Opinion: Court case pushed by think tank could leave uninsured out in the cold

Wendell Potter
Wendell Potter

Former CIGNA executive-turned-whistleblower Wendell Potter is writing about the health care industry and the ongoing battle for health reform for the Center for Public Integrity.

At least four million Americans will rejoin the ranks of the uninsured — and consequently lose access to affordable health care — if the Supreme Court sides with opponents of Obamacare in a case that hinges on the interpretation of a single sentence in the law. But if that’s the price that has to be paid to impose an ideology that worships the so-called free market no matter what the cost, so be it, say the folks at a libertarian influence shop in Washington.

When the high court announced earlier this month that it would decide a case on the legality of the federal government’s efforts to help low-income Americans pay for their health insurance, it was time for high-fives at the Cato Institute in Washington.

Cato’s director of health policy studies, Michael Cannon, has argued for more than a year that because of the wording in a single sentence in the Affordable Care Act, the subsidies that have made it possible for millions of folks to buy coverage are unlawful. That’s the crux of King v. Burwell, the case the justices agreed to hear.

See the complete story at CT News Junkie.



4 responses to “Opinion: Court case pushed by think tank could leave uninsured out in the cold”

  1. Casey Smith

    Virtually everyone I know who had health insurance three years ago has either lost it or had the premiums skyrocket. Two people who bragged to me that their premiums were a whopping $9.00 plus change per month have now received letters informing them the will be an increase…and those increases have been quite high.

    Many of our friends and acquaintances have either lost jobs or had pay cuts. I think I only know one person who actually got a pay raise since 2008. Yes, there were uninsured before (and I am one of them), but now the number of uninsured is going to jump again simply because the Federal government started tinkering around with the insurance industry in order to make it into its own image. For those who have insurance, it’s like a roller coaster ride in the dark. Yes, we have coverage; whoops, no, we don’t; yes, it will pay for that hospitalization; wait, it doesn’t cover this, this or that; yes, you can keep your doctor; no, actually you can’t;….and on and on.

    Maybe being uninsured is not the worse thing. Maybe health savings plans are what more people need. Maybe the Federal government needs to stop playing games with people’s lives by passing bills that no one has read on the basis of “we need to pass the bill so that you can find out what’s in it….” Maybe it will be a good thing if this court case leaves a lot of us out in the cold because we might be able to start picking up the pieces of our lives and working towards individual solutions rather than being handed a mandatory program.

  2. independent voice

    I couldn’t disagree more. Perhaps the worst piece of legislation that became law, the Unaffordable Care Act aka Obamacare, is nothing more than a wealth distribution scheme/tax that has expended the welfare state via a surge in medicaid signups. The irony is that millions of Americans have either lost full-time job status, stop being insured or simply can not afford their own healthcare due to surging premiums to cover subsidies for welfare enrollees because of the law. This is simply class warfare at its ugliest and it will be a relief when the law becomes repealed. Let’s hope for sooner than later.

  3. John Hamlin

    @Casey — you know lots of people who have received salary raises and no premium increases — they are our own public employees — unlike the vast majority of the taxpayers, they keep getting more and more — and our public debt increases.

  4. Scott

    Mr. Hamlin what you forget to realize is that public employees took the slow and steady root in exchange for job security. In the fat cat years when the private sector was making big money no one cared what the public employee made. Now the private sector is down and are equal or below the public employee and they’re taking notice. The private sector has simply returned to the pack. Public employees may have received regular cost of living increases but they have steadily given back in every other benefit. And now with Obamacare the health benefits have been destroyed by the Cadillac tax. The 1% aren’t paying for entitlements, it’s the middle class – us.

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