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Individual Medical Health Laws Spark Controversy

Medical Health Insurance Agent

Article written April 1st 2012 by political commentator Jack Mitchell.
Republished with permission.

It was announced in Washington on April 1st 2012 that the United States Supreme Court will not review the individual medical health insurance requirement that is the first federal mandate involving health care.

Medicare payroll taxes have been levied on both employers and employees, while hospitals have been issued a requirement that they should provide emergency services to enrollees free of charge.

Comparatively speaking, President Barrack Obama’s recent overhauls are fairly light-weight as compared to some existing healthcare dictates previously initiated by the federal government, but this matter has nonetheless sparked interest among the justices of the Supreme Court.

These mandates mainly apply to healthcare providers such as insurance companies and hospitals. The one exception is the mandate that decrees that all employees must contribute taxes to fund the Medicare program, which will amount to around 200 billion dollars in revenue.

It is without question that this payroll tax for Medicare is a government directive, according to the one-time Republican senator Mark Hayes, ex-chief health counsel of the Senate Finance Committee.

There are distinctions, however, between Obama’s individual medical health insurance directive in the healthcare reform and this new payroll tax.

According to Hayes, Medicare was created under better-defined legal powers, which could levy taxes and spend at will, whereas this new individual health insurance mandate regulates commerce between states, stunting expenditure.

Where, then, lies the difference between these new mandates and Obama’s law? This is just what the justices of the Supreme Court are asking right now.

Medicare and social security are ingrained in the nation’s psyche as accepted mandates, according to previous congressional aide Mr. Hayes, whereas this new healthcare mandate is shrouded in controversy because it is relatively novel both for society and from a legal perspective.

Those staunch supporters of the healthcare law are upset by this distinction.

Others think that it is questionable to say the least that a nation that has for decades benefitted from Medicare and Social Security would find this individual health insurance mandate unconstitutional.

Indeed, the Republican Party championed the state mandate back in 2006, as leading economist Jonathan Gruber astutely pointed out on the day the law was passed.

Some previous controversial federal healthcare directives include the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (1986) which decreed that anyone who required emergency assistance must be treated and stabilized, no matter whether they have the requisite insurance coverage or whether they are legally residents of the United States.

The Mental Health Parity Act (1996) leveled the playing field for group health plans, stating that the same benefits should apply for mental health as with surgical and medical benefits.

Also in 1996 came the Newborns’ and Mother’s Health Protection Act, which requests that policies which offer maternity benefits give coverage for two days’ inpatient stay after giving birth and four days’ stay after undergoing a caesarian section.

Author’s Comment:

Individual Medical Health Insurance

These adjustments to individual medical health insurance legislation are timely, with President Obama standing for re-election in the coming months. Pending the Supreme Court’s decision in June, up to 30 million American citizens could stand to benefit.

The president states that in turning the healthcare reform into a political debate, the human factor is being lost in a sea of dialogue, and that the Supreme Court has reversed a century of law in order to let public interest matters influence elections.

While this may be true, it still remains to be seen as to what will come of “Obamacare” and whether the reforms will be beneficial. Many agree that it would be irresponsible not to challenge the healthcare reforms when individual medical health insurance is such an essential service that has been effective for so many enrollees.

Whatever the outcome, the president seems to be standing firm, unwilling to discuss an alternative option should the mandate not be passed. His steadfastly challenging the U.S. Supreme Court, and use of stern rhetoric suggests he may just be electioneering for the general publics’ sake in the face of recent knock-backs in pre-election opinion polls.

Whatever Obama’s motives for his actions before the Supreme Court happen to be, their effectiveness remains to be seen.

jm/741/120/04012012

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