Skeptical justices question Obama healthcare law

Comments (151)
shelbyanne wrote:

The Supreme court should tell the republican congress to work out legislation on the floor of congress and stop wasting the courts time.

Mar 27, 2012 1:49am EDT  --  Report as abuse
dsdfd wrote:

The unaffordable act has increased my premium by 55% over the past 15 months and decimated my benefits to be a catastrophic care only policy. Socialism doesn’t work, kick Obama to the curb.

Mar 27, 2012 1:57am EDT  --  Report as abuse
TheJohnGalt wrote:

I still oppose the mandate that every is required to get health insurance and I am still against having to pay a penalty for not having it.
Having said that and not wanting to conjure up visions of “death panels” I would like to know why not incorporate into the healthcare reform (instead of mandating that everyone must obtain a policy) a requirement that insurance companies–along with the mandatory acceptance of people with pre-existing conditions–must obtain a life insurance policy on everyone (not just those with pre-existing conditions) they cover under one of their health policies, in an amount that would cover what health insurers are able to foresee (using their vast actuary databases) in each individual policy.
Perhaps with a stipulation that the payments from these life policies will go to recover the medical expenditures of the health insurers, reimburse governments for the subsidies of the monthly premiums and leaving anything that may be left over from such life policies to surviving family members.

Mar 27, 2012 2:19am EDT  --  Report as abuse
w.burton wrote:

WHO ARE these people opposing ‘Obamacare’??? Are they working for the health insurance companies? I am highly suspicious…

Mar 27, 2012 3:12am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Marla wrote:

@ TheJohnGalt – Good luck getting life insurance if you have preexisting conditions!

Mar 27, 2012 3:37am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Jill_Again wrote:

If they decide this issue along party lines, they will have proven beyond a shadow of doubt that they are not following the Constitution’s guidelines, and in fact, are behaving as terrorists against our great nation.

Mar 27, 2012 3:46am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Jill_Again wrote:

The people opposing “Obamacare” are largely those well healed that can easily afford what they need, and don’t care about the welfare of others. eg. everyone else is expendable.

Mar 27, 2012 3:49am EDT  --  Report as abuse
justinolcb wrote:

If the medical insurance companies are the problem with healthcare in the US, then Federally mandating medical insurance coverage is the solution? Really? How about this, give the citizens the same medical coverage the legislators get in Washington DC, btw we are paying for their insurance coverage :)

Mar 27, 2012 4:19am EDT  --  Report as abuse
free4me wrote:

I realize that I’m very slow on the uptake but please explain,if a family is working poor or low middle income & they couldn’t afford health insurance before Obamacare. If for religious reasons a person does home healing, or up to 15 million undocumented non tax paying non contributors to our Social Security system because they work for cash people how will they pay for the insurance or the fines that they get?
My wife is still 2 years away from Social Security & she pays about $8,000. a year for health insurance & with that she has a $50.00 co-pay.
Please tell me who will pay these bills?
Bernie 1

Mar 27, 2012 5:22am EDT  --  Report as abuse
gordo53 wrote:

The irony of this is that no matter what the court decides, we will be no closer to solving our health care problems. Nearly everyone believes that regardless of ability to pay, every citizen should have access to some level of basic health care. The cost of health care is increasing at alarming levels and already consumes about 20% of our economhy. From an fiscal perspective, we are a nation in decline. A trend that will likely continue for decades. When you examine the health care problem with these three conditions in mind, you come to the inescapable conclusion that we are, as some have put it, “screwed”. What is going to happen, whether we chose it or not, is that health care is going to be tightly rationed. The method of rationing is the only unresolved issue. The current debate is rather useless as nothing resembling the present system can continue for very long.

Mar 27, 2012 7:52am EDT  --  Report as abuse
BillDexter wrote:

I don’t see the issue before the court as being the ‘core’ of Obama’s healthcare law. Really, if the court strikes down the government’s mandate to purchase insurance they can simply extract that same money through taxes.

The ‘core’ of Obama’s healthcare law is to promise nearly limitless care to people who can’t afford it in exchange for votes. This idea is not new. Medicaid and Medicare are smaller versions of what is now being proposed. Medicaid and Medicare are deep in the red, but people will still vote for Democrats if they promise more outlay through these programs. Social Security, too, has been corrupted into an income redistribution giveaway ponzi scheme through ‘Social Security disability entitlements’, also a solid voter base.

