Mixed Rulings on the Affordable Care Act

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Within hours yesterday, two circuit courts ruled in opposite directions on the legality of health insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. We discuss which ruling will have the most lasting impact, and how Obamacare is doing in general with Sarah Kliff, senior editor at Vox.


Sarah Kliff

Comments [28]

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Jul. 23 2014 09:10 PM

Andy, I'm not sure why someone would ever think that an Anthem plan on the exchange would be the same as one purchased on the open market. That's just clueless. Along those lines one would think the gold, silver and bronze would all cost the same for the same services. dude, WAKE UP!

Jul. 23 2014 11:03 AM
Andy from Bethel, CT

I was on telephone hold to comment about how ObamaCare is working out for me.

I had an Anthem health insurance plan in 2013. It was cancelled, as I'm self-employed. When I purchased a new plan on the exchange, I selected Anthem in part because I did not want to risk losing my current doctors.

In early 2014, I made an appointment with one of my current doctors. I knew that he took Anthem ... but when I arrived at his office, I learned that he takes Anthem if purchased privately, but NOT Anthem if purchased on the exchange!

Is it an accurate speculation that doctors may be paid LESS by Anthem if a policy is exchange purchased? If so, the doctors will not want to spend their time with exchange patients. And exchange coverage would therefore NOT be equivalent to full private coverage. This was never part of the public awareness when we set up the new health care law.

Jul. 23 2014 10:54 AM

@RUCB_Alum, this has nothing to do with changes in congress. The real problem is things like a public option do not have huge lobbies to pay for campaigns and fund raising. The law was passed with no opposition support, so how could supporting Obama more have made it better? It would have passed with a ticker tape parade instead of the dark of night? The problem is we shouldn't have supported bad legislation just because it came out of a party we identify with for other reasons. Why has it become impossible to be critical of one's own party? or even have a real investigative press (instead of a headline, click centric one) to keep people honest.

Jul. 23 2014 10:49 AM
Ed from Larchmont

The law didn't anticipate that some states would choose not to set up exchanges.

Jul. 23 2014 10:43 AM

MD, if we passed a law that required all Insurance companies to be not-for-profit, so they pay no dividends to investors, a lot of costs would go down. Right now insurance companies are getting too much and putting out too little.

Jul. 23 2014 10:39 AM

"Health Care could very easily change in this Country but it doesn't because the pharmaceutical companies and the insurance companies..."

Not when the voters let the opposition take over the House with their fearmongering and racial hatreds. The time to support Obama was in November 2010 and 20 million 2008 voters JUST STAYED HOME. We brought this upon ourselves through voter apathy.

I believe that this November will be far different than 'usual'.

Jul. 23 2014 10:38 AM

Oh crap, I just realized open enrollment starts in November but the plans you enroll in don't actually kick in until 2015. If I get bankrupted by medical bills in those three months I've lost insurance thanks to Obamacare I'm finding a Republican activist group to sue the government for me. I don't care how mean spirited Republicans may be in their day to day, the enemy of Obamacare is my friend.

Jul. 23 2014 10:38 AM

I'm not sure who believes that they could know how this ACA would work just by reading it on paper, in a law. It really did have to be put into law and into effect to know what would happen. Now that we know, so let's pass some amendments to make it better. But, there's no going back to the terrible system we had before. We all have to man up and buy in, and stop counting on the ER room as our primary physician.

Jul. 23 2014 10:37 AM

Health insurance does not equal health care. So many of my patients pay very much for monthly premiums, and have very high copays or deductibles on top of that. They are also not able to see 80% of the specialists that I have been able to refer them to in the past because of restricted plans. Many are not coming in for visits because of the increased personal costs. Now Blue Cross Blue Shield has applied to increase their rates by 18% next year. The insurance companies seem to be the only ones benefiting.

Jul. 23 2014 10:30 AM
genejoke from Brooklyn

Can the Affordable Care Act lead to a cure for the vocal fry epidemic? How ironic that SK is sr ed at Vox, considering her own vox could use some editing.

Jul. 23 2014 10:29 AM

In September my health insurance costs will go up by 30% thanks to Obamacare which will make it unaffordable for me. Then two months later when "open enrollment" starts I can shop around and look for subsidies I guess. Hopefully I won't get hit by a bus in September or October...I think the only people who actually like Obamacare are people who already have health insurance through their employer or maybe they're 55 years old with a bunch of pre-existing conditions. The whole things feels like some kind of tax on the young to pay for old obese smokers who probably never even had to take out a student loan to pay for college. Obama is killing me man, first he passed Mitt Romney's idiotic "free market" based healthcare program and then even though Americans are struggling to afford it he wants to take in anyone who shows up on the border hat in hand. You can't even provide healthcare to your own citizens in a orderly and affordable manner!

Jul. 23 2014 10:27 AM

Jeff, you come off as so well-to-do that sympathy for you is going to be hard to come by buddy. Good for you that you own a home. others are jealous. not sure why you deserve any break at all. And, the last thing this country needs is for us poorer people to be paying you ER bill. buy a plan and move on.

Jul. 23 2014 10:27 AM
RJ from prospect hts

My complaints have been solely with the utterly dysfunctional NYS exchange. I was told by the website that 3 providers are in the plan I chose only to be told later that they're not. There was a *state* cutoff for switching plans but the plans and providers themselves can change things whenever they want, so, as a NY Times article reported, hospital networks are opting out of insurance plans--with their docs and other services--to play hardball on rates. That leaves patients flapping in the winds. Bottom line: the profit motive is causing outrageous harm to patients.

