Posted 2 years ago on June 27, 2012, 12:52 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
On Thursday, June 28th, between 10am and 11am, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to announce its decision to uphold or strike down all or parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka “Obamacare.”
The same day from 11:30am to 1:30pm, workers and the community will rally against layoffs, healthcare cuts, and hospital closings at Downstate Hospital, a state hospital in Central Brooklyn that handled 75,000 ER visits last year and plays a vital role in the community.
What does the Supreme Court decision have to do with hospital closings in Brooklyn?
It’s quite simple. Both of these events were determined by policy written by and for the 1%.
Health Insurance Reform
Even if the ACA is upheld, and despite the best intentions of many advocates to defend it, the law was largely written by Liz Fowler, Vice President of Policy at the nation’s largest and most profitable health insurance company, WellPoint.
The law will deliver 20+ million new customers and $447 billion in taxpayer subsidies directly to the private health insurance companies, but leave at least 23 million uninsured, and millions more under-insured with inadequate health insurance coverage.
The cornerstone of the ACA is the individual mandate. This regressive policy requires that if you are not eligible for a public program (Medicare, Medicaid, the V.A.), you will then be forced to buy private health insurance, or remain uninsured and pay a fine. The 99% will have to pay a much higher percentage of their income than the affluent for their coverage, and older people pay more than younger people. A 43-year-old individual making 34,000 a year will pay $5,204 in premiums and deductibles before the insurance will kick in to only cover 60% of the cost of care.
Having insurance is no guarantee that you won’t go bankrupt should you have a serious illness or accident. Massachusetts implemented the individual mandate model in 2006, and their numbers still match the nation with 2/3 of all bankruptcies linked to medical debt, even though most people had insurance at the time of illness.
Massachusetts claims it has reduced the number of uninsured in the state by 60-80%, but the state safety net programs have been decimated. With pressure from the federal government, the law funneled public dollars at l