Latest posts by Jane M. Orient, M.D. (see all)
- Politics and the ‘Climate Emergency’ - December 20, 2019
- Would You Rather Save $10.46 or $500 on Healthcare? - November 4, 2019
- The Democrats’ Bidding War - October 2, 2019
Tucson, AZ. One of the biggest selling points for the Affordable Care Act (ACA or ObamaCare) was the promise that insurers couldn’t cancel your plan if you get sick. But if the U.S. Supreme Court, in King v. Burwell, holds premium subsidies to be illegal in Exchanges not established by States, the Administration will allow insurers to abrogate their contracts, says the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.
“It’s déjà vu all over again,” states AAPS executive director Jane M. Orient, M.D. “When Medicare passed, seniors who had private insurance lost it. The insurers told President Johnson that they couldn’t unilaterally cancel subscribers’ contracts. But LBJ said they could cancel all the contracts, and they did. Private insurance for seniors was ended with a stroke.”
“While the Administration assures HealthCare.gov policyholders that ‘nothing has changed,’ it has been conveying a contradictory message to health insurance companies,” writes Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) in a letter to former CMS head Marilyn Tavenner. “Late last year, CMS altered the agreements to participate in the federal exchange, guaranteeing insurance companies the right to pull out of their contracts should federal subsidies such as the APTC come to an end—in other words, if the Administration loses before the Supreme Court.”
The Administration apparently has a contingency plan to protect insurers, Orient notes, but what about patients? “Millions lost their existing plans, which they liked, when ACA forced them to be pulled from the market. People had to buy an ACA-compliant replacement plan, usually much more expensive, and they could now lose that too.”
“What will be left?” AAPS asks. “Will Congress repeal ObamaCare and all its impossible mandates on insurers and the medical system? Or will Americans be forced into Obama’s preferred system of total dependence on government—and its completely untrustworthy promises?”
Sen. Hatch has demanded documents from CMS so that the Senate Finance Committee can conduct oversight.
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) and other Republicans are proposing transition plans such as the Winding Down Obamacare Act, which are intended to protect patients from loss of insurance, and to prevent the Administration from exerting coercive pressure on States to establish Exchanges that would further cement ObamaCare in place.
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties, founded in 1943 to preserve private medicine and the patient-physician relationship.