Simple Answers About Obamacare

ObamacareOutrage and outcries pound on computer keyboards as millions question how the Supreme Court could determine that mandatory health insurance is a tax? How can the Affordable Care Act (ACA) be Constitutional? Did Obamacare Force Insurance Companies to Cancel Policies? If not, who did?

Can the ACA force insurance companies to cover a minimum list of health coverages? Is that Constitutional or voluntary compliance?

It’s pretty important to discover what part insurance companies and the government have played in this healthcare nightmare that may end up with the death of Americans. It may be worse than you imagine. Here’s some startling information for you to consider.

But first… a brief explanation of the Supreme Court’s Opinion. It’s eyeopening.

Supreme Court Judgment and Opinion

According to the opinion by Chief Justice Roberts in the matter of the National Federation of Independent Business vs Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, argued March 26, 27, 28, 2012 and Decided June 28, 2012, the court made several statements. In part:

1. In 2010, Congress enacted the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in order to increase the number of Americans covered by health insurance and decrease the cost of health care. One key provision is the individual mandate, which requires most Americans to maintain “minimum essential” health insurance coverage.

2. In his opinion, Chief Justice Roberts concluded in Part III-A that “the individual mandate is not a valid exercise of Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause, nor can the individual mandate be sustained under the Necessary and Proper Clause.

“Even if the individual mandate is “necessary” to the Affordable Care Act’s other reforms, such an expansion of federal power, the court rules that it is not a “proper” means for making those reforms effective.

“The most straightforward reading of the individual mandate in the ACA is that it commands individuals to purchase insurance. The Commerce Clause does not give Congress that power.  Therefore, the individual mandate is not valid. ///

“The Framers knew the difference between doing something and doing nothing. They gave Congress the power to regulate commerce, not to compel it. Ignoring that distinction would undermine the principle that the Federal Government is a government of limited and enumerated powers. The individual mandate thus cannot be sustained under Congress’s power to “regulate Commerce.”

3. “It is therefore necessary to turn to the Government’s alternative argument: that the mandate may be upheld as within Congress’s power to “lay and collect Taxes.” 

“Therefore the individual mandate must be construed as imposing a tax on those who do not have health insurance, if such a construction is reasonable.” ///

Conclusion: Obamacare is a Tax

The Supreme Court ruled that the government did not have the power to force people to buy insurance. However, it is okay to impose a tax on those who do not have health insurance, maybe. Let’s agree that punishment, retaliation, and undue financial burden are not reasonable. There shouldn’t even be a $95 mandatory tax under current conditions.

In this case, a $95 tax becomes payable if an individual does not have health insurance by end of enrollment period. It’s not reasonable. Why would the President force an unreasonable tax burden on the American people, especially considering current circumstances?

Chief Justice Roberts’ opinion did not state that the government could make a bargain with insurance companies to cancel people’s existing health plans, raise rates or cause uninsured Americans, by force or trickery, to buy health insurance in the government’s marketplace.

As I read Chief Justice Robert’s opinion, I don’t see anything about “canceling existing insurance policies.” Keep going for an possible explanation…

Why are Millions of American’s Policies Cancelled?

ACA, also known as Obamacare, is a law passed entirely by Democrats. No Republicans voted for this law. That’s a fact. The ACA includes a listing of health coverages, such as maternity coverage, that the law plans to offer in the marketplace exchanges — for everyone including men. It’s one-size-fits-all insurance coverage with four graduating plans.

The simple description is that health insurance companies will participate in the government marketplace and when there are two or more insurance companies, they will compete for the business of uninsured Americans.

Who’s Responsible for Existing Insurance Policy Cancellations?

CancelIn the media, there’s a lot of noise and commentary about millions of health insurance policies being canceled. This causes havoc with sick people who depend on their existing insurance, as well as healthy people.

Democrats blame insurance companies.

Republicans blame the ACA law itself.

Is it insurance companies? Or the ACA law?  Is this argument created purposely by design? Could it be both?

Is the Law to Blame for Cancellations?

The “law with its list of healthcare coverages” make it appear as if the “law” is responsible for policy cancellations: The argument is that insurance companies are forced to cancel policies so that their insured subscribers can sign up for a new policy [with a higher premium] that includes all ACA’s listed coverages. But is this true?  Read on.

