Tag: PPACA

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I’m surprised no one here has written about Ben Rhodes, “The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign-Policy Guru,” and his startling profile in the New York Times Magazine. (By “startling,” I mean, “Sadly, not the least bit surprising.”) I’d love to write a searing piece about he, Jonathan “stupidity of the American people” Gruber, and the […]

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Want to Get Rid of Obamacare? Then Don’t Repeal the Medical Device Tax

 

shutterstock_143224918American voters, wanting relief from Obamacare, fired many of the Democrat Senators who rammed it through Congress.  That lesson doesn’t matter nearly as much to some senators as the $30 million spent by medical device makers trying to repeal the specific Obamacare tax applied to them. The device makers—who didn’t oppose passage of the Affordable Care Act—are now poised to get preferential treatment in the proposed Senate Republican budget. Their industry may cut to the front of the line for legislative relief, while the citizens who are paying some $300 billion in ACA taxes will have to wait. And wait. And wait.

Dean Clancy, a former medical device maker executive and a health policy expert writes about it here,  and grassroots advocate Ken Hoagland writes about it here. This is the beginning of a pattern. Next in line are the insurance companies, with legislation to repeal an onerous tax they don’t like.

There may be automatic sympathy for tax cuts on the right. But repealing the medical device tax now is inane if you are serious about wanting to repeal the Affordable Care Act. These are corporate interests who won’t be around for a 2017 repeal/replace fight that benefits everyone if they’ve already solved their own problems.  Indeed, some of them might then be on the wrong side in 2017.

Member Post

 

I came across this year-old article from ‘The New Republic’ magazine: http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116105/dear-michael-moore-obamacare-first-step-toward-single-payer (The first comment has a clickable version of this link) Basically, it argues that the PPACA law creates a constituency and a rationale for a single-payer plan. I think he’s probably right, and therefore I wonder what Republicans can do to avert this. […]

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Would We Be Better Off Losing on Obamacare at the Supreme Court? A Response to John Yoo

 

384px-Official_roberts_CJA few days ago, Ricochet’s John Yoo predicted that Supreme Court will decide that the PPACA (Obamacare) does not allow for the federal exchanges to pay out subsidies in the upcoming King v Burwell case. Although I am a legal ignoramus, I have been following the excellent symposium on this case over at SCOTUSblog, and I wonder whether we might see an unexpected result here.

Based on the evidence from both sides, two points become clear. There is indeed no explicit passage in the law that mandates the federal subsidies, as exists for state exchanges. Still, there are a number of passages which make no sense if the federal exchanges are forbidden from paying out subsidies. More to the point, the law is so inconsistent and muddled that a good-faith argument could be made that it is simply ambiguous and incoherent on this issue; if so, the IRS will have the authority to come up with its own interpretation (the so-called Chevron deference).

Prof. Yoo suggests that Chief Justice Roberts may be eager to atone for his prior sins in the NFIB v Sibelius case, especially after the last election in favor of Republicans. Yet I find it strange to imagine that a man who only two years ago twisted himself into pretzel-like contortions to save the law will reverse himself and let the law twist in the wind. Instead, I wonder if he has something more nefarious up his sleeve.