Its been interesting to watch the huge RW PR campaign and crying and knashing of teeth this week since Chief Justice Roberts caused a sheetstorm by joining a majority and writing a strange opinion that called the Mandate a Tax. Lots of heads exploding and threats thrown down, some funny to watch, others, not so much. What a week!
Now, OMFG, the Whitehouse is taking the approach that even though the Supreme Court Decision ruled that the ACA was constitutional they got it wrong-- that the mandate is not a tax, but a mere penalty.
This announcement surely will stir some ripples in the dark side of the force....
Carney: It's a penalty, not a tax
Read more: http://www.upi.com/...
Jay Carney, President Obama's spokesman, said the Congressional Budget Office estimates only 1 percent of the population would be affected by the payment. Carney spoke to reporters on board the presidential plane Friday en route to Colorado.Interesting strategy, which will might be used to help publicize the relatively small number of people who will have to pay ACA penalty for not getting coverage.
Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority of the Supreme Court, upheld the individual mandate to buy health insurance Thursday on the grounds that the payment for those who fail to do so is a tax.
"It's a penalty because you have a choice," Carney said. "You don't have a choice to pay your taxes, right? You have a choice to buy -- if you can afford health insurance. … So if you don't buy it, and you can afford it, it is an irresponsible thing to do to ask the rest of America's taxpayers to pay for your care when you go to the emergency room. So your choice is to purchase healthcare reform or a penalty will be administered."
Read more: http://www.upi.com/...
H.R. 676, the “Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act,”
In other news, one group of Physicians believes that even with the decision,ACA falls so short of meeting our needs that we should work right now to pass a government option:
The major provisions of the ACA do not go into effect until 2014. Although we will be counseled to “wait and see” how this reform plays out, we’ve seen how comparable plans have worked in Massachusetts and other states. Those “reforms” have invariably failed our patients, foundering on the shoals of skyrocketing costs, even as the private insurers have continued to amass vast fortunes."Medicare Part E for Everyone."
Our patients, our people and our national economy cannot wait any longer for an effective remedy to our health care woes. The stakes are too high.
Contrary to the claims of those who say we are “unrealistic,” a single-payer system is within practical reach. The most rapid way to achieve universal coverage would be to improve upon the existing Medicare program and expand it to cover people of all ages. There is legislation before Congress, notably H.R. 676, the “Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act,” which would do precisely that.
What is truly unrealistic is believing that we can provide universal and affordable health care in a system dominated by private insurers and Big Pharma.
Physicians for a National Health Program (www.pnhp.org) is an organization of more than 18,000 doctors who advocate for single-payer national health insurance. To speak with a physician/spokesperson in your area, visit www.pnhp.org/stateactions or call (312) 782-6006.
Someone here in another thread DKos said we can call it "Medicare Part E for Everyone."
Why wait til 2014 to see if we can beat back the massive lobbying efforts of Big Insurance and Big Pharma and ALEC to undermine the ACA?
PNHP believes we should work for Medicare for All because polls show it to be so popular.
In talking about the budget in the Open Thread Meteor Blades said this
It is certainly true that getting any of these budgets passed in the current state of affairs is not going to happen. But we have to get past the idea that there are only two budgets worth debating each year: 1) the extremist, devil-take-the-hindmost, dismantle-the-New Deal-and-Great Society, shrink-the-government, cut-taxes-on-the-wealthy, spend-more-on-defense-and-less-on-education Republican budget; and, 2) the slightly less draconian but nonetheless mediocre Democratic budget.I agree and I think this idea of multitasking can apply here as well. The Republicans have a plan, they say. Democrats have the the ACA : it has some great features and millions benefit.
We need a third choice. A progressive choice. A choice that doesn't buy into all the austerity baloney that the two other budgets are shackled to. That third choice needs to be heard even if it takes a long time before becoming an alternative that more and more voters clamor for. Senator Sanders's budget provides a blueprint.
Progressives can also work in support of passing a law that covers the millions still left out by ACA.
And its popular:
Polls have repeatedly shown an improved Medicare for all, which meets these criteria, is the remedy preferred by two-thirds of the population. A solid majority of the medical profession now favors such an approach, as well.I know, I know, the House Republicans, the House Republicans. They are relentless in coming up with new ideas to tear down the New Deal etc.
We should be just as relentless in pushing Forward for our vision as well.
PDF of H.R. 676, the “Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act,” here.