1) Decision expected on ObamaCare
The Supreme Court is expected to rule on ObamaCare during the week of 6/25/2012 before their summer recess.
There are 3 possible rulings expected from SCOTUS:
— decision to uphold ObamaCare
—decision to strike down all parts of ObamaCare
—decision to strike down some parts of ObamaCare
2) SCOTUS to uphold ObamaCare
Needless to say this would be a big victory for Obama.
ObamaCare is his legacy. In his first two years (2009-2010) when he had control of both houses of Congress, Obama concentrated on passing ObamaCare after getting the stimulus bill passed early in 2009—forgetting/ignoring the economy and unemployment crises in the country except telling everyone that it was Bush’s faults. It’s still Bush’s faults as told by Obama. It will continue being Bush’s faults until Obama wins re-election in November—at which time, he will again ignore the economy and unemployment to push other socialism reforms.
For the 54% of likely voters (from a recent Rasmussen poll) who favor the repeal of ObamaCare, Mitt Romney will be motivated to tell them he will repeal (parts of) ObamaCare on day one. But it will serve him well if he tells everyone what he will replace ObamaCare with—especially for those 30 million who are without health insurance.
Health care should be one of the major issues that these 2 presidential candidates need to debate about—with or without ObamaCare in place.
(Click here to see what the debate should be between Obama and Romney)
3) SCOTUS to remove the whole ObamaCare
This decision will create much uncertainty in the election year. And, of course, it will be a big strike on Obama’s record as an incumbent.
For most health plans, many changes have been included in this year already:
—most popular is the coverage of dependents up to 26 years old—the additional cost of this has been priced into this year’s premium and insurers are not expected to roll the change back next year. Losers are the people who pay higher premium due to this. Winners are insurance companies since most young people between 21 to 26 years of age are not expected to use medical services much. Winners are also the thousands of unemployed college graduates who have been able to stay on their parent’s health plan. Some health insurers are expected to keep this change even if ObamaCare is removed.
—minimum percentage of premiums that insurers must pay for medical services. This one will cut into insurance companies’ bottom line. If ObamaCare is struck down wholly, insurance companies will not need to implement this rule.
—coverage of pre-existing conditions for children
Obama will try to use the strike on the whole ObamaCare to fire up his base as “Hope and Change” has not brought any change in Washington D.C. without ObamaCare. But he will continue to ask people to move him “Forward”.
Romney and Republicans will need to show that they are willing to work on the next health plan. What/how will they remove ObamaCare with?
4) SCOTUS to remove part(s) of ObamaCare
This decision will create the most chaotic situation depending on which part(s) the Supreme Court removes.
Most likely in this scenario, the individual mandate—a main component of ObamaCare—will be removed as it will be ruled unconstitutional for the federal government to require people to buy insurance. Justice Scalia summed it best, in regard to the individual mandate, “Government is supposed to be a government of limited powers. What is left if the government can do this? What can it not do?”
Without the individual mandate, however, it will be difficult to enforce another core component of the ObamaCare—the elimination of the pre-existing conditions.
“Pre-existing conditions” clause currently allows health insurers to deny coverage to high risk people—those with some conditions for which they have already received medical advice or treatment prior to enrollment to the health plan. The higher risk the pre-existing condition is, the more difficult to get coverage.
In order to accept those with pre-existing conditions, health insurers need to expand the pool of people that are included in the health plan—more people to share the risks of the few with pre-existing conditions. Thus, the individual mandate is needed to ensure the pool is large enough to keep premium rate reasonable even with the inclusion of the high risk group.
Without the individual mandate and if health insurers must cover pre-existing conditions, the premium will increase tremendously.
5) What is next?
It only makes sense if the whole ObamaCare will be struck down.
If so, what to do with some 30 million people who are currently without insurance coverage?
The next president—i.e. the 45th president—should work with Congress and pass health care legislatures. They should work on smaller bills—not the 2700 pages of ObamaCare that no Congressmen, Congresswomen nor Senators read before they passed it as Nancy Pelosi said it best “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy. ”