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Why the Supreme Court Should Keep Health Insurance Affordable

February 27, 2015 COMMENTARY BY: Mike Cassidy TOPICS: Social Insurance, Continuing Health Care Reform

TCF policy associate Mike Cassidy looks at what the King v. Burwell Supreme Court case ignores: Americans love social insurance.

Tags: obamacare, obama, king v. burwell, health insurance, affordable care act, aca

If You Want to Know Who Gets Health-care Handouts, Look In the Mirror

Next week, the Supreme Court is set to hear the King v. Burwell case in the latest attack on Obamacare. While many Americans polled said that they are in favor of scaling back Obamacare subsidies, many of those same individuals did not realize that in some way, most of those who have health insurance benefit either directly or indirectly from government health-care subsidies. The fact that so many are unaware of the ways in which they themselves benefit from government subsidies refers to a concept called the "submerged state," a term that was coined by TCF fellow Suzanne Mettler.

These kinds of little-noticed subsidies are part of what Cornell professor Suzanne Mettler has memorably dubbed the “submerged state.” You see, we Americans aren’t trying to be hypocrites when we proclaim handouts-for-me-but-not-for-thee. We just often don’t realize we’re getting handouts in the first place.

Read a new article in The Washington Post that discusses how the idea of the submerged state refers to the Affordable Care Act debate.

Tags: suzanne mettler, supreme court, subsidies, submerged state, healthcare, affordable care act

Killing Obamacare Would Kill Americans

It's no secret that Republicans have been fighting the Affordable Care Act for years. In fact, Republicans in Congress have voted to repeal it, defund it, or change it 67 times to date. TCF fellow Michael A. Cohen discusses this relentless battle and why these efforts to kill Obamacare are literally killing Americans in the process.

All too often GOP opposition to Obamacare is described as a political dispute. It’s much more than that, however. Repealing Obamacare, removing federal subsidies for millions of people, and denying Medicaid expansion are all affirmative political acts that will hurt, and even kill, Americans. The Republican position might reflect the party’s strongly held views, but that doesn’t make it any less monstrous.

Michael's full commentary can be found in The Boston Globe.

Tags: uninsured americans, supreme court, republicans, obamacare, healthcare, gop congress, congress

All Our Politicians Should Join Together to End the Dangerous Anti-Vaccination Madness

TCF fellow Harold Pollack says that vaccinations have become a national issue in terms of culture wars, partisan politics or even the 2016 presidential campaign. It is easy to fall into the group of people who distrust "big pharma" and therefore become wary of vaccinating their children upon hearing of the side-effects. He says it is necessary to debunk false rumors about vaccines set the American public straight on health information that can get distorted.

It's not just the message that matters. To reach the people we most need to persuade, the messenger matters, too. There is and long has been ample evidence for the safety of common vaccines. Repeating this message only accomplishes so much with intentional non-vaccinators.

Read Pollack's full piece featured in The Washington Post.

Tags: vaccines, partisan politics, measles, health policy

Martin Luther King Wouldn’t Be Very Happy With This Medicaid Map

TCF fellow Harold Pollack describes how Martin Luther King Jr. was a staunch defender of not only race equality, but also of justice in the health care system. He uses an infographic map to exhibit what Medicaid recipients look like on a US scale:

Read Pollack's full article featured in Huffington Post.

Tags: medicaid, health insurance, health care reform

What Happens When Your Pregnant Sister-in-Law is Paralyzed in an Accident — and Has No Insurance.

TCF fellow Harold Pollack conducts an interview with a woman whose sister-in-law suffered a severely traumatic accident leaving her mostly paralyzed. Pollack asks about her sister-in-law's difficulties dealing with the accident, treatment, and long-term care without having health insurance to support her necessary medical costs.

"They knew that my brother would continue to lack coverage, under any circumstance really. She knew that after the AIM ran out, she could enroll in [her nursing school’s student health plan]. She had already filled out the paperwork when the accident happened. She and the baby would both have insurance."

Read the full interview from the New York Times.

Tags: medical care, health insurance, affordable care act


Social Insurance

Social Insurance

Compared to other advanced nations, America’s retirement security and health care systems offer weaker protections against risks we all face. The Century Foundation’s work focuses on ideas for strengthening Social Security, pensions, and health care – including steps for building on the Affordable Care Act.

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