The Leaflet - U.S. Supreme Court Will Review 3 PPACA Cases
On Monday the U.S. Supreme Court issued an order granting review in three cases regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). This is a significant event with so many state legislatures debating whether to implement the various aspects of this law, such as insurance exchanges. The Court is expected hear oral arguments in March and have a decision by the end of June.
The Court will address the preliminary issue, whether a federal law prohibiting review of tax laws before a tax is imposed bars review here, since many of the taxes don’t go into effect until 2014. It also will address the constitutionality of the individual mandate, which requires all Americans to purchase private health insurance or be fined. Last, the Court will consider “severability.”
In response to the news Heartland Research Fellow Benjamin Domenech said, “Now that it’s clear the justices will weigh in on the many constitutional questions swirling around the law in the spring, there is absolutely no reason states should continue implementing this controversial and unpopular law before the case is heard and properly reviewed. Too many questions remain about what portions of the law could be struck down, and every dime spent on the implementation of the law is one that taxpayers will never get back.”
He continued, “Responsible legislators, administrators, and governors ought to remain patient and see what the Court decides before proceeding.”
This week’s edition of The Leaflet features research and commentary addressing exchange partnerships, vouchers in Tennessee, the Protect IP Act, buy here pay here, and Kansas’s renewable energy mandate.
Director - Government Relations
Several state legislatures are declining to create the health insurance exchanges mandated by President Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Thus the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced three potential partnerships as a “second chance” for states that oppose implementation of a health insurance exchange.
According to partnership proponents, states can manage the participation of health insurance plans, aid patients attempting to navigate the insurance exchange, or control both. Those opposing the partnership model say it is a political tactic rather than a policy change. In none of the proposed partnership models is the state given significant authority over its health care system. Instead, the federal government will have full authority and oversight over the health insurance exchange, and state participation will be defined by federal rules.
A letter to HHS from Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) and Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) on behalf of the National Governors Association states, “Under the proposed partnership models, states would be required to cede many operations that have been traditionally handled at the state level, such as Medicaid eligibility, regardless of whether they implement a state-based exchange, implement a state-federal partnership model or turn over responsibility for the exchange entirely to the federal government.”
Whether state-crafted, federally implemented, or a “partnership,” a health insurance exchange under PPACA will be, by law, federally monitored and controlled. State officials should resist setting up these health insurance exchanges.
What We're Working On
The Stop Online Piracy Act and its sister bill, the Protect IP act, are illustrations of government power – the power to cause problems when trying to fix them. The act tasks private businesses and local Internet service providers (among others) with enforcing piracy law at the whim of those who feel victimized. Among the problems with this: The technology has been created to circumvent the act for years.
Research & Commentary: Buy Here Pay Here Auto Dealerships
Finance, Insurance and Real Estate
Transportation access is an important part of modern life, but purchasing a vehicle is an expensive proposition many people cannot afford. Acquiring financing can be a daunting task for low-income borrowers or those with no or bad credit. Both banks and credit unions have few options for these customers, who in many instances are forced to less-conventional financing in what economists call the fringe economy.
One part of this fringe economy that has become increasingly prevalent, and increasingly controversial, are buy here pay here (BHPH) auto dealerships. In this Research & Commentary, Legislative Specialist Matthew Glans examines buy here pay here auto dealerships and consumer credit from various perspectives.
Just a few years after getting a pat on the back – in the form of hundreds of millions of dollars – from President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Tennessee legislators are proposing a plan that might be met a little differently at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The steadfast and strong-minded approach to reforming education has experts in education policy salivating. Could this be the next Indiana? For the sake of 400 million taxpayer dollars and a much improved education system, we hope so.
Kansas Renewable Energy Mandate
Environment & Climate
In May 2009, Kansas established a renewable energy standard. This standard imposes higher costs on Kansas ratepayers while providing a less-reliable product.
150 North Dearborn
Chicago, IL 60654
December 02, 2011, 11:30 AM
The November issue of School Reform News reports the Obama administration has released long-promised criteria states must meet to receive a waiver of No Child Left Behind requirements. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said the move “is an overstep of authority that undermines existing law and violates the constitutional separation of powers.”