Compared with other rich countries, the United States has one of the greatest numbers of people living in poverty, as well as a high risk of becoming poor. Why is that? Countries that do not have affordable health care have high rates of poverty, no matter how high their rate of economic growth or their level of wealth. By contrast, those richer countries that have the lowest poverty rates also have universal health care coverage. There is no exception.
Just how gullible are you? Of the many absurdities in the Republican Party’s “Pledge to America,” the most problematic may be the GOP’s vow to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act, colloquially called “Obamacare.” Not the most ridiculous, mind you. That would have to be the vow to reinstate the expiring Bush tax cuts at a 10-year cost of $4 trillion, slashing government spending to 2008 levels while balancing the federal budget.
Tea Party-linked activists are looking for vengeance after the Florida Supreme Court rejected a ballot initiative aimed at sparing the state from a key provision in the federal health care overhaul.
The state’s highest court last month ruled against a ballot question asking voters to approve an amendment to the state constitution stating that residents would not have to follow the new federal requirement to buy health insurance. Before the decision, Florida was set to be one of four states putting that question to voters in November.
McDonald’s Corp. has warned federal regulators that it could drop its health insurance plan for nearly 30,000 hourly restaurant workers unless regulators waive a new requirement of the U.S. health overhaul.
The move is one of the clearest indications that new rules may disrupt workers’ health plans as the law ripples through the real world.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires carriers to spend a specified proportion of the premium dollars they take in on medical care and health quality efforts. That’s the law. As I’ve noted previously, legislation creates a framework. It’s the regulations and day-to-day interpretations of the law that determines its impact.
President Obama’s most frequently repeated health care reform claim — “If you like your present health insurance, you can keep it” — sounds about as credible these days as the finger-wagging Bill Clinton did when he said, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”
On September 9, autocratic Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services secretary, wrote a threatening letter to the national office of America’s Health Insurance Plans. Charging these insurance companies with “scare tactics” and “misinformation” about the president’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Sebelius is incensed at their “falsely blam(ing) premium increases for 2011” on this Obamacare.