WBEZ | ACA http://www.wbez.org/tags/aca Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Morning Shift: Same-sex marriage debate heats up in corporate America http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-04-10/morning-shift-same-sex-marriage-debate-heats <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Cover Flickr Andrea Goh.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>After controversies with Honey Maid and Mozilla, we examine how companies are handling the same-sex marriage issue. We also take a look at some of the challenges in overcoming health care disparities. Plus, the Leonard Cohen inspired music of Greg Ashley.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-same-sex-marriage-debate-heats-up-in/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-same-sex-marriage-debate-heats-up-in.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-same-sex-marriage-debate-heats-up-in" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Same-sex marriage debate heats up in corporate America" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 08:15:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-04-10/morning-shift-same-sex-marriage-debate-heats Adjunct professors demand inclusion in health care reforms http://www.wbez.org/news/adjunct-professors-demand-inclusion-health-care-reforms-106034 <p><p>Starting in January 2014, large employers will be required to give health benefits to people who work at least 30 hours a week. The provision of the federal Affordable Care Act applies to anyone with more than 50 full-time employees &ndash; including all of Illinois&#39; community colleges.</p><p>Now some adjunct professors are worried they&rsquo;ll have their hours cut by colleges who don&rsquo;t want to shell out the cash come January.</p><p>Dennis Polkow joined a group of protesters Friday outside the Westin Hotel, where Illinois community college leaders were holding a weekend gathering. After working at Oakton Community College for 13 years, he&rsquo;s teaching 3 classes this semester and making less than 12 thousand dollars, he says, with no benefits<b style="font-weight: normal;"><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Arial; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">. </span></b>Like many other adjuncts, Polkow often juggles jobs at several colleges to make ends meet.</p><p>He said when he heard about the health care bill, &ldquo;I thought, hallelujah, affordable health care act. I&rsquo;ll be able to get affordable health care. Instead it&rsquo;s like...cut, cut, cut, cut, cut.&rdquo;</p><p>Polkow&rsquo;s one of the people who&rsquo;d be covered under Obamacare. But this February he found out Oakton may limit adjunct course loads in preparation for the health care law to kick in.</p><p>The college caught flack from faculty over memos that circulated about limiting adjunct course hours, and now Oakton Community College President Peg Lee says nothing&rsquo;s been decided.</p><p>&ldquo;We don&rsquo;t even know how to define the number of hours,&rdquo; she said Friday.</p><p>Adjuncts are paid by the course hour rather than by hours worked, and federal guidelines for calculating who will get coverage are still under review. Lee says whatever the calculations, community colleges are already strapped for cash. Governor Quinn&rsquo;s 2014 budget slashes higher education by five percent, and Lee says Oakton&rsquo;s still waiting on state reimbursement checks from last year. Sequestration cuts could also limit the numbers of students bringing federal aid into the community college system.</p><p>&ldquo;As much as I believe in universal health care and a single payer, we can&rsquo;t be that universal health care and single payer provider,&rdquo; Lee said. &ldquo;We just don&rsquo;t have the money.&rdquo;<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS7114_051-scr.JPG" style="height: 187px; width: 280px; float: right;" title="Peg Lee (WBEZ/Lewis Wallace)" /></p><p>It&rsquo;s unclear whether most community colleges will adopt the practice of cutting adjunct hours to avoid Obamacare costs.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re learning what the rules are and how they impact employees and employers, and the decisions that need to be made,&rdquo; said Mike Monaghan, director of the Illinois Community College Trustees Association. &ldquo;We have lots more work to do.&rdquo;</p><p>Still, he said the adjuncts&rsquo; concerns are legitimate.</p><p>&ldquo;Everybody has reason to be concerned, whether you&rsquo;re an employee or an employer,&rdquo; Monaghan said. &ldquo;Any additional expense puts pressure on declining budgets.