The Republicans offer no ‘alternative’ to the Democrat’s plan. The reason for this is: because the realistic alternative is to not provide care beyond what can be afforded, and politically it is suicide to say so.

So, the discussion remains focused on the moral mandate to continue to provide care and ignores the projected future costs, and we continue to walk towards the abyss of total financial collapse under the weight of our public debt. It is strictly because of this horrifying inevitability that sensible people vehemently oppose ‘Obamacare’.

Mar 27, 2012 7:58am EDT  --  Report as abuse
jaham wrote:

What a waste. “Obamacare” is just about the only thing the Obama admin has succesfully followed through on, only to be struck down by the Supreme Court.

Bottom line is, Congress does not have the right to force Americans to consume a specific product. Car insurance? Yes, you must have liability insurance to cover damages you may due to another individual. But, forcing Americans to consume a specific product is unprecedented and I’d imagine it will be a fairly easy decision for the Supreme Court, regardless of the hype.

Mar 27, 2012 8:09am EDT  --  Report as abuse
CMEBARK wrote:

Most Americans have no idea what is in the bill. This
certainly goes for these “candidates”.

Mar 27, 2012 8:09am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Bobo_9 wrote:

If I choose not to have health care coverage then Obama has no right telling me I must buy into it or be fined. Otherwise same argument could be for ther government to say I must buy a car even though I don’t want to have one, & if I refuse to do so then I pay a tax because I chose not to buy a car.
One of the arguments is a healthy uninsured person doesn’t contribute to the “pot”, meaning the sick people who need & use their health insurance must pay higher premiums for it. But if I don’t want to use health insurance well that’s my decision, just like my decision to NOT buy a car.
This is nuts to think we’d allow a politician to force us to buy a product we don’t want to buy.
Do we need a mechanism to give a single Mom raising 3 kids to have access to affordable insurance ? yes I think we do, but if that Mom says she can’t afford to buy it then we’re going to let the governemnt fine her when she’s having trouble putting food on the table as it is ??

Mar 27, 2012 8:45am EDT  --  Report as abuse
r.felder wrote:

I’m not really clear on why the individual mandate is necessary anyway. I pay for the uninsured already through the 55% increase in premiums I’ve swallowed over the year. If the individual mandate goes into affect, not only will I NOT get a premium reduction, my taxes will go up too because all of the subsidies needed to help the uninsured pay for their new policies will need to be paid for too. Who do you think will pay for these subsidies??? I really, at the end of the day, don’t see what good the mandate is going to do. The healthy are paying for the sick already and they will after the mandate is passed too (if it is passed).

Mar 27, 2012 8:54am EDT  --  Report as abuse
eco4matic wrote:

i think it’s the government’s responsibility to offer health care to everyone…….however, not by making insurance mandatory.

why can’t we have something similar to canada or uk…….a system for a government to be liable for basic healthcare whereas premium health services are taken care by insurance companies.

the biggest evil to our way of life is the lawsuit treatment due to which our health cost has escalated over the years and opportunists (a.k.a. extortionists) have made it more of a routine trade.

Mar 27, 2012 9:05am EDT  --  Report as abuse
lensmanb wrote:

I am not getting $8,402.00 to spend on myself for healthcare. Wish I was. That would cover both myself and my wife and we could take a vacation with the other $8,402.00 my wife would be spending, right?
I work 2 jobs and can’t afford a vacation. Maybe I should let the government take over and then I might get a handout too.

Mar 27, 2012 9:19am EDT  --  Report as abuse
DetroitNative wrote:

Fact…. the government has never made anything cheaper or less complex.

Mar 27, 2012 9:42am EDT  --  Report as abuse
mikemm wrote:

dsdfd,

Most of the HCA changes don’t kick in until 2013-2014. The increases you’re experiencing are due to the existing healthcare system with out of control costs that the HCA was passed to start controlling.

