Everyone's heard about the big Supreme Court ruling upholding subsidies for Obamacare. But what does it really mean?
Thanks for Dr. Roger Stark, who's the noted medical and political expert for the Washington Policy Center, we've outlined the latest news.
Stark was asked to testify before Congress during the debate phase of Obamacare before it was implemented and is considered an expert in the medical industry - especially since he's a former practicing doctor.
The Supreme Court's 6-3 ruling means the government can continue to give subsidies by way of the IRS (tax breaks) to people enrolled in the federal (not state) healthcare exchanges. The suit has challenged the legality of this. Washington state is one of 14 states who set up their own exchange, so it was a bit of a moot point for us. The suit had challenged the legality of the Internal Revenue Service to be giving subsidies by way of the federal exchange.
But what lies ahead? Dr. Stark said this about the future of Obamacare:
Essentially the ACA continues in its present form. People enrolled in the federal exchange will continue to receive subsidies. The Republican Congress will continue to pass repeal/reform measures that President Obama will veto. Potentially other law suits will work their way through the courts.
The critical issues are more long term, however. Virtually all of the state-exchanges are experiencing financial difficulties, including Washington state. There is a high likelihood that some, if not all, of those states will shift to the federal exchange.
Health care will become a more important issue in the 2016 presidential election. Republicans will push for repeal and Democrats will favor reform only.
Health insurance premiums will continue to rise, ultimately forcing the government to put some type of price controls on the industry. Health insurance companies will then essentially become public utilities.
Taxes will continue to rise. The federal debt will increase and future generations will have a huge financial burden. Cuts to Medicare to pay for the ACA will get worse and access to health care for our seniors will decrease.
The ACA is not meaningful health care reform and is not sustainable. It's simply more government intervention into our health care system. The stated goal of many of the proponents of the ACA is some type of government single-payer system.