Q&A On What Just Happened

Tyler Durden's picture

A full Q&A on what just happened from the WSJ's Lousie Radofsky:

The Supreme court said Congress was acting within its powers under the Constitution when it required most Americans to carry Health insurance or pay a penalty. It upheld the mandate as a tax, in an opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts.


But the justices found fault with part of the health-care law’s expansion of Medicaid, a joint federal-state insurance program for the poor. The justices made some changes to the Medicaid portion of the law.


Q: Does this mean the health overhaul law is in place for good?


A: The decision effectively upholds the law for now, but its future depends on which party controls the White House and Congress after elections in November. President Barack Obama and most Democrats consider the law a signature achievement and want to move forward implementing it. Republicans, including presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney, have pledged to overturn it. They say they would offer an alternative proposal but haven’t been specific about what it would include.


Q: What happens to any benefits I already get because of the law?


A: They will stay in place for now. Parents will still be able to keep their children on their insurance plans up to age 26, and Medicare recipients will keep getting discounts on prescription drugs to close a gap in coverage known as the “doughnut hole.” New levies under the law, such as the 10% tax on tanning services, also stay put.


Q: When will I see the big changes from the law?


A: Most of the mandates don’t start until 2014. That is when most Americans will be required to carry insurance or pay the penalty at issue in the Supreme Court case. The penalty will start at $95 a year or up to 1% of a person’s income, whichever is greater.


Tens of millions of Americans are expected to get insurance coverage under the system that starts in 2014. Some of the poorest Americans will become newly qualified to enroll in the federal-state Medicaid program—although the court appeared to make some changes to how that program will work. Another batch of people who earn more but still have low incomes will get tax credits to offset their insurance costs. Consumers will be able to comparison shop for policies in newly created exchanges that will operate like popular online travel websites.


Insurance companies will have to sell coverage to everyone, regardless of their medical history, and will have to restrict how much they vary premiums based on age. Companies with 50 workers or more will be required to offer insurance to their workers or pay a penalty.


Q: What if I already have insurance?


A: You may see changes to your plan. Unless your employer has “grandfathered” your insurance benefits’ structure, your plan will have to meet new regulations under the law, such as covering more preventive services without out-of-pocket costs. There has been speculation that some employers will stop offering coverage and funnel workers toward exchanges once they open, but most companies say they have no immediate plans to do that.


Q: What will happen to my insurance premiums?


A: Most consumers can expect to keep seeing increases in premiums and co-payments because the underlying cost of health care is expected to rise. The law contains a few mechanisms to curb premiums, but it also requires that many insurance providers make their benefits more generous, which will raise their cost. Older people could see their premiums go down because of the new age rating rules insurers will face. People who buy policies without the help of an employer could get a better deal by being able to shop on the exchanges, where comparing plans will be easier than before.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
SilverTree's picture

America got fucked in the arse!

GtownSLV's picture

US Sovreign debt just exploded, how long before the 3-5 notch downgrades?

Hype Alert's picture

No problem.  We'll buy it and pay ourselves back with freshly printed Charmin in new environmently friendly green sheets.

Dead Canary's picture

I know. Let's join the EU and get Germany to pay. It's what all the kool kids are doing.

who-is-john-galt's picture

Q: Does this mean that our liberties are gone?


A: yes, yes it does.

HoofHearted's picture

Q: Is this a right and glorious victory for our beloved leader Mao-tse Obama?

A: Of course it is.

Nothing To See Here's picture

Q: Does this mean the health overhaul law is in place for good?

A : Yes, because Romney will do everything in his power to win votes by promising to overturn it, and then will fart in the face of the GOP zombies who believed him once he's in the WH.

HelluvaEngineer's picture

Guns are next.  Probably Dec.-Jan.  Book it.

And it doesn't matter if you elect Romney.

CClarity's picture

Come the GOP convention, me thinks the Grand Old Party will figure out a way to NOT have Romney as nominee.  They really won't want him for this fight.

ExploitTheMarket's picture

So prices will continue to rise... BUT one important question was overlooked - WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO QUALITY OF CARE ???

CH1's picture


It will go down, of course.

johnQpublic's picture

just get on a list for an appointment and when you get one in a couple of years you will find out....

StychoKiller's picture

Re: "Affordable care" -- bullshit is affordable too, but most restaurants still won't put it on their menu(s)!

arkel's picture

Can someone answer why gold and silver are going down?

SilverTree's picture

To give us the opportunity to stack more phyz!

ohhhhhbaaaaahhhhhhhhhmaaaaaahhhhh's picture

The price is manipulated illusion. 

HoofHearted's picture

Because everyone just left the trading pit to go down to the LCS and get the real physical stuff instead of what is on paper. This ruling makes paper seem even more worthless, as this decision isn't worth the paper it is written on...