In short, the insurance companies are raising premiums just because they can, but that will stop soon when the HCA restricts the percentage of administrative costs in ratio to actual healthcare related expenses, puts caps on what insurance companies can charge for certain procedures, and pools medical and medication purchases into volume purchases. Many of the top paid CEOs, executives, and board members work for HMOs and other organizations in the healthcare field. A lot of our high costs are just to pay bonuses and high salaries to top heavy organizations. Lump in the covering of the uninsured who pay little if no costs for treatment and all of those cost get passed on to customer and the State and Federal government. Estimates are that just emergency rooms costs alone are costing us that have health insurance at least $1000 a year more in our premiums. That’s almost $100 a month that wouldn’t be passed on if everyone had coverage which is why the mandate is so important.

Without the HCA, based on historical patterns of the last decade, our premiums will rise 10% or more every year and take more of our net income until most of us will be priced out of the market. With the HCA, we’ll have mechanisms and controls in place to slow and reduce costs wherever possible.

States currently regulate utility and auto insurance cost increases now and challenge all rate increases to verify they are justified. They don’t get involved with efficiencies and cost reductions in those, but at least they are slowing the increases that we would see if those companies could charge whatever teh market would bare. You’d see electricity and auto insurance prices rise steeply in peak load times just like we see with gasoline prices rising every year prior to summer or fluctuating month to month based on any number of factors. I like knowing that my auto insurance, water, and electricity prices will remain in effect for the next 6 months to a year. Planning a budget without knowing what prices we’d be charged for utilities and having them fluctuate like prices at the gas pump would be a real burden on families.

Mar 27, 2012 10:06am EDT  --  Report as abuse
mikemm wrote:

Bobo_9,

I hope you’re currently wearing a “Do Not Resuscitate” braclet then, so if you get in a bad accident driving home tonight and are unable to tell them, the EMTs won’t force too much of their treatment on you to keep you alive only to run up a bill beyond what you will likely be able to afford.

Mar 27, 2012 10:14am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Pferd wrote:

While it is true that those with insurance already pay for those without, the problem with this law is that it makes even more expensive than it already is.

Mar 27, 2012 10:19am EDT  --  Report as abuse
stambo2001 wrote:

Pretty simple really. Quit spending trillions of dollars per year on a military force enforcing your beliefs around the world and you could easily pay medicare for every american citizen a few times over. Or repair your roads and infrastructure. Or get the homeless of the streets. Or take care of your senior citizens and veterans.

Mar 27, 2012 10:24am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Sensibility wrote:

Either the law is unconstitutional or the Republicans can use the terribleness of the law to their advantage in the campaign. Strike it down or uphold it – either way Obama loses. And that’s what we knew all along.

Mar 27, 2012 10:33am EDT  --  Report as abuse
4ngry4merican wrote:

dsdfd – Sounds like you have crappy insurance. Since you’re such a big fan of capitalism and the free market, why don’t you just go find better, cheaper coverage?

Mar 27, 2012 10:34am EDT  --  Report as abuse
iamfrankblack wrote:

“eco4matic wrote:
i think it’s the government’s responsibility to offer health care to everyone”

Perhaps you could explain exactly where this responsibility is specified.

Mar 27, 2012 10:43am EDT  --  Report as abuse
babyowl wrote:

dsdfd and anyone else …..The act has nothing to do with insurance premiums going up or down, that is all directed by the employer and insurance companies. If yours went up, then direct your complaint to your employer first as they are responsible for the raise in premiums. The insurance company is only doing what the employer wants. Yes, it make them both more money.

And stambo2001….President Obama isn’t trying to “command” us to do anything we don’t want. However, what he is doing is trying to make health insurance available to all the people of the U.S. Do you have a problem with that or are you the type of person who only cares for himself????

Mar 27, 2012 10:43am EDT  --  Report as abuse
BillDexter wrote:

mikemm

You claim that the pending regulation of private insurance company salary compensation will lower the cost. You then say “Lump in the covering of the uninsured who pay little if no costs for treatment and all of those cost get passed on to customer and the State and Federal government.”

Are you implying that the amount of money the government will regulate out of salary compensation will cover the uninsured? Do you mean to further imply that we private insurance purchasers will simultaneously realize the almost $100 a month in premium reductions?

Mar 27, 2012 10:43am EDT  --  Report as abuse
JustACitizen wrote:

Health Care Reform NEEDS to happen.

It’s extremely dangerous to allow this government to have this much power.

Just wait until the republicans take power at some point (it’s inevitable), then they have the power to do the same and then some…

You have to think long term on this. There is a better way.

