A Blow to Obamacare
Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, August 22, 2014 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler
On July 22nd the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled on the legality of Obamacare in states that did not establish a health insurance exchange. Immediately, State Representative Jason Spencer issued a press release explaining how Obamacare would be affected in Georgia, if the decision is upheld. This is what he said.
The Court invalidated the mandatory taxpayer subsidies that helped people pay insurance premiums through Obamacare’s federal exchanges. Since the Court struck down the subsidy plan, enrollees have to pay out-of-pocket full premium prices for their insurance, whether they choose a gold, silver or platinum plan. But the Court failed to explain whether subsidies already distributed would have to be repaid to the government.
Since Georgia, reportedly, was the first state to ban the creation of a state health insurance exchange under Obamacare and, subsequently, did not establish an exchange, millions of local exemptions from Obamacare mandates were affirmed by this Court decision. Benefiting from Georgia exemptions are 11,000 businesses, 420,227 low-to-middle income individuals and 112,991 state employees, for a grand total of 2.5 million Georgians now exempt. Also, Georgia taxpayers benefit with untold millions of dollars that will not be redistributed for Obamacare in Georgia.Earlier this year, Dr. Marlin Gill of Decatur, Alabama explained how Obamacare has affected the medical profession in his town. Calling Obamacare “Washington’s war against doctors,” Dr. Gill said that, in his community alone, at least six doctors have left their practices for administrative positions or they’ve retired altogether. He explained that doctors are smothered by destructive regulations that, not only add unwelcome costs, they raise overhead and “gum up the works,” slow down treatment and force doctors to see fewer patients each day.
Seeing fewer patients reduces income, while expenses increase. Dr. Gill and the three doctors in his practice have been forced to implement electronic medical records and an extensive new coding system that costs $180,000 per year, plus operational and maintenance costs. AND, if doctors cannot demonstrate “meaningful use” of the new system, the government may retaliate by withholding all or partial payment for services to patients.
On behalf of the medical profession, Dr. Gill asked Washington to “stop the implementation of the coding system, repeal Obamacare and replace it with a better law written with input of real doctors who will actually treat patients covered by it.” To that, I say, “Amen!” For Georgia Insight I’m Sue Ella Deadwyler, your Capitol correspondent.