Does your head hurt? If so, take two aspirin because here we go again…and it’s really impossible to follow all of the healthcare ups and downs. Didn’t we already finish with this mess? Not everyone was happy, but at least is was kind of over. Now, all I care about is if my health insurance covers aspirin or if all the controversy over the individual mandate now means that the public option might? Aspirin counts as preventative care, right?!
Anyway, Congress rejected the proposed rejection of Obamacare…double negative…which means the Affordable Care Act lives…for the time being. Now some states are taking umbrage with one part of the plan that requires everyone to buy insurance. Their claim is that it is unconstitutional. The old, “we’re free and the government isn’t the boss of us” deal. Which is kind of right, except without mandating coverage, the whole plan kind of goes to hell in a hand basket….because the insurance companies can still operate how they’ve been operating which is what we want to avoid. Proponents of the new healthcare law (and Regan’s Solicitor General) defend that it absolutely falls under the commerce clause because healthcare represents 16.2% of our GDP and if an uninsured person goes to the emergency room, all tax payers foot the bill that costs $35+ billion/year.
So, the GOP is going after a full repeal of the new law and starting over, while Democrats are proposing working together to fix what is broken (or what they couldn’t agree on before). Tweaking some small business paperwork requirements, letting the insurance companies compete over state lines (which will probably get lobbied out of existence before it passes), adding more malpractice stuff AND the ever popular “public option” conversation could come back. So, whose happy that all this is being re-litigated – the right and the left. Bet your head hurts now!
So, the little courts have sent it up the the BIG court (yes, that’s the SUPREME COURT) where they will rule on it sometime in 2012. The timing of the ruling couldn’t be more perfect, in fact, because it will come right around, you guessed it….election time! So, more fun political ads pertaining to healthcare are coming to a TV near you next year!
So, our teachable MOMent today is “take two aspirin and go to school.” We need to keep our head in the conversation and learn as much as we can about the actual benefits and replacement options. Look at your current plan…find out what has changed (if you’re a senior, you should have gotten a check and some new prescription benefits; if you’re a kid, you’re golden; if you’re over 26 and under 55, then your new benefits wouldn’t kick in until 2014). So, MAMAs, stay engaged, we’ll keep you informed with pertinent links to info as things get discussed. In the meantime, go to Costco and get a big, giant bottle of aspirin.