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  • Morning Bell: Obamacare After the Court

    The policy landscape will change dramatically after 10 a.m. today. If the Supreme Court does not strike down Obamacare in its entirety, Congress should move to repeal it. Americans support repeal of the health care law, as they have demonstrated in more than 100 polls since it passed in 2010. The infamous individual mandate is only the beginning of the problems Americans face under this law.  Most importantly, Americans need real health care reform, and we need to begin moving toward a patient-friendly system where people have the freedom to choose the care that is best for them.

    Beyond the Individual Mandate

    Over the past two years, Heritage has laid out the flawed policies of Obamacare, including the individual mandate to purchase health insurance, which is at the center of the law’s constitutional questionability.

    We must remember, as James Capretta says in a recent Heritage paper, that what might remain on the books is just as problematic as the provisions under legal scrutiny:

    1. The Taxes. It is often forgotten that in addition to being a massive federal power grab, Obamacare contains one of the largest tax increases ever imposed on the American economy—at a time when job growth should be the nation’s number one priority.

    2. Deficits and Debt. Obamacare creates two new additional entitlement programs that are expected to add a minimum of 35 million Americans to the entitlement rolls when phased in, at an expense of more than $200 billion annually by the end of the decade.

    3. The HHS Mandate. Obamacare has handed over immense regulatory power to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to control just about every aspect of the nation’s health system. Among other things, the regulations issued by the Administration thus far would require all employers, including religious employers such as Catholic hospitals and universities, to cover abortifacient products, contraceptives, and sterilization procedures in the health plans they offer to workers. This would directly violate the religious liberty rights of thousands of religious institutions around the country.

    4. The Bureaucratic Micromanagement of American Health Care. In addition to creating new federal agencies, boards, and bureaucracies, Obamacare is also pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into the states to coax them into building the “exchanges” that will become the foundation of the Obamacare edifice. These exchanges, far from fulfilling the supposed mission of fostering a dynamic marketplace, will be the means by which the federal government will extend its reach to every corner of the health sector. Every American who does not obtain his or her insurance through an employer will have little choice but to go through Obamacare’s exchanges.

    So What Should We Do?

    A starting point for developing alternative health insurance reform should be setting commonsense insurance rules for those who buy their own insurance by extending the protections previously established by HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996). As Heritage’s Edmund Haislmaier explains:

    Currently, 90 percent of privately insured Americans are covered by an employer-group plan. Over the past 15 years, the HIPAA employer-group coverage rules have worked reasonably well. Congress should simply extend those rules to the remaining 10 percent of the private market that consists of people covered by individual health insurance policies.

    The HIPAA rules already extend key protections for those in the employer-group market, including a guaranteed issuing of coverage, guaranteed renewability of coverage, limits on pre-existing condition exclusions, and prohibition on discriminating based on health status. Extending these rules to the individual market would allow greater portability.

    Coupling sensible individual health insurance market reforms with appropriate tax and Medicaid reforms would be a fair and fiscally sound strategy for expanding coverage to the currently uninsured. The Heritage Foundation’s Saving the American Dream provides such a plan and puts health care reform on a course toward a truly consumer-based health care system.

    No matter what happens this morning, conservatives especially should not be fooled into making short-term concessions that can undermine their long-term policy goals. Instead, Congress should use the opportunity to articulate clearly the shortfalls of the law and contrast them sharply with better solutions.

    The failure of Obamacare is not only a matter of the public’s continued opposition to it; the law is also a major policy failure. It is based on the false premise that more government, more regulations, and more mandates are the right solution to America’s health care problems. Congress must use this opportunity to offer an alternative vision for the future of health care—a future where individuals get better care at lower cost without government controlling the dollars and decisions.

    At 12:30 ET today, Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Heritage’s David Addington will offer the conservative response on the Supreme Court’s ruling. Watch their response live here.

    The fight over Obamacare will not end when the cameras and press leave Washington. Join with Heritage as we continue to fight for foundational, conservative principles for America’s future.