Mar 27, 2012 10:43am EDT  --  Report as abuse

Most of these comments are a joke. People are forgetting so many things.

The law requires that insurance companies spend more on providing actual care, which will curb prices and improve services received.

The law saves money compared to our current system, so while it costs money in the first few years, it becomes cost neutral before five years, and saves us billions by 2024. It reduces the deficit!

The law does not force anyone to buy insurance. It taxes people who choose not to get insurance, and there are exemptions for this tax based on income (so the poor are not punished further) and faith (so your freedom of religion is not infringe upon).

Don’t believe the spin. Do some research and get informed before you start ranting.

Mar 27, 2012 10:46am EDT  --  Report as abuse
JLWR wrote:

I for the life of me cannot understand how government can force you to pay for health insurance. It is not like car insurance since you are not forced to drive, therefore only if you drive do you need to have insurance. I can see the patience having to pay for their health care when received, but I cannot see why anyone should be force to buy health insurance from greedy 30% overhead insurance companies. If you are poor and can barely afford food, rent, and utilities, how on earth can you afford health insurance that will cost at minimum some $300 + just for yourself? Does that force the patient to give up rent and live on the streets. Please this is so true for people on disability or Social Security and poor and unemployed as well. They just cannot pay for it – they simply need what little money they have for food and rent – there is no left over money. Penalizing people for being poor is just unimaginable and truly ungodly.

Mar 27, 2012 10:50am EDT  --  Report as abuse
whiskey1bravo wrote:

Maybe if they legalized more than Federal Reserve Notes as payment for debts we could get started on economic recovery.. Maybe we can take the government’s power to print money to throw at whatever industry they wish, while dictating the winners and losers in the process. Maybe someday you will wake up and want to go to work, because the government no longer steals 1/4 of your wealth! In a world where savings accounts bear interest, and you don’t have play Wall Street games.

Maybe someday the people will wake up, stop asking for a handout from the government. You have no right to my property, and I have no right to yours. The only other solution is to let the collapse happen, then we all be stuck with our hand out to the UN? A third world country. Is that what you want? Think long and hard, read some economics literature, read some history of money production. Educate yourself, and don’t listen to a damn word the politicians say! It’s all talk, they never get tired of babbling. Learn for yourself.

Mar 27, 2012 10:53am EDT  --  Report as abuse

I’m so tired of Republican lies about health care reform.

Mar 27, 2012 10:53am EDT  --  Report as abuse
JLWR wrote:

The bottom line is American health insurance companies get a 30% overhead off our premiums. Other countries healh insurance is at a 6% to 8% overhead. We cannot and simply must not go broke paying unfair and outrageous premiums to greey insurance comanies. Insurance companies and the fraud and waste in medical prescriptions is the problem. Also doctors are prescription crazy – getting kick backs – we need less drugs and more nursing care and insurance companies that keep overhead between 6-8%. There lies our problem – fix that. Don’t force people to pay the criminals and fraudsters for their unscrupulous greed. We need a universal single payer option. Obama should have listened to his core base and followed through with that and getting insurance companies in line instead of pushing this unfair burden on the poor and unemployed.

Mar 27, 2012 11:02am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Segraine wrote:

I look at health care as a moral issue more than a financial issue. Simply put, it is wrong to make profit from people’s suffering. Health care needs to be non-profit to get the spiraling costs under control. Remove the profit motive -greed- and things will fall back into line.

As it stands now, capitalism has failed in regards to healthcare. It is too easy to exploit people who are sick and desperate. Capitalism doesn’t work when demand is inelastic. For capitalism to work properly there has to be competition. Since everyone inevitably gets ill, there isn’t any real competition. Healthcare is a need of the moment and not something we can foresee. Because we have to pay any price set at the time, capitalism doesn’t see the need to offer competitive rates. It’s not like we can go hospital shopping after we are in a car accident.

Americans also need to expect less from healthcare. Often we ask for unnecessary prescriptions or treatments when staying home and resting for a week is enough. This creates unnecessary expense.

Mar 27, 2012 11:05am EDT  --  Report as abuse
M.C.McBride wrote:

Interesting article with lots of interesting comments, thanks Reuters staff members.

