A majority (55%) of the public believes that parts of the health reform law will still be implemented even if the Supreme Court strikes down the individual mandate, while 30% think a ruling against the mandate effectively will mean the end of the entire law.
3-26-2012 First Hearing
What Happens If Court Strikes Down The Affordable Care Act's Mandate?
If the Supreme Court rules that the federal government cannot require Americans to have health insurance, do you expect some parts of the health care law will still be implemented, or do you think this will effectively mean the end of the entire law?
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking Poll (conducted January 12-17, 2012)
Slide Date: January 26, 2012
The Obama administration has decided to halt plans to implement the long-term care program in the 2010 health care law after determining that financing mechanisms were not sufficient.
The Obama administration announced last year that it was scrapping a long-term care insurance program created by the new health care law because it was too costly and would not work. Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, said she had concluded that premiums would be so high that few healthy people would sign up.
After looking at a variety of options, the Obama administration determined the CLASS Act program could not simultaneously meet three important criteria: be self-sustaining, financially sound for 75 years and affordable to consumers. The move does not affect the rest of the health care law, although it does remove more than $70 billion in expected federal budgetary savings over 10 years.
The Republican-led House on Wednesday voted to repeal a financially troubled part of the 2010 health care law that was designed to provide affordable long-term care insurance. The House vote comes months after the Obama administration suspended the Community Living Assistance Services and Support program, known as the CLASS Act.
Kaiser Health News staff writer Marilyn Werber Serafini reports: "The health law's biggest changes don't take effect until 2014, when states and insurers must be ready to begin signing up an estimated 32 million people in Medicaid and private insurance. But a successful rollout in two years hinges on critical decisions that states must make – and take quick action on – this year."
The Condom Clause
President Barack Obama and his senior aides were more than a little concerned before he announced his controversial decision requiring Catholic hospitals and universities to provide contraception in employee health plans. Obama — in recognition of the issue’s sensitivity to the church — picked up the phone to personally break the news to two influential Catholic leaders: New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan and Sister Carol Keehan, head of the largest Catholic health association in the country and a pivotal supporter of Obama's Affordable Care Act.
He explained that while his health care law exempted Catholic churches from the requirement, he wouldn’t carve out other Catholic institutions even though the Vatican views artificial birth control as contrary to the will of God.
Virginia's Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli will square off against Massachusetts's Attorney General Martha Coakley on the constitutionality of the federal health care overhaul. The Feb. 9 event at the National Press Club in Washington will serve as a prelude to the U.S. Supreme Court’s consideration of challenges to the law in March. A decision could be reached by June.
3-26-2012 First Hearing