Thursday, June 28, 2012

ObamaCare lives!!!

Darn near the entirety of the Affordable Care Act was upheld.  Needless to say, I'm unbelievably excited.

The only part of the Act which was not entirely upheld was the Medicaid expansion.  Under the original act, states who refused to expand their Medicaid rolls to cover everyone up to 133% of the poverty level would risk losing all their Medicaid funding they get from the government, which is billions of dollars for most states.  Today's ruling says that if they refuse to expand, they would only lose the additional funds granted under the act, not their existing Medicaid funding.

So it will be fascinating, FASCINATING, to see if governors/legislatures in deep red states choose to accept funding to expand their rolls.  The federal government would pay 90+% of the costs of the expansion, so it's essentially a shitload of free money being offered to each state, since people not covered by Medicaid would likely result in increased costs for everyone because hospitals would eat the cost of the uninsureds' care.  But if the red  state leaders accept the funding, they would run a very serious risk of being defeated in a GOP primary by a Tea Party true believer.

Have I mentioned that I'm happy?

More thoughts tonight; I guess I gotta go back to work.


NWest said...

Aren't you concerned that it's a Pyrrhic victory though?

Wasn't the individual mandate sold to people as "not a tax"? This victory may end up costing Obama the election. The commercials are already being cut...

PoliticalDoctor said...

That it might be considered not to be a tax isn't really a viable argument, really. People who don't have insurance would have to cut a check to the IRS. It's always been a tax.

From a political standpoint, a tax is easier to defend than an unprecedented power grab or whatever.

NWest said...

I really think you're underestimating the effect that the word "tax" has on the average person. The democrats went out of their way to *insist* that it wasn't a tax, even changing the language of the bill to call it a "penalty".

I agree with the dissent, that taxes should be called taxes in order to be construed as such.

However, given that it's legally a tax, we're going to see over and over Obama promising never to raise taxes on anyone making under $250k a year, yet he signed the healthcare law which did just that. If my wife and I would choose not to get "federally approved" insurance, we would be paying approximately $1000-$1500 more in taxes per year.

Which, BTW, is one of the largest tax increases in history. Even as a Keyenesian, you *do* think that tax increases during recessions are bad ideas, right?

PoliticalDoctor said...

Ah, but the Keynesian in me recognizes the tremendous impact of all that delicious, delicious federal spending on subsidies and such.