&rdquo;</p><p>Cuts are already in place at Joliet Junior College (JJC).&nbsp;In anticipation of the health care reforms, the administration has placed a cap of six course hours per semester on all adjuncts&rsquo; schedules beginning this summer. At the protest Friday, JJC adjuncts&rsquo; union president Al Kennedy spoke quietly but urgently&nbsp;about the effect of the cuts on some union members.</p><p>&ldquo;Are they going to be able to pay their rent for their apartment? Are they gonna be able to put food on the table for the kids? They&rsquo;re just beside themselves,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>JJC stands by the decision, saying that planning for a law they still have so little information about is a balancing act.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS7116_019-scr.JPG" style="height: 201px; width: 300px; float: left;" title="Steven Brody (WBEZ/Lewis Wallace)" />&ldquo;I think this is just one of the sort of byproducts of this law,&rdquo; said JJC spokesperson Kelly Rohder.</p><p>But to protester Steven Brody, also an Oakton adjunct, this is about &nbsp;more than a fight over health care.</p><p>&ldquo;This is simply the first reaction of every one of these colleges to having to finally come to grips with the fact that they overutilize and underpay their adjunct faculty,&rdquo; he said.</p><p><a href="http://www.academicworkforce.org/CAW_portrait_2012.pdf" target="_blank">A recent study</a> found that three quarters of college classes nationwide are taught by part-time or adjunct instructors, a dramatic shift from the 1970s when the majority of classes were taught by tenured faculty. Average pay for adjunct professors adds up to just over $20,000 a year for eight courses total, and most of the positions don&rsquo;t come with health insurance.</p><p><em>Follow <a href="https://twitter.com/LewisPants" target="_blank">Lewis Wallace on Twitter</a>.</em></p></p> Mon, 11 Mar 2013 16:44:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/adjunct-professors-demand-inclusion-health-care-reforms-106034 The NRA has a say even in your health care http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-12/nra-has-say-even-your-health-care-104566 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS2581_AP05031408767-guns%20Nam%20Y.%20Huh-scr.jpg" style="float: right; height: 300px; width: 300px;" title="AP file" />Did you think the National Rifle Association had reached its nadir when it suggested that, no matter the costs, we should put an armed guard in every school in the nation? Did you think it was a bit much that the group thought to inject itself in education policy by providing a whole gun training regimen for schools?</div><p><br />Here&rsquo;s another NRA policy that&rsquo;s right there with that flash of genius, that&#39;s far more intrusive, and one with which the group has had some success: The Firearm Owners Privacy Act -- <a href="http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=44993">already passed in 2011 in Florida</a>, the nation&rsquo;s loony bin -- would seek to ban physicians from asking patients about gun ownership and possession.<br /><br />The act basically says that doctors can ask about smoking, drinking, drugs, physical abuse, caloric intake and any other health risk factor they can come up with, but not about firearm possession. Never mind that study after study shows that even <a href="http://www.bradycampaign.org/facts/gunviolence/gunsinthehome/">law-abiding gun owners have a higher risk of death by gunshot</a> if they keep their weapons at home.<br /><br />The idea behind it is so impractical that even the version signed by Florida Gov. Rick Scott comes with exemptions for EMTs and other emergency personnel.<br /><br />And want to know what&rsquo;s even scarier? There&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/12/19/1171950/-Guns-mental-health-and-Obamacare#">a section in the Affordable Care Act</a>, AKA Obamacare, that mirrors the Firearm Owners Act. The ACA provision doesn&rsquo;t out-and-out prohibit doctors from asking about guns -- a useful question when dealing with minors, or potentially homicidal or suicidal patients -- but it discourages them from doing so. The provision, under the ACA&rsquo;s Title X, even goes so far as to forbid doctors from collecting any data that concerns gun ownership.<br /><br />A judge issued <a href="http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/07/02/2879089/miami-federal-judge-sides-with.html">a permanent injunction against Florida&#39;s bill</a> last July, saying, among other things, that the law was so vague it violated doctor&rsquo;s First Amendment rights to free speech.