For the past few years there has been a huge amount of controversy on whether or not Obamacare is even legal by federal standards. There is a growing number of people who question the legality of being ‘forced by law’ to buy an insurance plan. While states require you to purchase auto insurance and liability insurance if you run any kind of establishment open to the public, that isn’t quite the same thing as being told you need to buy protection for yourself. Here is some of what people are questioning.
Tricky Wording in the PPACA Legislation
While it is a ‘mandate’ that all people must carry health insurance, it is questionable since there is nowhere in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that states it is a ‘mandate.’ What the law does state is that all people who are legally residents of the United States will be fined on their income tax if they don’t carry insurance. This includes states’ issuance of Medicaid as well as Medicare provided on a federal level. Then there are stipends to help cover the cost for low income workers and the government has made it mandatory that employers sponsor health insurance. But all this is in a grey area of semantics because the reality is, you are required to buy health insurance coverage or you pay a penalty. Doesn’t that make it a legal responsibility on your part, or another way of saying it, isn’t that a law by inference?
Who Are the Big Losers in All This?
So here is the crux of the matter. Obamacare was put into effect because there was a real need to provide affordable healthcare to those who previously were unable to carry this kind of insurance. Hospitals and insurance companies were among the chief advisors and lobbyists when the ACA was in the works. Hospital administrators who studied for advanced degrees in healthcare administration thought it would be a way for them to avoid ‘eating’ so many costs associated with indigent care. Insurance companies sought to have a, again implied, monopoly on the industry. Boy, were they mistaken! Both ended up the real losers as they are still losing money in the process.
The Bottom Line – Is Obamacare Constitutionally Legal?
Those who are working in a number of careers in healthcare administration are still questioning the legalities of Obamacare since it seems to have done little to reduce the deficit hospital are experiencing. Previously, hospitals had federal grants that compensated them for caring for patients but now much of that is mired in ACA red tape. They are still experiencing huge losses because patients can’t afford high (and getting higher!) deductibles and copays. Would it have been more profitable for them to have continued on the old way in which the federal government gave subsidies for giving care to indigent residents?
If insurance companies and hospitals are now questioning the legality of Obamacare, maybe there is something to it after all. Then again, maybe they are simply tired of continued losses. In either case, there is a new president about to take office and a new Congress about to be seated, so there is every likelihood Obamacare will be repealed. Until then, the question remains. Is Obamacare even legal? Yes, we’d all like the answer to that one in plain English we can all, as lay people, understand.