Tag Archives: Affordable Care Act

15,000 Join Women’s March in Tucson (video)

Women's March, Tucson

Women’s March, Tucson

One day after Donald Trump became president of the United States the world saw the largest mass protest ever.

On January 21, 2017, the Women’s March on Washington drew more participants than Trump’s inauguration the day before, and “sister marches” were held in 600 locations around the world. If you are a long-time follower of my blogging, you know that I have attended and videotaped many protests, marches and rallies. This was by far the largest protest march I have seen in my 35 years in Tucson. It was impressive.

The Tucson marchers were a diverse group. Although the event was dubbed the Women’s March, everyone was invited, and everyone came. From children to seniors, all ages were represented. There was an impressive number of men who marched, and the LGBTQ, Latino,  and African American communities were also well-represented. There were people in strollers and people who use wheelchairs. For more photos, go to my Facebook page.  (Video after the jump.)

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SCOTUS remands birth control cases to lower courts

SupremeCourtIn the birth control cases challenging the Affordable Care Act mandate for contraceptives collectively known as  Zubik v. Burwell, the U.S. Supreme Court today issued a per curiam decision remanding the cases back to the appellate courts for further consideration based upon the positions taken by the parties at the U.S. Supreme Court. You may recall that the Justices asked for extraordinary additional briefing from the parties after oral argument to urge them to find a consensus on which they could settle the case.

Lyle Denniston reports at SCOTUSblog has the opinion Opinion analysis: A compromise, with real impact, on birth control:

Without settling any legal issues surrounding the Affordable Care Act’s birth-control mandate, the Supreme Court on Monday nevertheless cleared the way for the government to promptly provide no-cost access to contraceptives for employees and students of non-profit religious hospitals, charities, and colleges, while barring any penalties on those institutions for failing to provide that access themselves.  Thirteen separate cases were sent back to federal appeals courts for them to issue new rulings on the questions the Justices left undecided.  One immediate issue is how soon the government can work out the technical arrangements to provide actual access to the contraceptive benefits.

The Court largely shifted to six federal appeals courts the task of ruling on the mandate’s legality — the task that the Court had agreed last November to take on itself in seven of the cases.  Five appeals courts had ruled in favor of the mandate, and one had ruled against.  All were ordered to re-think those outcomes in the wake of new positions that the two sides in the controversy had made in recent filings in the pending Supreme Court cases.

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SCOTUS Watch: the ‘Big 6’ will be announced on Thursday, Friday and Monday (Updated)

SupremeCourtThe U.S. Supreme Court today cleared away almost all of the low lying fruit, leaving the “Big 6” decisions to be announced this Thursday or next Monday.

UPDATE: The Court has added Friday as well!

This Court really loves all the drama queen attention.

There is no way to predict which opinions will be announced on which day, or what combination of opinions will be announced on each day. But there will be landmark decisions announced on both Thursday, Friday and Monday. A week from today all the suspense will be over, and the next round of games will begin!

Here are the remaining opinions to be issued (h/t SCOTUSblog.com):

Johnson v. U.S., No. 13-7120

Issue(s): (1) Whether mere possession of a short-barreled shotgun should be treated as a violent felony under the Armed Career Criminal Act. (2) Whether the residual clause in the Armed Career Criminal Act is unconstitutionally vague.

Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, No. 13-1371

Issue(s): Whether disparate-impact claims are cognizable under the Fair Housing Act.

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I’m taking this one personally, Governor Ducey

im-watching-you

Per AZ Capitol Times (yes, behind a paywall but I pay for my subscription so I get to talk about it):

Gov. Doug Ducey may have just cost more than 200,000 Arizonans a shot at keeping the health insurance they received through the Affordable Care Act, though they won’t know for sure until the U.S. Supreme Court rules this summer.
Ducey has signed HB2643, which prohibits Arizona or any of its political subdivisions from using taxpayer dollars or personnel to establish a state-run health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act. Arizona is one of 34 states using a federally run exchange after declining to set up a state-run exchange of its own. Continue reading

If ACA subsidies are gutted by Supreme Court, what will Ducey do?

Crossposted from DemocraticDiva.com

ACA

While many legal experts express confidence that the upcoming King v Burwell Supreme Court decision will be in favor of the Affordable Care Act, the Court did cause alarm by agreeing to hear it in the first place. Here is what is at stake:

At the heart of the King case are the tax subsidies offered by the federal government to those who cannot afford their own insurance. These subsidies are critical to achieving Obamacare’s goal of insuring even the least well off. At present, those eligible for subsidies can get them whether they purchase on the federal exchange or a state one. That could change on account of a glitch in the ACA, which can be read to say that you can only get a subsidy if you signed up on a state-managed exchange. If the Supreme Court signs off on this interpretation, the federal government cannot subsidize insurance for the less well-off in any state that has declined to set up its own exchange.

In King v. Burwell, a unanimous decision by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit sided with the Obama administration, rejecting the challengers’ argument that the provision of the ACA that authorizes tax credits for insurance purchased on an exchange “established by the State under section 1311” doesn’t authorize tax credits for insurance purchased on an exchange established by the federal government. Supporters of the ACA call this a mere “drafting error.” Opponents claim this is a clear case of statutory interpretation: The law says “state” exchanges, and that is what was intended. If this interpretation prevails, more than four million people lose those subsidies.

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Top 20 Reasons Why Republicans Want to Repeal Obamacare (video)

elysium-NLIn Elysium, Matt Damon’s 2013 post-apocalyptic drama, the 1% are safely ensconced on a idyllic floating space station (Elysium). In contrast, the 99% toil in poverty and grime and suffer from police oppression on Earth, which has been destroyed by pollution and over-crowding.

Early on in Elysium, Damon, a former thug who works in a giant factory with no safety equipment, workplace regulations, or human resources protections, has an industrial accident and is exposed to a lethal dose of radiation. Fellow workers hear his screams from the radiation chamber and try valiantly to get him out, but the supervisor tells them to leave him in there and go back to work “because he’s already dead”. After the exposure, they drag Damon out (literally) and take him to the factory clinic. When the CEO sees him, he tells the supervisor to send Damon home before he soils the sheets. At several junctures in the movie, the dire, dirty conditions on Earth are juxtaposed with the gleaming perfection of Elysium, but the contrast in healthcare is the most stark. On Elysium, people have high-tech, full-body scanners that can cure all diseases. On Earth, people are left to die.

At one point, the CEO says to a worker whose daughter is dying, “This isn’t Elysium. We can’t just heal her.” This movie is the Koch Brothers’ wet dream and our nightmare. If the Republican Party could get away with it, this is where we will be by 2154 (the date of the movie) or sooner. Getting rid of the Affordable Care Act and social safety net programs are the first steps.

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