<br /><br />But the Obamacare provision -- which was <a href="http://www.redstate.com/briansikma/2012/06/28/how-the-nra-helped-obamacare/">written with the NRA&rsquo;s blessing</a> -- stands. In other words, even when the NRA loses a state statute in the courts, it has something to build on down the road based on federal law.<br /><br />That&rsquo;s why <a href="http://smartgunlaws.org/">six other states</a> -- Alabama, Minnesota (c&rsquo;mon!), North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee and West Virginia -- have tried to pass their own versions of the Firearm Owners Privacy Act.<br /><br />Supporters of Firearm Owners Privacy Act argue that the law basically <a href="http://www.sunshinestatenews.com/story/florida-appeal-flawed-decision-overturning-docs-vs-glocks-law">allows doctors to drop patients who are gun owners </a>-- as if doctors had a particular prejudice rather than a concern about the health consequences of gun ownership.<br /><br />&quot;What is curious about this law &mdash; and what makes it different from so many other laws involving practitioners&rsquo; speech &mdash; is that it aims to restrict a practitioner&rsquo;s ability to provide truthful, non-misleading information to a patient, whether relevant or not at the time of the consult with the patient,&rdquo; wrote U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke in her ruling on the Florida version.<br /><br />In other words, Judge Cooke put a stop to a law that would have kept physicians from asking questions about guns and how it might impact the health -- perhaps even <em>life</em> -- of their patients.<br /><br />But the NRA would like doctors to let that info be.</p><p>And by working with the NRA on the ACA to keep gun nuts from upending the entire law, the White House has provided the very platform for this nasty bit of murderous legalese to keep popping up, like varmints in a midway shooting game.</p></p> Wed, 26 Dec 2012 12:21:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-12/nra-has-say-even-your-health-care-104566 Politicians respond to Supreme Court ruling of President Obama's health care law http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-06/politicians-respond-supreme-court-ruling-president-obamas-health-care-law-100497 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/7441740662_5f33882e60_z.jpg" style="float: left; width: 300px; height: 200px; " title="Protesters outside the Supreme Court as the ACA ruling came down Thursday morning. (Flickr/Talk Radio News Service)" />As the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act came down Thursday morning, politicians in Illinois and across America began to release their responses. Below are some of their statements, culled from Twitter, email and phone interviews conducted by WBEZ.</p><p>&quot;I gave (President Barack Obama) my advice. I told him many times, I said the political cost of doing this, and thank God, for the rest of the country, he didn&#39;t listen to me.&quot;&nbsp;<strong><a href="https://twitter.com/RahmEmanuel/status/218371515417243649">-- Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel</a></strong></p><p>&quot;We&#39;re going to do whatever we can to do to repeal this law, because as Governor Romney said, this law is terrible for America.&quot;</p><p>&ldquo;I want to start over. I want to get rid of the whole thing. And then I want Republicans and Democrats to sit down and work on the things we all agree on, which are tort reform, expanding health savings accounts, letting Americans cross state lines to buy insurance. Look, Obamacare goes in the exact opposite direction.&rdquo;&nbsp;<strong>-- Representative Joe Walsh (R-IL-8th)</strong></p><p>&ldquo;Today is a historic day when the Supreme Court declared that the Affordable Care Act and the&nbsp;health security it brings is the law of the land. With President Obama&rsquo;s leadership, Congress&nbsp;enacted the most significant law in half a century. The law ends insurance industry abuses in&nbsp;the health system, improves Medicare and Medicaid for seniors and the disabled, and covers&nbsp;millions of uninsured Americans. Today, Republicans need to finally put to rest the relentless,&nbsp;partisan attacks against a landmark law that is already working to provide affordable,&nbsp;high-quality care....Today is a day for celebration. Tomorrow we will get back to work ensuring that every&nbsp;American can take advantage of the benefits of Obamacare and have access to affordable,&nbsp;comprehensive and high quality health care. &rdquo; <strong>-- Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)</strong></p><p>&quot;While I respect the Court&rsquo;s decision, the health care law threatens our economic recovery by raising taxes, imposing new regulations and creating a drag on the economy. Congress should repeal the health care law and replace it with common sense, centrist reforms that give Americans the right to buy insurance across state lines and expand coverage without raising taxes, while blocking the government from coming between patients and their doctors.