I hope Anthony Weiner is right here and that if our overly partisan Supreme Court does strike down the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act that it does lead to the return of the public option. Here's more from TPM where Weiner expressed some similar sentiments to the ones made here with MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell.
This is more in the spirit of partypooping than of celebration. But on the first anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, one of the law's most dogged defenders, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), admitted he thinks the Supreme Court will strike down the individual mandate. It's not that he thinks the mandate is unconstitutional, but that the court has become so partisan, that its conservative justices will rule against President Obama in a 5-4 decision. He wasn't glum about it, though -- if the mandate goes he said it will pave the way for Congress to pass the public option.
"If lightning strikes, and it turns out that as many of us believe, the Supreme Court turns out to be a third political branch of government and they strike down the mandate -- big deal," Weiner said, expressing a 'so what?!' sentiment. "Big deal!" Read on...
I think potentially a bigger story our media and our politicians are ignoring is what's happening in Vermont, where they're poised to pass a single-payer health care plan for their state. If they can make this work there, you could see it spread to other states and eventually, hopefully, the rest of the country. If memory serves, this is the same type of scenario that brought Canada their health care program. It started in one province and eventually spread to the rest of the country. It's a huge uphill battle with lots of special interests poised to fight against it, but who knows. Maybe we win one there and move towards not allowing the insurance companies continuing to rob us blind so they can take care of their stock holders and their CEO's instead of the people they're supposed to be bringing a service to.
The Green Mountain State is poised to abolish most forms of private health insurance.
Three weeks after the House of Representatives voted to repeal last year’s landmark healthcare reform legislation, and one week after a federal judge ruled the bill’s insurance mandate unconstitutional, Vermont’s leaders decided to take matters into their own hands.
On February 8, newly inaugurated Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin unveiled his plan for a publicly funded single-payer healthcare system, which was introduced into the state’s legislature. If enacted, which appears likely, it will be the first system of its kind in the United States and Vermont would become the first state to abolish most forms of private health insurance.
“In five years, I predict the United States will go through another major debate of how to reform the healthcare system,” Harvard School of Public Health Professor William Hsiao told the state’s legislators in January, noting his belief that the federal reform legislation passed in March 2010 will not solve the nation’s healthcare crisis. “The question for Vermont is, do you want to walk ahead of the United States? Do you want to be a model for the United States?”
Last year, lawmakers passed a bill to hire a team of consultants led by Hsiao—an economist who helped to develop universal healthcare plans in China and reform Medicare and Medicaid in the 1970s—to design a new healthcare system for the Green Mountain State. According to Hsiao’s research, about 32,000 people, or roughly five percent of the state’s population, would still be uninsured after federal reform measures take full effect in 2014. (Fifty seven thousand, or 9 percent, of Vermonters are currently uninsured.)
What Hsiao and his team ended up recommending to the state was a single-payer system that would ensure coverage for all residents. An independent public body would oversee the system and contract out administration of all claims. Private insurers could compete for this work, as they have done for years to administer the state’s Medicare program. The bill, currently in committee, would take an estimated three to six years to implement. Read on...