    Our Latest Resources:

    Obamacare’s Failings Go Well Beyond the Individual Mandate and Medicaid,” by James C. Capretta
    Health Reform and the Impact of Extending Dependent Coverage to Age 26,” by Drew Gonshorowski
    Why Congress Should Not Preserve Flawed Obamacare Policies,” by Nina Owcharenko
    Saving the American Dream: The U.S. Needs Commonsense Health Insurance Reforms,” by Edmund Haislmaier

    Quick Hits

    • The full House is expected to vote today on whether to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress relating to the Fast and Furious scandal.
    • In his first public interview about the scandal, the agent who started Fast and Furious says, “It was the only way.”
    • “Germany’s Chancellor angrily rejected desperate pleading by Italy and Spain as a Franco-German rift over eurozone debt sharing threatened to unravel efforts to find a fix for the single currency at a meeting of European leaders on Thursday,” reports The (London) Telegraph.
    • More than 300 homes have been destroyed in the still-raging Colorado wildfires.
    • Congress has to address the dangerous defense cuts coming through budget sequestration and tackle the deficit, writes Heritage’s Emily Goff.
    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    37 Responses to Morning Bell: Obamacare After the Court

    1. glynnda says:

      Well, if for some crazy reason O-Care goes through and gets enacted in 2014, a lot of people who think they will be getting free health care are going to get a nasty surprise when they learn they now have to pay for their coverage every year……and for those who think they will just not pay it……..guess where it will come from……their tax refund checks…….mark my words……..this is a way to get that 49% to pay taxes……..not to mention what's going to happen to medicare payments…..watch out! All those people who like government freebies are going to be at the White House screaming "Off with his head!"

    2. Don says:

      if it fails prepare for the democrats playing the race card to again support dividing this country

    3. toledofan says:

      I guess as we wait with baited breath for the Supremes to give us their decision, it should be a slam dunk or a no brainer, the law, especially the mandate, should be throw out. But, here we are waiting for five people to decide the fate of a flawed piece of legislation that will affect millions. I think that Heritage and others have some really good ideas of what we should do going forward, we can only hope that common sense prevails. It's too bad the bill even got this far.

    4. Dr. Henry Sinopoli says:

      No doubt, regardless of the court's ruling, the lifer politicians, Republicans and Democrats will either fashion something to hurt the population, while exempting themselves from any pain, or spin the ruling to make us believe it will help us. What we (Heritage) forgets, or fails to recognize is that for many, many years both parties have built a sustainable 'royal' perch for themselves while ignoring the people.

      Boehner is a 'boob' who loves to 'go-along-to-get-along. In the real world he could not sustain a job for any length of time. Keep believing the Republicans are helping us while they continue to be as destructive as the Democrats and our socialist (leaning) so-called president…

      Isn't is sad that the greatest country in the world must lay its future in 9 judges…at least 3 who are either left-wing leaning and one who believes Canada has a better constitution…

      Sad day…

      • Ken Marx says:

        You're right about Boehner, but Obama isn't just socialist leaning, he's a full blown Marxist.

        P.S., I'm not related to Karl Marx.

    5. Lloyd Scallan says:

      It's most important to remember how ObamaCare was passed, regardless of the final result of the Supreme Court's ruling.ObamaCare was passed with absolutely NO Republicans voting yes, but more grevious was Obama bribed and intimidated some Dems to vote yes. The fact is that ObamaCare was passed through the same deceptions and distortions that is now the hallmark of the Obama presidency.

    6. dam1953 says:

      As a conservative American citizen who wants less from the government, I take exception with the statement that HIPAA employer-group coverage works well. As a small business owner of a technology development / consulting group of highly skilled engineers, we were facing family policy premiums approaching $2,500 per month with annual increases of 10%. Our only choice was to scrap the group policy and have our engineers purchase individual policies through professional organization memberships. These policies were available for less than 50% of the small group rate. I expect that my experience isn't unique. Since most citizens are employed by small businesses and not mega-corps, this needs fixing.

      • Lee says:

        It has been our understanding that small group rates are actually higher than individual policy rates. That would make sense then that your employees might do better seeking their own policies through professional organizations in which there could be some discount.. We also have a small technology business and pay for individual policies. High deductible policy with an HSA works fairly well and is less costly.
        Much of the high insurance costs do reflect poor lifestyle choices by the majority of insured. There's no incentive for healthy living and we all pay premiums for the "lowest common denominator" of health, or lack therof. I wish there were discount incentives for good body/mass, weight, BP, etc.

    7. Mary......WI says:

      Just heard the Supreme Court upheld this stinking law as a tax! Hang on to your wallets folks and keep healthy if you want to live a long life because this "affordable health care law" will certainly put you in an early grave. The USA is now officially a SOCIALISTIC COUNTRY. To day we lost our freedom to choose how to take care of ourselves…..we are NOW FOREVER SERFS of the dictator Obama and the democratic party. I'm disgusted and very, very sad.

      • Chris says:

        The plan that Obama signed was developed by the Heritage foundation in 1989. How can you not know that? The fact that you are posting your outrage on this blog is absurd! If this had been a republican president you would be heralding the victory of the free market. Get your facts straight.