&quot; <strong>-- Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL)</strong></p><p>&quot;I am pleased to see that the Supreme Court has validated the important benefits of this law and look forward to its full implementation #hcr&quot; (<a href="http://twitter.com/RepBobbyRush/status/218347873954308099">Twitter</a>)</p><p>&ldquo;Today the United States Supreme Court told the American People that they do indeed have a right to quality health care. I am pleased that the most important part of the Affordable Care Act, the individual mandate that makes the entire program possible, has been ruled constitutional.&nbsp;</p><p>Now the fight begins to make sure that these benefits are not taken away.&nbsp; Please know that I will continue to fight in behalf of the residents of the First Congressional District and our nation.&quot;<strong>&nbsp;</strong><strong>-- Representative&nbsp;Bobby Rush&nbsp;(D-IL)</strong></p><p>&ldquo;Unfortunately, the court&rsquo;s ruling will have tragic consequences that will spread well beyond the issue of mandatory insurance and health care services. It will drive up health care costs and put yet another financial burden on our already struggling small businesses. We in Illinois will be exploring avenues available for implementing this sweeping law and still providing the greatest options and lowest cost for our families and businesses.&rdquo; <strong>-- State Senator Bill Brady (R-IL)</strong></p><p>&ldquo;This decision means that we can move forward to address the unsustainable increase in health care costs and expand the protection of health insurance coverage to over 30 million Americans &ndash; including millions in Illinois.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;Those who opposed any change in the law and dismissed the constitutionality of this measure were rejected by the actions of Congress and the opinion of the Chief Justice.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;It is also noteworthy that after two controversial, activist decisions in Bush v. Gore and Citizens United, the Chief Justice, in both the Arizona immigration law and the Affordable Care Act cases, appears to be working to reestablish the political neutrality of this court. That is a positive development.&rdquo; <strong>--&nbsp;Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL)</strong></p><p>&quot;Constitutionality should not be mistaken for good public policy. Although the Supreme Court today ruled that ObamaCare is constitutional, that does not change the fact that it will drive up the cost of health care, add to our already exploding debt and hurt job creation, including within our vibrant medical device manufacturing sector.</p><p>&quot;Standing outside the Supreme Court in our Nation&#39;s Capitol today as the ruling was handed down I was reminded of the passion this legislation has ignited among an overwhelming and consistent majority of Hoosiers who have rejected ObamaCare from the very start.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/7461564836_c384cb2342_z.jpg" style="float: right; width: 300px; height: 215px; " title="A scene from the Supreme Court following their ruling to uphold the ACA. (Flickr/SEIU International)" />&quot;The stakes are too high. Our economy, our future, depends on us electing Mitt Romney this November.&quot; <strong>--&nbsp;Indiana Republican Party State Chairman Eric Holcomb&nbsp;</strong></p><p>&ldquo;While this ruling speaks to the constitutionality of the ACA, the real question is whether the 2010 law makes for good public policy.&nbsp;The American people missed a golden opportunity with health care reform when Congress rushed it through on a partisan basis. I believe that properly confronting the big issues and challenges in this country requires input from both sides and bipartisan support. There are positive provisions in the ACA that should remain as law, but there is more we can do to increase quality and access to care, while reining in skyrocketing costs to the health care system.