A group of state legislators who support the health law have discussed what they could do to replace the insurance mandate, if the court strikes it down, said Karen Keiser, a Democratic state senator in Washington who chairs the group. Possibilities for replacing a federal mandate include the “politically difficult” route of passing state versions of the mandate, or replacing private insurers with government-run coverage in some states, Keiser said. “It’s much more likely that states would step in and take it on because it seems the Congress is really at impasse,” she said by phone. In states that choose not to act, she said, “a large number of Americans would be left out and left behind.”
Maine state Rep. Sharon Anglin Treat, D-Hallowell, walked out of the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday after listening to the first round of oral arguments over President Obama's health care law and shook her head at the contrast. Inside the august chamber, where Treat snared a third-row seat after getting in line at 5:20 a.m., the justices quizzed all sides on fine legal points as the rapt audience looked on.
As historic oral arguments over the lawsuit seeking to overturn the Affordable Care Act opened today at the U.S. Supreme Court, a group of hundreds of state legislators representing every state in the nation continued to voice their support for the health law, underscoring that the Attorneys General bringing the lawsuit are not the only ones who speak for the states.
As the world marks the 101st International Women’s Day, more and more American women are finding their own health under rhetorical and legislative attack in the halls of Congress, on radio airwaves, and in state after state. From attempts to defund organizations providing women with basic health services, to placing intrusive and often humiliating obstacles before women exercising the right to choose, to retricting access to contraception, the past few weeks have seen a range of attacks on women in the states – and a growing movement of progressive state lawmakers standing up and fighting back.
State governments are facing mounting budgetary pressures to cut Medicaid costs. Reducing eligibility or cutting covered services is the obvious, but short-sighted, cost-cutting strategy. Such cuts will leave already ill people more ill, shift treatment costs to other payers (including small businesses, individual insurance policyholders, and medical providers), and forego significant federal funding that frequently exceeds any state budget savings.