        • Bobbie says:

          Get off it Chris. How can you not know, Heritage isn't the government and cannot impose a thing!

    8. Ken Marx says:

      As I read this article, the Supreme Court announced that Justice Roberts has sold America down the river. We have no choice now but to get out and vote for Republican candidates to replace the President and a substantial portion of the Senate, and to increase conservative representation in the house. Otherwise, good bye America!

    9. J E Houser says:

      Because the executive privelege rule applies only to matters within the White House is not the President's asserting this rule to the comtempt charges against the attorney general an admission the the White House was involved, or at least aware of, those operations?

    10. Donna says:

      The Revolutionary War was fought for less than this. While I am confident that the bill will be repealed eventually, the word for Congress is that it should be the main consideration prior to the election because the unwinding of it will require years of debate. I never expected Justice Roberts to vote with the Liberals and it makes me wonder what the White House has on him, or if they threatened him. Twice before, healthcare bills submitted to Scotus have been denied as unconstitutional. This decision was very upsetting

    11. steve h says:

      Thank you Chief Justice Roberts – Great day for America!

    12. jim says:

      The revolution has offically begun. We have lost this country as we all know it.

      One chance left. Every Democrat has to be voted out this fall. They exclusively voted for the socialization of American.

      In a way I feel liberated. Now it will be, out with them all. D & R's mean nothing.

    13. Stirling says:

      Roberts you have just "transformed" America.. to a socialist America.. Now we know anything else the Administration wants us to "buy" will be again "FORCED" on us and you will do nothing to prevent it.. You have doomed this country to a debt that can never be repaid. I'm done with relying on the SCOTUS to actually upholding the constitution they took an oath to uphold.

    14. and2therepublic says:

      Did the broccoli mandate, I mean the broccoli tax survive?

    15. Jeanne Stotler says:

      Another wrong opinion by SCOTUS, Please everyone VOTE and get your friends and neighbors to do likewise. We have to take back our Country and return the rights that are gauranteed under the Constitution.

    16. Bobbie says:

      says obama gained "victory." It never was about the whole of America it's about the overtaking of America through the controls of government deception and illusion…

      The government and America is run by activists who aren't doing anything for the good of America (jay carney and the president himself say constantly "it's what America needs, it's what America wants" with absolute refusal to listen to what real Americans are saying. This government is unlawful and treasonous working against the will of the people. All at a set-up dumping on the innocent. Can't stand control forces putting words in my mouth where words wouldn't come out of. I WANT TO CONTROL MY OWN HEALTH WITHOUT BEING TAKING ADVANTAGE OF AS I HAVE BEEN PAYING MY OWN ON TOP OF THOSE THE GOVERNMENT IMPOSES ON MY COSTS!!!!

      I appreciate every word Mitt Romney stated! He respects people and personal freedom. Obama will go down because of his lack of honest character along with his conniving ways and this "it's what the American people want" who knows anyone that wants their health care at higher costs, burdens, rules, mandates and to top it off, punishment! Socialized obamacare is a rotten policy set up for crisis just to keep the government powerfully out of control.

    17. Phyllis Poole says:

      There are a couple of things never mentioned in "health care". The BIG drug companies are making a haul from "health care". An MD does not even take a course in NUTRITION!! Nutrition is where we get health care and if we don't eat right, our health suffers. AND BIG food companies also are making a killing from all the junk they process and people are like sheep, eating all the preservatives to keep their produce looking good on the shelf -but what about the person who eats all the chemicals for the food preservation????
      PLEASE GOD ENLIGHTEN YOUR SHEEP

    18. Phyllis Poole says:

      NOW we have Monsanto putting pesticides in our food and the FDA gives them a free pass for it!
      Go to Jeffery Smith and ck out his background with the FDA (and his colleagues who all got fired for their opposition to the GMO's in our food. )
      Then their is the big drug companies who give "gifts" (rewards) for MD's who give out prescriptions for their drugs with insurmoutable side effects. All passed by the FDA Is it any wonder people are sick?
      PLEASE GOD HELP US

    19. Jeanne Stotler says:

      Today is awaking call for ALL CONSERVATIVES, we need to take back OUR COUNTRY and return it to the REPUBLIC for which it was founded to be. Then we need to prove OBH as a tyrant and that he committed treason and repeal ALL his mandates, executive orders and remove His two pets from the SC. Stand up America and get people to wake up and vote, get enough of conservative obserers at polls to fend off any attempt to sway votes. Now that the court upheld state has upheld the sttes right to purge voter registrations, Dead and illegal Residents are less liable to vote/

    20. Linda Lowe says:

      I also read the health care bill, all of it, and this care is far from free, it says and I quote, "every American citizen will be required to purchase a health care plan or package" if you do not buy one, you can be fined up to and including $700.00, put in jail or both, since the IRS will have access to all your records they can put a lien on your property, home, car, withold your tax return or anything they want. Notice the bill said "All American" citizens, doesn't include any illegal immigrants. Folks we are screwed, rats in a cage with a mean cat and nowhere to run. Hope everyone who voted this dictator in is happy, you won't be later.