&nbsp; As health care reform continues to take shape, I am committed to working in a bipartisan way to find positive solutions to the rising costs of health care.&rdquo;&nbsp;--&nbsp;<strong>Representative Robert Dold (R-IL)</strong></p><p>&ldquo;I applaud today&rsquo;s decision by the United States Supreme Court upholding the Affordable Care Act. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;In accordance with this historic ruling, the Cook County Health and Hospitals System will continue to seek a 1115 Medicaid Waiver from the work Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This waiver, if approved by the federal government, would permit CCHHS to receive federal reimbursement for the costs of treatment provided to the tens of thousands of our patients who currently have no medical coverage but will gain access to Medicaid on January 1, 2014.</p><p>&ldquo;CCHHS is the foundation of the safety-net health network in northeastern Illinois. Today&rsquo;s decision by the Supreme Court will allow our system to proactively prepare for Affordable Care Act implementation in 2014.&rdquo; <strong>-- Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle</strong></p><p>&quot;There&#39;s still so much more that needs to be done but for most families this insures that them the rug is not going to be pulled out from underneath them.&quot; <strong>-- Representative Mike Quigley (D-IL)</strong></p><p>&ldquo;With or without the unpopular health mandate, the cost of care continues to rise, and it&rsquo;s up to Republicans and Democrats alike to work across the aisle on solutions. I&rsquo;m disappointed that the Court did not put a stop to the government overreach.&nbsp; But Washington still has a responsibility to fix polices that are raising costs, hurting job creation, siphoning millions from Medicare, and placing an added layer of bureaucracy between patients and their doctors. &nbsp;&nbsp;<br /><br />&ldquo;Under the Administration&rsquo;s law, too many families will lose the plans they have, and small businesses are afraid to hire new employees. We should go back to work on effective, bipartisan reforms that Democrat leaders ignored, like Association Health Plans for small businesses, allowing consumers to buy insurance across state lines, and medical malpractice reform. At the same time, we can and should maintain coverage for pre-existing conditions and young adults under 26.&rdquo; <strong>-- Representative Judy Biggert (R-IL)</strong></p></p> Thu, 28 Jun 2012 11:27:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-06/politicians-respond-supreme-court-ruling-president-obamas-health-care-law-100497 Supreme Court upholds requirement that most Americans have health insurance http://www.wbez.org/news/supreme-court-upholds-requirement-most-americans-have-health-insurance-100489 <p><p><em>Update Thursday June 28 10:05 a.m.&nbsp;</em></p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/node/100489#Ruling"><em>Read the full text of the decision.</em></a></p><p>The&nbsp;Supreme&nbsp;Court&nbsp;on Thursday upheld the individual insurance requirement at the heart of President Barack Obama&#39;s historic health care overhaul.</p><p>The decision means the huge overhaul, still only partly in effect, will proceed and pick up momentum over the next several years, affecting the way that countless Americans receive and pay for their personal medical care. The ruling also hands Obama a campaign-season victory in rejecting arguments that Congress went too far in requiring most Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty.</p><p>Breaking with the&nbsp;court&#39;s&nbsp;other conservative justices, Chief Justice John Roberts announced the judgment that allows the law to go forward with its aim of covering more than 30 million uninsured Americans.</p><p>The justices rejected two of the administration&#39;s three arguments in support of the insurance requirement. But the&nbsp;court&nbsp;said the mandate can be construed as a tax. &quot;Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness,&quot; Roberts said.</p><p>The&nbsp;court&nbsp;found problems with the law&#39;s expansion of Medicaid, but even there said the expansion could proceed as long as the federal government does not threaten to withhold states&#39; entire Medicaid allotment if they don&#39;t take part in the law&#39;s extension.</p><p>The&nbsp;court&#39;s&nbsp;four liberal justices, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, joined Roberts in the outcome.</p><p>Justices Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented.</p><p>&quot;The act before us here exceeds federal power both in mandating the purchase of health insurance and in denying non-consenting states all Medicaid funding,&quot; the dissenters said in a joint statement.</p><p>Republican campaign strategists said presidential candidate Mitt Romney will use the&nbsp;court&#39;sruling to continue campaigning against &quot;Obamacare&quot; and attacking the president&#39;s signature health care program as a tax increase.</p><p>&quot;Obama might have his law, but the GOP has a cause,&quot; said veteran campaign adviser Terry Holt. &quot;This promises to galvanize Republican support around a repeal of what could well be called the largest tax increase in American history.&quot;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Illinois%20dentists%20AP.jpg" style="float: right; width: 300px; height: 192px; " title="Dentists attend to a patient at the Chicago Family Health Center in Chicago. (AP/M. Spencer Green, File)" /><strong>Illinois reacts: Quinn &quot;thrilled&quot; with health care ruiling</strong></p><p>Illinois&nbsp;officials must decide how to implement key provisions of President Barack Obama&#39;s health care overhaul now that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law&#39;s individual insurance requirement.</p><p>That includes developing an online insurance marketplace where people and small businesses can comparison shop for insurance beginning in 2014.</p><p>Gov. Pat Quinn&#39;s administration wouldn&#39;t answer questions about&nbsp;Illinois&#39; plans, but aides say he&#39;s &quot;thrilled&quot; by the ruling.</p><p>A lawmaker who led work on implementing the state&#39;s insurance exchange has said&nbsp;Illinoiswon&#39;t be able to meet a Nov. 16 deadline to get it set up.</p><p>Democratic Rep. Frank Mautino told The Associated Press this week that&nbsp;Illinois&nbsp;must consider a federal-state partnership to meet the requirement.</p><p>Illinois&nbsp;officials estimate about 800,000 now-uninsured residents would get public or private health insurance.</p><p><strong>Republicans plan to continue campaigning against health care law&nbsp;</strong></p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/SCOTUS1.jpg" style="height: 200px; width: 300px; float: left;" title="Demonstrators protest outside of the Supreme Court this week. (Flickr/Talk Radio News Service Lingjing Bao)" />Republican campaign strategists say Mitt Romney will use today&#39;s Supreme&nbsp;Court&nbsp;ruling to continue campaigning against &quot;Obamacare.&quot; They say he will be attacking the president&#39;s signature health care program as a tax increase.</div><p>Veteran Republican campaign adviser Terry Holt says, &quot;Obama might have his law, but the GOP has a cause.&quot; He says the decision will rally Republican support for an appeal of what Holt says &quot;could well be called the largest tax increase in American history.&quot;</p><p>Romney has said this week that if the law were to be upheld, Americans would need to elect a president who would repeal it.</p><p>House Speaker John Boehner says the&nbsp;Supreme&nbsp;Court&nbsp;ruling shows the need to repeal the law.&nbsp;The Ohio Republican says in a statement that the law is hurting the economy by increasing health care costs and making it difficult for small businesses to hire.</p><p>He says the&nbsp;court&#39;s&nbsp;ruling demands repeal of the entire law.</p><p>Boehner say Americans want a common-sense approach to health care. He says Republicans are ready to work with a president who&#39;s willing to listen to the people and &quot;will not repeat the mistakes that gave our country &#39;Obamacare.&#39;&quot;</p><p><strong>What&#39;s next?</strong></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/health%20care%20protests%20Flickr%20Talk%20Radio%20News%20Service.jpg" style="float: right; width: 300px; height: 200px; " title="(Flickr/Talk Radio News Service)" />The 2010 health care law will continue phasing in as planned. It&#39;s expected to bring coverage to about 30 million uninsured people, so that more than nine in ten eligible Americans will be covered.</p><p>Some parts are already in effect: Young adults can stay on their parents&#39; insurance up to age 26. Insurers can&#39;t deny coverage to children with health problems. Limits on how much policies will pay out to each person over a lifetime are eliminated. Hundreds of older people already are saving money through improved Medicare prescription benefits. And co-payments for preventive care for all ages have been eliminated.