Jul. 23 2014 10:27 AM
Ed from Larchmont

One issue is whether a law is what the IRS, an agency, says it is, or whether it is what the law reads. It's again a situation of executive over-reach. But O-care has slipped through uncannily by the skin of its teeth, and might keep doing so.

Jul. 23 2014 10:26 AM

@Seth, I think his point was they should have read it before hand to see all the issues and explain it to the public in detail before it was passed, unlike what Mrs. Pelosi sadly said, “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it...”

Jul. 23 2014 10:25 AM
Scott from Brooklyn

One question I have is, if the bill always intended for everyone to be a part of the exchanges and not just states, then why does the language of the bill only list States? The plain language of the bill is pretty obvious - didn't anyone proofread??

Jul. 23 2014 10:21 AM
Jeff Pappas

My problem with new health care law is the ins Co
Tripled the cost
I do get a subsidy but on the low end border
With Medicare
and I own my home so if I am forced to take Medicare
The govt can take $ fromy estate
So I tweaked my income tone HIGHER
so I could pay something in
This is ridiculous

Jul. 23 2014 10:21 AM

@john from office - that is the most ridiculous hate filled and pointless rant I have seen in a long time. Great way to have an inclusive conversation. so you cannot find fault with the glorious ACA? (truth be told I would like single payer), I wont even acknowledge your other BS which is used as a cop out for anyone who may disagree with what the President does. Also, if you find nothing wrong with the executive branch making changes to legislation single handed or deciding which laws to enforce, I will hold you to feeling the same way when the parties switch. I know I wouldn't like it, but perhaps it is rare to think beyond the red team, blue team gag that is going on.

Jul. 23 2014 10:20 AM

Obama Care is a joke! It's too expensive, I can't afford it, just like regular old health care, the only difference now is I will be fined by the government for not having it, lovely!

Open your eyes John from the office, the Democrats and the Republicans are the same, they don't care about us, they care about money, power and control. Those fools are in "The War of the Roses" type divorce and We The People are the children stuck in the middle being destroyed by their egos!!

Health Care could very easily change in this Country but it doesn't because the pharmaceutical companies and the insurance companies are inherently corrupt and the politicians are bought and paid for by them, both Republicans and Democrats are bought and paid for equally... full stop!!

Jul. 23 2014 10:18 AM
Joe Mirsky from Pompton Lakes NJ

If you work for Uncle Sam, Doctor Sam will take care of you. The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program lists 38 plans it approves. No fooling around with those exchanges, either: “If you are covered through the FEHB Program, you will not need a Marketplace plan.” And the government will pay 72% of your premium.

Here are some of the benefits offered.
• Guaranteed coverage that your plan can’t cancel
• No waiting periods, medical examinations or restrictions because of age or physical condition Catastrophic protection against unusually large medical bills
• Continued group coverage into retirement or while you are receiving Workers’ Compensation
• Continued group coverage for your family

Jul. 23 2014 10:17 AM

The GOP saying 'No!' apparently goes deeper than the members of Congress. Now, it has hit the judiciary - which the GOP senators are filibustering like mad to keep RED! Where's the outrage over judicial activism. You won't hear any from hypocritical FoxNews.

There IS NO DOUBT when the full circuit hears the case that this ruling will be reversed.

What a way to run a country.

Jul. 23 2014 10:15 AM
Ana from bergen

It's really hard to listen Sarah Kliff talk. Her style of streaching some sounds is quite irritating.

Jul. 23 2014 10:15 AM

"a law that no one has read"
oh please, that is such clap-trap. if any elected official has not read the healthcare law by now, it's on them. They've had plenty of time, so if they haven't read it, you're a fool for re-electing them.

Jul. 23 2014 10:12 AM
foodaggro from Brooklyn

Had to turn the radio off - guest's croaky vocal frying turns her words into white noise.

Jul. 23 2014 10:09 AM
Marco from New York

This is what happens when a law that no one has read gets passed by the Congress. Imbeciles.

Jul. 23 2014 10:02 AM
john from office

Oh please Ed. The GOP has attacked Obama Care, also know as AFORDABLE CARE ACT" by any way they can, but have failed to offer an alternative.

What do they propose other than opposition to the dreaded Negro president??

The same plan they hate was originally proposed by the GOP and your hero Mitt Romney in Mass. All this is is an effort to not give Obama any success because he is too Off white.

Other then letting people die, starve,live in Carboard boxes or self deport, what does the GOP propose? Thats it, let the sick in the USA self deport to Mexico and Canada, no true American gets sick! So tired of GOP lies, makes Putin seem honest.

Your other Hero Rick Perry, he of the new metro sexual, hipster glasses sent down the national guard to "protect" the border. The Texas National Guard is, like the border patrol, is made up of hispanic officers. Perry sent immigrants to keep out immigrants! Another anti intellectual GOP clown.

At Least he agrees with you on evolution, that foolish idea. The world, Ed is 2000 years old.

Jul. 23 2014 08:28 AM
Ed from Larchmont

This case will no doubt end up at the Supreme Court, President Obama might regret having annoyed them.

Jul. 23 2014 08:15 AM

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