COVID-19 has caused unemployment rates to soar. No one really knows exactly how many but the estimate is somewhere around 27 million have lost their health insurance.
That’s forced a lot of people to sign up for ObamaCare.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said the numbers signing up have risen by 487,000 this year. That’s a 46% increase when compared to a year ago. And those numbers don’t tell the whole story because states like the PIA Western Alliance state of California run their own programs.
In spite of a spike in signups, the Trump administration continues the push to put a final nail in the ObamaCare coffin. It has entered a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court urging the court to declare the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional.
The suit is based on a decision by a Texas judge. He agreed with 20 states led by Texas. They contend that the tax reforms of 2017 did away with the individual mandate and therefore the law is unconstitutional.
The judge agreed.
Noel Francisco is the U.S. Solicitor General and is handling the legal chores before the court. In the brief he said other provisions in the law are impossible to separate from the individual mandate so “it necessarily follows that the rest of the ACA must also fall.”
White House spokesman Judd Deere called ObamaCare an unlawful failure.
“It limits choice, forces Americans to purchase unaffordable plans, and restricts patients with high-risk preexisting conditions from accessing the doctors and hospitals they need,” he said.
Another 18 states led by California and its attorney general Xavier Becerra, say the law is constitutional and needs to be kept.“President Trump, in this cruel lawsuit, has shown us who he really is,” Becerra said and pointed out that the American people are on the side of the 18 states.
Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler is one of the most vocal defendants of the Affordable Care Act. He agrees that ObamaCare has flaws and maybe another idea would be better. However, slamming Trump and the Republicans, Kreidler pointed out they have not once offered up an alternative.
“I simply cannot fathom why the leader of our nation believes the best and only answer is to rip away the very coverage people need as they face the health crisis of our lifetime,” Kreidler said. “It’s beyond short-sighted and ignorant — It’s heartless and cruel.”
He also noted that 2.3 million of us have contracted the disease and over 120,000 have died. “Now, more than ever, people are looking to their government for answers and for relief. Yet, when called to provide comfort and support to the American people, President Trump instead doubles down on tearing away the very health care support millions of people are relying on.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also took a shot at Trump. “President Trump and the Republicans' campaign to rip away the protections and benefits of the Affordable Care Act in the middle of the coronavirus crisis is an act of unfathomable cruelty,” she said.
Democratic Presidential nominee and former vice president Joe Biden said he’s proud of the Affordable Care Act. Of the decision to go before the Supreme Court, Biden said, “It’s cruel, it's heartless, and it's callous.”
The elimination of the Affordable Care Act will take away medical insurance from 20 million people. It also would do away with the most popular provision of ObamaCare, the ban on denying coverage for pre-existing conditions.
Source links: Insurance Business America, Washington Department of Insurance, NPR