Mar 27, 2012 11:07am EDT  --  Report as abuse
BillDexter wrote:

When I research the law, shall I travel back in time and re-read the similar claims made about Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security, or should I travel forward in time and see how the ‘savings’ have disappeared into fraud, ever-increasing outlays to public union arbitration, class action lawsuits, ever increasing bureaucracy and an ever increasing, ever-poorer population – just like the aforementioned disasters that are the bulk of our current national debt?

Mar 27, 2012 11:10am EDT  --  Report as abuse
USAPragmatist wrote:

@JLWR, because no one is ‘forcing’ you to buy insurance, if you do not buy insurance you get charged an extra tax, because the un-insured drive up the cost for everyone. So you have a choice, either get insured or pay an extra tax. In fact some analysis shows that one may be able to pay a lot less by just paying fine and if they get sick obtain insurance as pre-existing conditions will have to be covered.

Mar 27, 2012 11:12am EDT  --  Report as abuse
jaham wrote:

@babyowl…actually you are wrong. Obama and his “Obamacare” include a mandate that “commands” you to purchase health insurance. This is unprecedented, why? Because it is unconstitutional to “command” American citizens to take part in commerce – in this case purchaing health insurance or suffering a penalty.

I believe this decision will be fairly cut and dry for the Supreme Court and without that mandate the entire program falls apart…unless as BillDexter said, they find some way to fund it through taxes. I’m not sure that I see that happening though.

Mar 27, 2012 11:14am EDT  --  Report as abuse
carolo43 wrote:

If I do not buy insurance for my home, I don’t have coverage. If I do not buy auto insurance, I can not get license plates and drive legally. So what is the big deal with healthcare?

If people think all those steaming into emergency rooms and receiving treatment aren’t costing them, they are nuts. Every uninsured person puts a dent in our pocket because our taxes go toward Medicaid. Isn’t it time for all the uninsured to start paying for some of their care rather than us paying for all of it?

Mar 27, 2012 11:21am EDT  --  Report as abuse
jaham wrote:

@Pragamtist…First, I don’t see alternative penalty as a “choice”. What if it were buy healthcare or goto jail, by your logic that is still a “choice” – in my mind that is congress forcing you to purchase a specific product and take part in commerce when you may not want to. I don’t believe this will be an effective defense aginst the unconstitutional nature of the mandate.

Secondly, you point out that one could simply pay the fee and then get healthcare insurance only when it is needed and the insurance companies will be unable to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions. I don’t see how this begins to solve any of the problems that currently exist.

Mar 27, 2012 11:35am EDT  --  Report as abuse
SanPa wrote:

Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act had been enacted as a fix for Reagan’s Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act. Reagancare had been bankrupting hospitals for years, and care was becoming increasingly expensive for the insured. Reagancare made no provision for insurability, so many had been forced to use Reagancare in lieu of buying personal insurance.

In effect, Obamacare required individuals to take responsibility for care, whereas Reagancare was a collective mandate medicine plan requiring others to pay for patient care, even for those who were in the US without documentation. To me, any move away from the socialist medical plan of Reagan is a step in the correct direction.

Mar 27, 2012 11:50am EDT  --  Report as abuse
oneofthecrowd wrote:

Next Obama will move our Pre-Tax Health Care dollars to an After Tax deduction. For a family of 4 paying $8,000/yr in pre-tax dollars that will amount to a nearly $2,500 tax assessment. It’s coming, people with a company sponsored insurance will have a pay cut from Obama within a year, with lots of excuses for why it has to be done.

Mar 27, 2012 11:51am EDT  --  Report as abuse
rog-geo wrote:

As a legal issue, is telling someone they MUST buy health insurance any different than telling them they must purchase car insurance?

Most states tell their citizens the MUST maintain car insurance if they drive because the concept of “self-insured” doesn’t really work.

Mar 27, 2012 11:52am EDT  --  Report as abuse
USAPragmatist wrote:

@jaham, I know hokey right? What I like about it it screws the insurance companies.

What is sorely needed is a single-payer type of system, but Obama and the Dems made the strategic choice of going with a plan that they thought would get some GOP support as the the Individual Mandate was a GOP/conservative solution to the healthcare cost problem. It was an attempt by Obama and the Dems to be Bi-partisan and do something together, but they greatly underestimated how childish the GOP was going to be. We could have had a solution to this problem close to 20 years ago when Clinton originally brought it up, but NO the GOP has to listen to the insurance company lobbyists.