    21. Formerly known as the Supreme Court of the United States, the Communist court of Tyrannt Barack Obama has told the American people that they do not matter…it is interesting that a court and its decision is what has started the Second Revolutionary War … 6/29 step one in the war…Americans are removing all of their funds from the banks (communism cannot exist without our money) and step two is to pay off all credit card debts…communism needs the banks and the banks need your 25% interest…Start flying our flag until the war is won. Let's make our forefathers proud.

      • alexander Ilnyckyj says:

        Mindy, I am so disdrought about this Benedict Arnold (roberts) that I never thought of the idea you have, gives me some hope that we can bring this marxist government down by your suggestion. Maybe heritage can help and maybe the teaparty can do some thing in this matter. Good idea if we can get the people to act on it. Thanks for the idea it made me feel a little better. I am still Mad that we Lost our FREEDOM today.

      • Jeanne Stotler says:

        Mindy, we can all use TD bank, it's a canadian bank with branches here, I took my money out of the "Bank of Mexico(America) several years ago, Definetely take accounts out of BoA, citie, and the other big banks, if we all do this and secure out homes as well, we can do as my/our ancestors did in the 1700's and stand together againt this tyranny

    22. alexander ilnyckyj says:

      Today is the day we lost our FREEDOM. Since the New Benedict Arnold has arrived at the supreme court and ruled for this marxist Bill. I would not be so bitter if was Kennedy, but, this benedict arnold makes my blood boil. I do not know what you can do, since this gives this marxist government the right to do anything they want. I'll be looking to see what you have to say on this matter but, it looks like we are cooked and the constitution is gone out the window.

    23. Norm says:

      Isn't it a bit crazy. The Supreme Court ruled that you can't be forced to buy health care under the Commerce clause, but the government can "tax" you for not having it.

      The logic seems convoluted.

    24. The Progressives (aka Communist) have been appealing to the avarice of all the stupid who love getting something for nothing, as long as someone else has to pay for it. That avarice has caught up with all now, both those who understand the implications of its totalitarian meaning and those who could careless as long as they get free healthcare. Everyone, now, has lost their independence. If you have no right to select your own doctor, spend your own money and do those simple "freedom" centered actions without threat of penalty lest you buy government health insurance, "YOU ARE NO LONGER FREE". STOP SINGING ABOUT THE LAND OF THE FREE AND THE HOME OF THE BRAVE…ITS CRAP., YOUR SCOTUS JUST PiSSED ON THE U.S. CONSTITUTION" Our government's economic fiat model that allows the government to continue counterfeiting our currency, using Keynesian economics makes your money worthless and fungible for every totalitarian radical purpose. If you don't vote Obama out and get a 60 vote majority in the U.S. Senate you can kiss this country goodbye.

    25. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      I was wrong. However, Obamacare's still going down. On July 11th, the House is going to pass a bill to repeal Obamacare. It won't go anywhere in the Senate. This is Obama's Pyrrhic victory.

    26. aksteam says:

      Good bye Republic. Freedom and government control are not synonymous. Why do so many people not comprehend that? I guess most people would rather have (false) security and being told what to do than having to provide for, and think, for themselves. It is a sad day.

    27. Mr. Gail H. Murrell says:

      If our constitution or rules of the legislative branches reguire a 2/3 majority vote to pass and that is not the case when health care act was passed is the bill now considered to have failed when voted on?

    28. AD-RtR/OS! says:

      Well, since Heritage came up with the concept of the Individual Mandate originally, I suppose we can also blame you for the largest tax increase in world history to pay for this ……..!
      Next time, take Roberts Gates' advice to National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, and just ….!

    29. PETER TURANO says:

      I read somewhere that laws concerning taxes require a 2/3rds majority vote in the Senate. Is this true? If so, did the Affordable Care Act that the SCOTUS says has tax levies in it, pass by a 2/3rds majority in the Senate? Is this a legal law?

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