Are Insurance Companies to Blame for Cancellations?

Democrats are quick to place blame for cancellations on the insurance companies: The argument is that the insurance companies have a history of raising rates.

Democrats also cling to a “grandfather clause” in the ACA to protect those who have an existing policy prior to the law. However, when insurance companies make a small change to a policy, the “grandfather protection” is void. Democrats point to this “loophole” to explain why it’s the insurance company’s fault for the cancellation. I’ll come back to this shortly. Keep reading, but note the division, pitting one side against the other.

What’s the Real Reason for the Cancellations?

What’s interesting about Chief Justice Robert’s opinion is the first part concerning the Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause. His opinion states that Congress has the power to regulate commerce, not to compel it.

Just think of “commerce” as “business” and it’s easier to understand.

In my mind, what this translates to mean is that Obamacare (ACA) can regulate health insurance companies for its purposes. This refers to policies designed to sell in the government’s marketplace that include the list healthcare coverages defined by the ACA law — but the law cannot compel insurance companies to include the list of healthcare coverages in all the policies they might want to offer, specifically any policies that are not part of the government’s marketplace. I could be wrong, but that’s the way it reads to me.

Can you imagine the government going into Apple and regulating what features to include with the iPhone?

In other words, health insurance companies can choose to follow ACA regulations by offering health policies that include all the ACA’s published coverages, but they can also offer other policies that do not include the list of coverages.

They Didn’t Have to Cancel Insurance Policies

I believe the insurance companies didn’t have to cancel American’s health insurance policy. For example, policies inside the marketplace such as the Bronze or Silver plans need to include the law’s list of coverages, but those outside the government marketplace exchanges might not have to include the list of healthcare coverages. Not sure, but it makes sense to me. Consult your legal counsel.

The Framers of the Constitution gave Congress the power to regulate commerce, not to compel it. Ignoring that distinction would undermine the principle that the Federal Government is a government of limited and enumerated powers.

According to Chief Justice Roberts, the Commerce Clause (supra) limits the government and by extension, the ACA. As I understand this — and again, I could be wrong, consult your attorney the law cannot compel insurance companies to include the list of healthcare coverages — except in and for the government’s marketplace.

If an insurance company wants to be one of the companies in the marketplace, then its insurance policy offers need to have the coverage that meets the law’s regulations — to be allowed to participate — and be included in the government’s marketplace.

Also, the law cannot prohibit insurance companies from offering policies which don’t include the ACA’s list of healthcare coverages. A business such as an insurance company can offer any product it wants to. America is still a free enterprise economy.

Grandfather Clause

If my understanding is accurate, and please ask your legal representative — then why all the hullabaloo about the “grandfather” reference? Voluntary compliance on the part of insurance companies makes it moot whether you bought your policy before or after the law was enacted. Millions of existing policies could have been left untouched.

Could the “grandfather” phrase have been added as a talking point, possibly for a ruse, diversion, misdirection or persuasive deception in the context told to the American people?

Could There Be Conspiracy?

Follow the moneyIf it’s true that insurance companies don’t have to comply with the ACA regulations, why are health insurance companies canceling existing policies?

After all the Supreme Court voided the mandate and ruled the ACA could only impose a tax on uninsured Americans.

Of course, the obvious answer is the promise of a bigger piece of the American pie. In politics, business, novels and movies, whenever there is a mystery, follow the money.

You see, on October 1, everyone thought the government’s healthcare website would function and insurance companies would sign up thousands of people. Instant new customers is an appealing carrot for any business.

When an existing policy that covers certain conditions is canceled and the company presents a new policy with the same coverage — plus coverage for health conditions that the policy holder may never need — it’s an excuse to charge a higher rate — essentially without a risk of ever paying a claim for the additional unneeded coverage.

For example, charge a man for maternity coverage, but when is he ever going to need it? Under this scenario, insurance company collect more money without increased risk. Profits go up with every premium payment paid — multiplied by [the promise of] millions of customer policies.

That’s a hefty incentive to cooperate with the government.

If the government made a bargain with health insurance companies — and I’m not saying this happened — what benefit would the government gain?