</p><p>Starting in 2014, almost everyone will be required to be insured or pay a fine. There are subsidies to help people who can&#39;t afford coverage. Most employers will face fines if they don&#39;t offer coverage for their workers. Newly created insurance markets will make it easier for individuals and small businesses to buy affordable coverage. And Medicaid will be expanded to cover more low-income people.</p><p>Insurers will be prohibited from denying coverage to people with medical problems or charging those people more. They won&#39;t be able to charge women more, either. During the transition to 2014, a special program for people with pre-existing health problems helps these people get coverage.</p><p>An assortment of tax increases, health industry fees and Medicare cuts will help pay for the changes.</p><p><strong>Is the issue settled?</strong></p><p>Not necessarily. Although the&nbsp;court&nbsp;found it constitutional, the health care law still could be changed by Congress. Romney and Republican congressional candidates are campaigning on promises to repeal it if elected in November.</p><p>Some parts of the law are popular, but others &mdash; especially the mandate that virtually everyone have insurance coverage &mdash; are not.</p><p>Also, an estimated 26 million people will remain without health coverage once the law is fully implemented, including illegal immigrants, people who don&#39;t sign up and elect to face the fine instead, and those who can&#39;t afford it even with the subsidies.</p><p>* * * *&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/health%20care%20protests%20AP.jpg" style="float: left; width: 310px; height: 207px; margin: 5px;" title="A Tea Party supporter protests against President Barack Obama's health care law outside the Supreme Court Thursday, morning. Saving its biggest case for last, the Supreme Court is expected to announce ruling shortly. (AP/David Goldman)" /><em>Update June 28 8:31 a.m.</em></p><p><strong>Political uncertainty weighed heavy before ruiling</strong></p><p>&quot;My guess is they&#39;re not sleeping real well at the White House tonight,&quot; presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney told supporters Wednesday in northern Virginia.</p><p>Anticipation of Thursday&#39;s decision could be equally unnerving for Romney, whose opposition to the&nbsp;law&nbsp;has become a central pillar of his campaign.</p><p>Neither candidate has any direct influence over the ruling. The court could uphold the health&nbsp;care&nbsp;law, strike it down or deem the requirement that most Americans carry&nbsp;health insurance unconstitutional while retaining other aspects of the&nbsp;law.</p><p>The announcement is expected to be followed almost immediately by a barrage of advertisements and fundraising appeals from Democrats and Republicans, all trying to cast the decision in the most advantageous light for their candidates.</p><p>The Obama campaign began trying to raise money off the ruling even before it was announced. In a Thursday morning fundraising email with the subject line &quot;Today&#39;s Decision,&quot; Obama campaign manager Jim Messina told supporters &quot;no matter what, today is an important day to have Barack Obama&#39;s back.&quot;</p><p>The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee also issued a fundraising appeal for a &quot;health&nbsp;care&nbsp;rapid response fund,&quot; telling supporters by email Wednesday that, however the court rules, &quot;Democrats are in for a tough fight.&quot;</p><p>Secrecy has marked each campaign&#39;s planning for the critical moment.</p><p>Obama is scheduled to be in the Oval Office with Vice President Joe Biden when the ruling is announced. The president is certain to respond to the decision, but his specific plans to do so were unclear. Romney&#39;s campaign has refused to disclose the location of a Capitol Hill venue where he will face reporters shortly after the announcement.</p><p>It is clear, however, that the Supreme Court&#39;s ruling on Obama&#39;s sweeping federal health&nbsp;care&nbsp;law&nbsp;will shape the contours of the presidential campaign through the summer and fall. Both Obama and his Republican rival are primed to use the outcome &mdash; whatever it is &mdash; for political gain.</p><p>Obama has expressed confidence the court will uphold his signature legislative initiative. But he won&#39;t be shocked if a conservative majority overturns the most controversial provision, those familiar with his thinking say. Romney aides say the Republican candidate will get a political boost if the court strikes down the measure. But they don&#39;t want celebrations that could alienate voters who could lose&nbsp;health&nbsp;care&nbsp;benefits as a result of the decision.