Monday, October 31, 2011

Health Law - A Body in Motion Tends To Stay in Motion

My message is - keep moving. If you do, you'll keep arthritis at bay.

Donna Mills. American Actress, 1942

October 31, 2011 - Have you seen Celebrex ad with the tag line – “A body in motion tends to stay in motion. It’s simple physics.”?

The message? Give the arthritic patients a pill, and they will keep moving. This message may also apply to politics.

This image reminds me of the health care law. It’s arthritic, but it keeps moving, due to certain popular provisions within the law – i.e. coverage for pre-existing illnesses and young adults under their parents’ plans- and periodic stimulus doses administered by Kathleen Sibelius at HEW and Donald Berwick at CMS.

The law is hobbling. Its joints are creaking. Republicans oppose it. Twenty states are suing over its constitutionality. Public approval has hit an all-time low. The CLASS portion of the law has been abandoned because of financial unsustainability. Over 1800 waivers have been granted to four states and favored organizations to help them escape its costs. All Republican candidates for president promise to repeal it.

But the health law keeps on moving. Many states continue to set up health exchanges and to build the Medicaid machinery needed to cope with the onslaught of 32 million new recipients.

But as Louise Radnofsy of the October 29 WSJ article points out in its title “Repeal Health Law? It Won’t Be Easy." Republicans, even if they take the Senate in 2012, are unlikely to have the 60 vote filibuster-proof majority needed to repeal the law in its entirety.

The Romney plan, as articulated, critics assert, may not pass legal muster,

I’ll grant a waiver on Day One to get repeal started. On Day One, granting a waiver for all 50 states doesn’t stop it in its tracks entirely. That’s why I also say we have to repeal Obamacare, and I will do that on Day Two, with a reconciliation bill [requiring only 51 votes in the Senate] because as you know, it was passed by reconciliation with 51 votes.”

Besides, the Romney plan would ignite a rebellion among progressive groups, possibly lead to a political firestorm, and cause Republicans to either try for either a full-scale repeal or a joint -by-joint, piece-by-piece effort to defund amd dismantle the law and keep it from moving further.

Even with an election of a Republican president with a Senate majority, wholesale repeal of the health law would not be easy.

1 comment:

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