Supreme Court Sets Obama Healthcare Argument


The Supreme Court announced Monday that it will hear three days of oral arguments on various pieces of the health reform law just days after the law’s two-year anniversary. The arguments are scheduled to last 5 ½ hours over 3 days, March 26-28. One of the longest arguments in recent years. The schedule further confirms the expectation that the court will issue a ruling on the healthcare law next June, at the height of the 2012 campaign.

According to the Supreme Court’s argument calendar published Monday, the justices will spread discussions of four separate legal questions about the law over the three days, with the largest chunk of time going to the question of whether Congress had the power to compel the purchase of health insurance by 2014.

Can the federal government actually force American’s to buy health insurance? On March 26, the legal challenge to require all American’s to buy health insurance starting 2014 is set to be discussed. This will determine if Congress’s passage of the individual mandate exceeded the legislature’s powers to regulate interstate commerce or lay and collect taxes under Article I of the Constitution. Many local business’s have had this discussion and many are not in favor of this requirement. Any change can be resisted among business owners. However, there are many business owners who choose not to buy health insurance or simply cannot afford it in this recession.

The center of the battle is whether or not congress overstepped it’s powers by implementing the purchase requirement known as the mandate. Two hours will be allotted on March 27 for this.

March 28, ninety minute arguments on whether the rest of the law can survive if the mandate is struck down. An additional hour of argument will address 26 states’ claim that the law improperly expands Medicaid by coercively conditioning states’ receipt of federal funds on their participation in the new health care exchange system.

On March 23, 2010, Obama signed into law the ACA and the related Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, which together created the most sweeping reform of healthcare in a generation, greatly expanding regulations in many areas and setting the goal of expanding insurance access by about 32 million people. Critics have called it an illegal expansion of federal power and oversight.

In November 2011, the court indicated it would spread the arguments on the health law’s four issues over just two days and was extended to three. The suit was brought by 26 states and the National Federation of Independent Business.

Ruling expected in June, right in the middle of 2012 elections.

Butch Zemar

Senior groups warn Supreme Court…


A lot of the provisions in the new health care reform help Seniors with Medicare and Part D drug plan.  Take a look at this and let me know how you feel.

Senior groups: Mandate ruling shouldn’t affect all of health reform

BY JENNY IVY

February 1, 2012

1

Six national groups on aging are extending a warning to the Supreme Court: Do what you will with the individual mandate, but don’t attach that provision with others that actually help people age 65 and older.

The groups filed an offical Brief of Amici Curiae with the Supreme Court on Friday. The “friend of the court” brief is a document filed by an entity that is not part of the litigation, but who believes that the outcome will affect its best interest.

The groups (AARP; Center for Medicare Advocacy; Medicare Rights Center; National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare; National Council on Aging; and National Senior Citizens Law Center) are chiming in on the “National Federation of Independent Business et al v Kathleen Sebelius et al” and the “State of Florida et al v Department of Health and Human Services et al” cases, which challenge the constitutionality of the health reform law. In those cases, the petitioners contend that all of the ACA should fall if the minimum coverage provision is invalidated by the Court.

But if the individual mandate is a sinking ship, the groups argue, the high court should not allow other reforms, such as reduced cost-sharing for Medicare prescriptions, to go down with it.

“The health and quality of life of many older Americans are already improving because of the health reform law,” National Senior Citizens Law Center Executive Director Paul Nathanson said in a statement. “We don’t believe Congress intended to let the elderly poor languish in nursing homes or be subject to abuse if the individual mandate was found unworkable.”

The only provisions that should be affected by the constitutionality of the minimum coverage provision are the pre-existing condition, the community rating and guaranteed issue provisions, the groups explain in their brief. “The rest of the ACA, including, but in no way limited to the provisions highlighted in this amicus brief, should remain intact.”

Parts of the ACA that greatly benefit people age 65 and older that should not be affected should the Court decide to invalidate the minimum coverage provision, according to the brief from senior groups:

  • Reduced cost-sharing for Medicare beneficiaries for prescription drugs by substantially reducing the coverage gap or so-called donut hole
  • Elimination of cost-sharing for annual wellness visits and other screening services
  • Medicare Advantage plans are prevented from charging higher cost-sharing for chemotherapy and dialysis than permitted under traditional Medicare
  • Decreased unnecessary institutionalization of Medicaid beneficiaries
  • Improved coordination of care for people receiving both Medicare and Medicaid (dual eligible’s)
  • Improved quality and safety in nursing homes and prevention of abuse and neglect of elderly and people with disabilities in nursing and other residential facilities.

Hope you find this information helpful.  Let me know if you want more information like this.

Welcome to my Blog


With this blog I will keep you updated on what is going on with Medicare, Social Security, Some places and restaurants in Northern California and hopefully some other interesting information.

I am looking forward to each of you also sharing your thoughts, places and information the rest of us would like to know about.

Hope to hear from you all, see your posts and pictures and help us all stay informed and entertained.

Larry