Mar 27, 2012 11:55am EDT  --  Report as abuse
brotherkenny4 wrote:

I’ll be glad when I don’t have to pay car insurance. I’d like to choose not to have car insurance, and if for some odd reason I have to pay for some damage I did I would just pay for it( I really mean that). I am sure every hard working honest american would do the same (yes, sarcasm). You see there is no need for car insurance. I do believe that in a just society if it is determined that a government can’t force you to consume a service, that then means I don’t need car insurance (I put that just qualifier in there, because I know that not to be the reality-we have no justice). It’s still possible that you would need collision as a requirement of any loan associated with a car, but you would not need liability and once you paid off the car you could drop the collision too. Of course, the supreme court would not allow the abolishment of auto insurance since it would negatively affect the insurance companies. They don’t care too much about the rates of the medical insurance providers, because the cost of your insurance already include the cost hospitals incur for the uninsured. Yes, you are already paying for the health care cost of the uninsured through increased premiums and taxes. But hey, the important thing is what do the wealthy want us to do. You know we need to consult the masters.

Mar 27, 2012 12:11pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
mb56 wrote:

“Car insurance? Yes, you must have liability insurance to cover damages you may due to another individual.”
=========
And isn’t someone who could afford insurance but instead spends the money on beer, cigs, ipads, what-ever, ultimately winds up with a serious medical need (like virtually everyone will at some point), and foist the cost off on me by socializing that cost… isn’t THAT harming me fiscally as well?

Mar 27, 2012 12:19pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
oneofthecrowd wrote:

Because FSA accounts are getting capped at $2,500 my children’s dental implants (needing 3 at $7,000 each post and crown) will come from after tax dollars and thanks to Obama I will be taxed more and still pay out of pocket. Here is how I get robbed to pay for Obamacare. And next my pre-tax healthcare will become taxable. I will end up losing about $3,000 on average per year to pay for Obamacare. Start looking at your W-2s, if you have healthcare at work, you will be penalized starting next year, and the numbers are BIG.

Mar 27, 2012 12:29pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Finndian wrote:

dsdfd… the affordable care act didn’t raise your premiums. Your premiums were going up anyway if you didn’t notice. These unscrupulous private health insurers that decided who lived and who died up until now need to be done away with all together…. which is the ultimate goal.

Mar 27, 2012 12:44pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Susanbsbi wrote:

How can you tell that the court is divided, they have not issued any report yet. People stop making assumptions as you might make a “ASSUME” of yourself. As that portion of the bill has not yet became a law. The mandated insurance needs to be fined tuned where there is not penalty and those who don’t purchases can not file bankruptcy on their medical bills, Those who do buy insurance can take it as a deduction off their gross income.

People don’t realize the exact good benefits that are in the plan, like preexisting conditions the insurance companies now don’t have to cover you, but will if this act stays law and without an increase in the money you pay.

People, get cancer and see what type of treatment you get without insurance. Have diabetics and try to get covered if you lose your insurance at work. lots of luck, without paying a leg and an arm for it.

Mar 27, 2012 12:45pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
JLWR wrote:

The law does not force anyone to buy insurance. It taxes people who choose not to get insurance, and there are exemptions for this tax based on income (so the poor are not punished further) and faith (so your freedom of religion is not infringe upon. From TruIronPatriot

Dear TrueIronPatriot:

What if the person is unemployed – How do they tax them then? In addition, I don’t want more exemptions. I want a progressive flat tax system with no exemptions, no deductions, no loopholes, no tax credits. Why create more tax buracracy with more exemptions – simplify, simply, simplify!! Our entire tax system is one giant welfare system of exemptions, deductions and loopholes for the rich and poor but nothing for many of us in the middle. Just create a health care system where you make your choice by age 30- of either a single payer option or you choose private insurance – one of the other and you have to stick to it your entire life. You either pay for the single payer option or you pay for private insurance. If you opted for the single payer and wanted additional coverage and you can afford it, then by all means purchase additional coverage, but your main insurance is the single payer option. If you have private insurance, you have that for life – purchase what you like. Once again simplfy.

Mar 27, 2012 12:53pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
BillDexter wrote:

The States mandate car insurance – constitutionally different than a Federal mandate.