The American people must decide for themselves. Common sense tells me that in order to fulfill the true or false promise of lower rates and better healthcare coverage, pay claims and support those who get free coverage, the government must gain a pretty big number of “premium-paying” insured participants in the government’s marketplace exchanges.

Many people have discovered this, but there’s more to it than just a “need for numbers.”

The Goal to Herd Subscribers to the Government Marketplace

If it is true that Obamacare (ACA) could not financially survive initially without 7 or 8 million “premium-paying” subscribers, it makes sense that any “bargain” would have to include the cancellation of existing insured policies in order to herd as many subscribers as possible into the government marketplace.

If health insurance companies didn’t have to cancel policies — it brings up a serious question as to why did they?  Was it the promise of captured profits? Fear from government retaliation? Were they complicit in a plan to create a huge pool of “premium-paying” insurance subscribers for the government marketplace?

I don’t know, but I want to know. What part did insurance companies and the government play in stripping existing insured Americans of their existing health insurance — so people would be forced to look for health insurance in the government’s marketplace — or be left without insurance and pay a tax?

Did government subsidies look like guaranteed money to the insurance companies? Would the government eventually raise income taxes to pay for any gap? Was the plan to add more employees, grow government jobs, spend more? Would the government appear as a savior to the people? Was money the reason for it all?  If true, who in our government and Congress knew about this?

Who Else Gets a Piece of the American Pie?

The other day, I heard that Credit Reporting agencies were getting paid from each marketplace subscriber (without their knowledge). I suspect that there’s more “behind-the-scenes” people and companies who might gain a piece of America’s wallet as signups move forward due to this law most now call Obamacare. I honestly don’t know.  Follow the money to find the truth.

American Victims

Even to me, it looks like a profitable bargain for the insurance companies and for the government — at the emotional and physical expense, unnecessary financial burden and hardship put upon the American people. It’s beginning to look to me as though “We the People” are pawns in this sugar-coated hoax.

Keep in mind that the Supreme Court said it was within the government’s power to impose a tax on those who are uninsured — if reasonable. All this pain and grief, canceled policies, marketplaces and exchanges, and millions of tax payer dollars spent — was and is entirely unnecessary.

The President’s Promise

On Thursday, November 8, 2013, President Obama said he’s sorry for people finding themselves in “this situation” (cancelled policies) because he said: “If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it. PERIOD” — which turns out is a complete falsehood or call it a misleading statement if you choose. He said it before and after his election some 30 plus times. He was clear and unwavering.

Some say “he didn’t know” or “he didn’t read the law” but when I look at the whole picture unfolding and question the possibility that there was a bargain or at least an understanding –  the fog lifts as to what I believe the President knew and didn’t know. I listened to the President say time and again that, “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.” I believe this is a lie but that’s not the worst of it. I believe it may go deeper than a lie.  I hope I’m wrong.

Many Americans were happy with their existing plan and wanted to keep it. This debacle has caused havoc with American families and households. It may even result in someone’s death.

Why was the Affordable Care Act Passed?

No one argues that Americans deserve good healthcare, and in my humble opinion, that’s the exact reason why it was easy to pass a law that wasn’t ready to be passed. Whether it was selfish people, good intentions, greed or honest compassion, the American people deserve better and have become victims. Pouring on isn’t going to heal them. It’s gone too far.  Good people stand up and do the right thing.

I don’t know what bargains were made, if any, but who can believe this law is good for Americans after what’s been going on. Stop now. Consult your legal professionals. Stop before America is totally messed over. After all, who honestly believes that the government website will ever be secure from criminals, snoopers and our country’s enemies? How can we trust what our lawmakers say? PERIOD.

Thanks for reading Mom on Being Grand. ¡Olé! All around YUM expert, homemaker and American. ¡Olé! I blog about food, meal planning, pet news, budget savings, health tips, political opinions and retirement ideas. Remember to save money for the future, respect others and say something nice everyday. Follow @AlexandriaMarx on Twitter. Join me on Facebook. Happy thoughts.

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Alexandria Marx

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Grew up inside my dad's 3 Mexican restaurants. Raised 3 hungry kids. Homemaker. Hispanic. Conservative. WAHM.

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