor that would remove $216 billion from the deficit.

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, director of the American Action Forum and former director of the CBO, chooses to focus on the increased supply of labor. “The CBO has said definitively for the first time that the Affordable Care Act is harming economic growth in the United States,” he tells Yahoo Finance. “Most of this hinges on what you chose to believe about the future of the Medicare cuts…The real question is, 'Do you believe that we’re going to cut $800 billion out of Medicare in the next ten years?' If you do, then repealing the ACA gets rid of those cuts.”

Holtz-Eakin believes that the CBO report is fuel for those calling to repeal Obamacare. “Many people have suspected for a long time that the combination of higher taxes, entitlement expansion, [and] a very large regulatory burden was harming the U.S. economy.”

The CBO does note that undoing the ACA would be incredibly complicated and would present challenges since. In their report they write, “In the five years since its enactment, nearly every key provision of the law has taken effect and has been incorporated into final rules and other administrative actions.” Holtz-Eakin agrees that unwinding a large bureaucracy is difficult and proposes to replace ACA subsidies with subsidies based on people’s age and the risk that comes with age and other Republican-proposed alternatives.

“We will have in the future something that’s not the ACA whether it’s because the ACA gets repealed or replaced or because in the future the ACA gets modified,” he says. “Nobody believes this is the end of healthcare reform. It’s probably just the beginning.”


The 7 Best Lines from Justice Scalia’s Blistering Obamacare Dissent
The Fiscal Times
June 25, 2015

Justice Antonin Scalia penned a fiery dissent to the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the legality of nationwide subsidies for insurance plans purchased through the federal health care exchange.

Scalia blasts the majority decision written by Chief Justice John Roberts as a “defense of the indefensible” and criticizes it for its “interpretive jiggery-pokery” and “somersaults of statutory interpretation.” He calls some of the arguments in the majority decision “pure applesauce.”

Here are some other highlights from Scalia’s withering critique:

•“Words no longer have meaning if an Exchange that is not established by a State is ‘established by the State.’ It is hard to come up with a clearer way to limit tax credits to state Exchanges than to use the words ‘established by the State.’ And it is hard to come up with a reason to include the words ‘by the State’ other than the purpose of limiting credits to state Exchanges.”
•“Yet the [majority] opinion continues, with no semblance of shame, that ‘it is also possible that the phrase refers to all Exchanges—both State and Federal.’ … (Impossible possibility, thy name is an opinion on the Affordable Care Act!)”
•“The Court holds that when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act says ‘Exchange established by the State’ it means ‘Exchange established by the State or the Federal Government.’ That is of course quite absurd, and the Court’s 21 pages of explanation make it no less so.”
•“This case requires us to decide whether someone who buys insurance on an Exchange established by the Secretary gets tax credits. You would think the answer would be obvious—so obvious there would hardly be a need for the Supreme Court to hear a case about it.”
•“Under all the usual rules of interpretation, in short, the Government should lose this case. But normal rules of interpretation seem always to yield to the overriding principle of the present Court: The Affordable Care Act must be saved.”
• “Much less is it our place to make everything come out right when Congress does not do its job properly. It is up to Congress to design its laws with care, and it is up to the people to hold them to account if they fail to carry out that responsibility. Rather than rewriting the law under the pretense of interpreting it, the Court should have left it to Congress to decide what to do about the Act’s limitation of tax credits to state Exchanges….The Court’s insistence on making a choice that should be made by Congress both aggrandizes judicial power and encourages congressional lassitude.”
•“Having transformed two major parts of the law, the Court today has turned its attention to a third. The Act that Congress passed makes tax credits available only on an “Exchange established by the State.” This Court, however, concludes that this limitation would prevent the rest of the Act from working as well as hoped. So it rewrites the law to make tax credits available everywhere. We should start calling this law SCOTUScare.”

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