Obamacare: ‘The battle isn’t even close to over’

(By Deutsche Welle) US President Barack Obama’s health care reform has won another victory over its opponents. But according to Edmund Haislmaier of the Heritage Foundation, conservatives will continue to fight the Affordable Care Act.

The United States Supreme Court has upheld a key provision of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, in a 6-3 decision. The ruling backs government subsidies that help more than 6 million Americans purchase health care on state-regulated Internet marketplaces.

Conservatives have challenged President Barack Obama’s signature domestic program twice now and have lost both times. Back in 2012, the court ruled in favor of the individual mandate, which requires most Americans to buy health insurance or face a tax penalty.

The ACA has been controversial in the US. Supporters claim that the law provides Americans with greater access to better quality health insurance at an affordable price. Opponents criticize the ACA as an unnecessary intrusion in Americans’ health care decisions that will drive up prices.

Since the implementation of the ACA began in 2014, the uninsured rate in the US has dropped from 17 to about 12 percent of the population.

Edmund Haislmaier, a health policy expert at the conservative Heritage Foundation, tells DW why he opposes the ACA, and the implications of the Supreme Court’s ruling for those who oppose the law.

So what was stake in this challenge to ACA?

It came down to whether the administration’s reading of the law was correct or not. So it upheld the way the administration interpreted the law.

As far as the health care issue is concerned, it would have affected a portion of the legislation in some states. It hinged on whether or not the administration was correct that the subsidy system in the law could be applied to states that had not set up health insurance exchanges, but the federal government was doing it for them. Essentially, the court said yes they can.

What does this mean politically and in terms of the health law going forward? It means that things will continue as they had in the past in terms of the health law, but that also means that there’s a lot of other problems that the health law will encounter going forward.

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