Today the US Supreme Court issued their ruling in the multi-state challenge to federal subsidies for health care insurance. The majority of the court ruled that individuals will continue to receive assistance with their premiums from taxpayer funds, whether they purchase insurance through a state-run exchange or the federal exchange.
Apparently, the majority of the court did not want to turn the insurance industry upside down (even though the Affordable Care Act (ACA) turned it upside down initially).
In his remarks on the ruling, President Obama said the ACA “is here to stay”. That’s correct. Even if Republicans keep control of Congress and win the presidency in 2016, it will be almost impossible to undo ACA. The plan was rolled out slowly because it covered so many aspects of health care and changed most of them radically. The mandate that everyone purchase insurance is woven in with subsidies to individuals/families and payments to insurance companies that lose money. That makes it difficult to change any one element, which was likely the unstated aim of the plan.
Mr. Obama also said ACA is working as it was designed to. If you assume good intentions by those who promoted ACA, then it is hard to see how the President’s statement can be true. From the federal exchange computer network becoming bogged down, to parents not being able to add newborn babies to policies, to premiums skyrocketing, there have been (and continue to be) problems with the mechanics of the system.
If you want to believe the conspiracy theories, then the statement might be true. Many ACA opponents have contended that there are people who want to collapse our healthcare system so that socialized medicine can be implemented. In that case, ACA would be working as designed. If some changes are not made, ACA will cost more than our economy can handle.