</p><p>The court&#39;s ruling could have a far-reaching impact on the nation&#39;s&nbsp;health&nbsp;care&nbsp;system. If thelaw&nbsp;is upheld, about 30 million of the 50 million uninsured Americans would get coverage in 2014 when a big expansion begins.</p><p>Overturning all or part of the&nbsp;law&nbsp;could leave as uninsured the more than 3 million young adults who gained coverage through a provision allowing them to stay on their parents&#39; insurance up to age 26, according to the&nbsp;Health&nbsp;and Human Services Department. Another 60,000 people who gained coverage through a plan for those with pre-existing conditions may not be able to get coverage elsewhere if the entire&nbsp;law&nbsp;is struck down.</p><p>Obama recently has avoided mentioning the impending court ruling directly, but during campaign events this week he has vigorously defended the&nbsp;health&nbsp;care&nbsp;overhaul as critical to the public&#39;s&nbsp;health&nbsp;and well-being.</p><p>&quot;I think it was the right thing to do. I know it was the right thing to do,&quot; he told supporters in Boston.</p><p>Romney, who as Massachusetts governor signed a&nbsp;health&nbsp;care&nbsp;law&nbsp;on which the Obama&#39;s federal&nbsp;law&nbsp;was modeled, has focused more than usual on the Supreme Court ruling this week. In campaign appearances in Virginia, New Jersey and New York, he offered supporters and donors a preview of his likely response to the decision and said Obama&#39;s first term would be essentially wasted if the&nbsp;law&nbsp;is overturned.</p><p>If the court upholds the&nbsp;law, Romney told supporters at a northern Virginia electronics manufacturer Wednesday, it&#39;s still bad policy. &quot;And that&#39;ll mean if I&#39;m elected president we&#39;re going to repeal it and replace it,&quot; he said.</p><p>And if the court strikes down the&nbsp;law, Romney said, &quot;They&#39;re going to be doing some of my work for me.&quot;</p><p>Obama advisers say the Supreme Court showed reasonableness earlier this week in a ruling on an Arizona immigration case, and they see it as a hopeful sign for how the court might rule on health&nbsp;care.</p><p>If the court upholds the&nbsp;law, Obama could get an election-year gust of wind at his back, with his vision and leadership validated. If the court strikes down the overhaul, the White House would seek to cast the decision as detrimental to millions of Americans by highlighting popular elements of the&nbsp;law&nbsp;that would disappear, such as preventive&nbsp;care&nbsp;and coverage for young adults on parents&#39; plans.</p><p>The Romney campaign has coordinated its response directly with the Republican National Committee and House Republicans, who have agreed not to &quot;spike the ball&quot; &mdash; as one Republican put it &mdash; should the&nbsp;law&nbsp;be struck down. His campaign worries that an over-celebratory tone may turn off voters affected by the decision.</p><p>Indeed, the stakes are high for both candidates. Polling suggests that most Americans oppose the&nbsp;law, but an overwhelming majority want Congress and the president to find a new remedy if it&#39;s struck down.</p><p>Romney so far has spent little time crafting a comprehensive plan to replace the overhaul. And the Obama campaign already has seized on Romney&#39;s opposition to the most popular provisions in the&nbsp;law. For example, Romney would not prevent&nbsp;health&nbsp;care&nbsp;companies from denying coverage to new customers with medical conditions. Nor would he force them to cover young adults on their parents&#39; plans through age 26.</p><p>Still, both sides will use it to raise money and motivate supporters. And outside groups are ready to unleash a flood of advertisements following the ruling, including a 16-state, $7 million ad buy from the conservative political action group Americans for Prosperity.</p><p>___</p><p>AP White House Correspondent Ben Feller contributed to this report.</p><p><a href="http://www.scribd.com/doc/98542447/Aca-Ruling" name="Ruling" style="margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block; text-decoration: underline;" title="View Aca Ruling on Scribd">ACA Ruling</a><iframe class="scribd_iframe_embed" data-aspect-ratio="0.772727272727273" data-auto-height="false" frameborder="0" height="826" id="doc_31157" scrolling="no" src="http://www.scribd.com/embeds/98542447/content?start_page=1&amp;view_mode=list&amp;access_key=key-1t8qxe2glmz9trd6dmrq" width="620"></iframe></p></p> Thu, 28 Jun 2012 08:27:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/supreme-court-upholds-requirement-most-americans-have-health-insurance-100489