Commentary

Will Supreme Court unleash a health care crisis?

Health careCharlotte Observer reporter Ann Doss Helms makes things perfectly clear this morning just how big the stakes will be this week when the U.S. Supreme Court hears the King v. Burwell case challenging the lawfulness of Affordable Care Act health insurance subsidies in states like North Carolina.

“More than 500,000 North Carolinians stand to lose subsidized health coverage based on a challenge to the Affordable Care Act that goes to the U.S. Supreme Court this week.

Also at stake is the financial stability of the insurance companies, medical professionals and others that have come to count on the federal money the act provides to help low- and moderate-income people who don’t have workplace health coverage.”

And as was explained in last week’s N.C. Policy Watch Weekly Briefing, that could be just the beginning of our problems if the Court opts to provoke a crisis because of what amounts to a typo.

Fortunately, congressional Republicans have a contingency plan if the Court really issues such a terrible ruling…NOT. As Ezra Klein argues this morning on Vox, Congress isn’t at all likely to be able address the crisis if the Court sets it in motion:

“If the Court rules against the Obama administration, the outcome is perfectly predictable: nothing will happen. Some Republicans will come up with some plan to gut Obamacare that the Obama administration could never accept. The Obama administration will ask Republicans to simply fix the law, which they’ll never do. The two sides will blame each other just as always happens, and their attached partisans will think their side has the better of the argument, just as always happens. We have seen this movie before.”

Let’s fervently hope, however, that the Court does the right thing and if it doesn’t, Klein is wrong.

6 Comments


  1. LayintheSmakDown

    March 2, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    We can only cross our fingers and hope. Otherwise healthcare in the USA will go even farther down the toilet.

  2. steve henderson

    March 2, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    1.I have been trying to find any where in the NC State Constitution that specifically promises,guarantees free or tax subsidized health care for all the poor

    2. Out of the possible 500,000 persons deemed “eligible” for state medicaid coverage…just how many of that 500,000 are illegal aliens, DACA recipients/holders ?? seeing that we, the people spent 2 Billion dollars on Illegal aliens & their families in 2014 imagine how much that same 2 billion could have gone to state run medicaid expansion IF none of that was spent on Illegal aliens & their families..just imagine …. but i am just a tax paying property owner…what do i know ?

  3. ML

    March 2, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    Actually many aspects of healthcare and the healthcare industry has improved. Maybe not all but one can only hope that we realize that like all other developed nations implement a single-payer system.

    Maybe tearing it down is the only way. Regardless America has always been able to rebound from its mistakes. We’ve tried the free market, then we tried the heritage/Romney/ACA/obamacare system, now maybe we’ll get it right with a single payer system.

  4. LayintheSmakDown

    March 3, 2015 at 8:04 am

    That government run healthcare system is the toilet. We used to have the best healthcare system in the world until Obamacare came in. Why do you think people came across the border from Canada or from across the globe to get treated? When we go to government run healthcare all we will get is less of the product, it will cost massively more, and it will be a shoddy product….just like every other industry the government runs.

  5. ML

    March 4, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    Clarify how you determined “best in the world.” We certainly have a strong system for those that could and still can afford it bc it was certainly the most costly in the world.

  6. LayintheSmakDown

    March 4, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    Best:
    adjective
    1.of the most excellent, effective, or desirable type or quality.

    World:
    noun
    1.the earth, together with all of its countries, peoples, and natural features.

    The US health care system produced the most effective treatments, cutting edge methods, high quality. Once the government gets involved that goes away.

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