Killtruck's picture

Does this signal the end of America?

Yes. We're fucked.

Killtruck's picture

Dammit, he beat me to it. Well played.

CH1's picture

Does this signal the end of America?

America's been over for some time now, but this will get the message across to more people.

azzhatter's picture

Sometimes you're dead but you just don't know it yet

mirac's picture

just shoot me and put me out of my misery...

Hype Alert's picture

Would you want to open a business here?

bigdumbnugly's picture

Does this signal the end of America?

"no silly.  actually america as we knew it ended some time ago.

maybe you could think of it not as america ending but the United Socialist States of Amerika hitting full stride."

JackT's picture

Well, and there is that...next!

Ivanovich's picture

I can't wait to read the full article on the cover of Pravda!

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Pravda on the Hudson, or Pravda on the Potomac?

johnQpublic's picture

so for 1% or 1600 bucks a year i get the same coverage we had when we were paying 4k before if we now opt out of the work policy?

or is it people who work have to keep paying more to subsidize the non-woker?

or are we all paying to support an insurance system and ridiculously overpriced services for the simplest of care?

fuu's picture

At this point the only incentive to work is for a bank.

seek's picture

1% or 1600 now. Shortly the health care lobby, arguing inflation, will have that at 10% and $16,000.

And yes, being a producer in any capacity is about to suck just that much more. So far they're not taxing assets, at least. Time to look at retirement.

Nick Jihad's picture

No, the 1% is the penalty you pay for not having health insurance. And it is purposely below what it would cost you to buy health insurance, because the feds want you to pay the penalty instead.  That way, they get the money. They could not care less whether you have insurance.

SmittyinLA's picture

uh no, the 1% is the penalty, you pay the 1% and get nothing in return. 

nah's picture

romeny gets elected blows a turd


accepts individual mandate

pleseus's picture

Huge turning point for this country.  The USA is already broke and is going to get a lot broker a lot quicker.  I think the end will come a lot faster than anybody thinks.  Are we going to be Greece in 5 years?

who-is-john-galt's picture

According to my MBA Econ professor last night, we don't have to worry about paying off the US Debt.  We can just print more money to pay it off.  I promptly spit the water from my mouth, gathered my belongings and walked out.  


That's what $10K/semester will get you.

centerline's picture

Probably the same type of professor who starts off teaching supply and demand curves based on the Dutch Tulip story.  LOL.


adr's picture

What I was taught in college econ about the Dutch Tulip Bubble was that the end was brought about because of excessive supply. If the Dutch government stepped in and regulated the supply, keeping it tight. The bubble could have gone forever.

Yes the professor was a disciple of Krugman. He luaghed when I said in 1998 that the growing Nasdaq bubble would explode in one of the greatest crashes in history within two to three years. I said when you have a website for fabric softener, the world has gone insane.

WonderDawg's picture

At least you had the good sense to cut your losses. Time is money.



HyperLazy's picture

"... expect to keep seeing increases in premiums and co-payments because the underlying cost of health care is expected to rise."

Yeah, cuz them HMO CEO's got expensive habits after all...

g speed's picture

This won't end America it will just change it a little more--

fuu's picture

Q: Why is that 1,000 people can get together and get a massive group discount on car seats or strollers but 300,000,000 people get worse pricing buying in bulk?

A: ...

CH1's picture

A = Fascist overlords.

Seasmoke's picture

There has been speculation that some employers will stop offering coverage and funnel workers toward exchanges once they open, but most companies say they have no immediate plans to do that.


Anyone want to bet their health insurance co-pay on this !

adr's picture

All workers will be changed to 1099 consultants forcing them to cover all costs themselves including all of the SS and medicare tax. Unemployment is going to 50%, essentially 100% since 50% are already wards of the state.

A $50k earner is about to be hit with another $15k worth of liabilities. What is left of the middle class has no chance. The transformation from the USA to the USSA is complete. You will now wait in line for bread and live in a Chinese owned neighborhood paying 20% of your government transfered wage to rent.

centerline's picture

Just another straw on the camel's back.

Is anyone here really surprised that EVERYTHING leads to a middle-class squeeze?

This is all part of what will bring the system down and how blame will be on the people for it.  Politicians will comtinue to use "divide and conquer" to deflect the blame away from themselves.


WonderDawg's picture

As usual, Centerline, you're right on the money. Today is one for the history books.

Everybodys All American's picture

Individual liberty just died at the hands of the liberal elite just has it has all over Europe. Imagine trying to open a new business in this environment. No chance. Now imagine a current business owner faced with higher taxtion. Say good by to a couple of employees. The days of tyranny are here in spades. Unbelievable. Never hoguht I'd see this kind of bs in this country. Remember at least 25 states are against Obamacare and it could have been more. Obama got his two appointments on the Supreme Court and now we see the result.