July/17/2012 - Kansas House District 94 Reports
New Healthcare Law:
The United State Supreme Court finally issued its long awaited decision on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, sometimes referred to as Obamacare. The Court determined that the individual mandate provision was constitutional. However, the expansion of the Medicaid programs was overturned, providing the ability for states to opt out of some of the provisions.
The Supreme Court ruled that the new healthcare law restricts the states’ ability to regulate health plans and it overrides patient protections already adopted. These also would have imposed new costs on state government budgets.
Under the bill’s provisions, states were guaranteed to see an enormous expansion of Medicaid enrollments. Projection estimates were of an increase of 30 percent in enrollments in 2014 alone, because many uninsured individuals would have become eligible for Medicaid coverage.
The new healthcare law is an unprecedented legislation that usurps state’s powers, imposes massive costs to state budgets, and imposes mandates and new taxes on U.S. taxpayers. The legislation failed to acknowledge the differences among the states, creating a one-size fits all model that prevents states from determining what model works best for them. However, states are not powerless in this battle and the Court’s ruling gave states the opportunity to say no to the federal government. Several states are reviewing their options for opting out of the Medicaid expansion. Florida and South Carolina have already announced that they will decline to participate. Kansas must carefully consider our options, and make the best decision possible in light of the court’s decision.