In practical application, though, any Government mandate carries in it the ‘have to give it to everyone to be fair’ liability, which is how and why you pay for uninsured motorists, legal or otherwise. On a larger scale, it is also how Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security went from being break-even benefits only for the working Americans who paid for it – to ever increasing, unsustainable coverage for all, legal or otherwise.

Mar 27, 2012 12:55pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

Here is a question for all of the people convinced that the mandate is unconstitutional. Where were you when the federal government passed the law that requires hospitals — private businesses — to stabilize anyone who comes through the door? It seems that this infringes rather severely on hospitals’ liberty to enter into the contracts they choose. (And it was Reagan, of course, the great socialist behind this affront to individual liberty.) Yet, not a peep. If the mandate is unconstitutional, then the law that “mandates” emergency care is unconstitutional too. Keeping one without the other just results in higher health costs for all of us. Why the selective support of Reagan’s mandate but not Obama’s?

Mar 27, 2012 12:56pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
oneofthecrowd wrote:

Stop bringing up cancer treatment, chemotherapy for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia runs about $30,000 per year for Gleevec. The piddly premiums Obamacare has don’t come close. Add surgery and you never make up the cost. It’s fantasy to think that the numbers work when 1 in 4 males die from cancer and 1 in 5 females die from cancer.

Mar 27, 2012 1:01pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Justjean wrote:

It has not been legal for insurance companies to raise rates in anticipation of 2014 when the law is scheduled to kick in, in full. Still, anyone who is unhappy with their present company’s rates will be glad that there should be affordable options available in 2014. I think enough people would opt in voluntarily to make it go. Even so, a majority of the electorate put a Democratic President in office becasue they DID want the ACHA. When conservative people who have already benefitted..the formerly uninsurable, the elderly, etc., find the Republicans and their justices took it away, they will certainly not vote for the party that would do this.

Mar 27, 2012 1:02pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

Ultimately, we could live with a repeal of this and we should then move on with treating healthcare like we do education. A socialized version for the people who want it (everybody pays $100 per month per person and a 10% co-pay), or a private fancier version for those who want to pay the extra money. This right-wing notion that a public healthcare option would do away with private providers is not founded in reality. Roxbury Community College in Boston has not put Harvard out of business yet. And I think Harvard is pretty safe.

Of course, the new system would not be complete without the nuts who opt out of both: “Home-Healers” for those who want to pray the car accident lacerations and severed spinal columns away.

Mar 27, 2012 1:07pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Finndian wrote:

oneofthecrowd…. your CHILDREN need dental implants?? A little education and preventative care in order?

Mar 27, 2012 1:08pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
devildoc68 wrote:

hmmm…must be difficult to stick to the law rather than politics…either it is legal or it is not…what is the problem????

Mar 27, 2012 1:10pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
aallison wrote:

“Supreme court divided over Obama healthcare law”

Now there’s a revelatory piece of news!

Mar 27, 2012 1:14pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
USAPragmatist wrote:

Why has Justice Thomas not asked one question in 6 years? is it because he has decided every case upon his ideological values instead of the merits of the case? This guy has never and will never be fit to serve such an important position. To bad there is no process to remove Justices from their perch.

Mar 27, 2012 1:14pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
JamieSamans wrote:

As someone virtually assured of health insurance or coverage under virtually any outcome of this and other legislation, who supported incurring higher costs for myself to help alleviate the unnecessary suffering of those denied care under our current ability-to-pay model, I take some degree of comfort in knowing that many of the people who are today rallying against “government interference” in their healthcare “decisions” will in due course find themselves without care and left wondering how things came to this point.

Needless to say, I will not offer to pay their bills at that point. My generosity extended precisely far enough as to let them obtain coverage in advance of need at my expense as a taxpayer – and they’re all being led to the slaughter like the sheep they are.

Mar 27, 2012 1:16pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
oneofthecrowd wrote:

@Finndian: Common genetic problem as humans evolve to not form all teeth – leaving mom and dad to pay for implants after braces and retainers to hold the spaces open. And the gene doesn’t show up every generation so it was a fine and expensive surprise I am trying to save up for to fix and Obamacare just threw me back $3,000. thanks.

Mar 27, 2012 1:18pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
kdtyler wrote:

Guy from Massachusetts already has Obamacare, except they call it Romneycare there. So what is he complaining about? Even if Obamacare was struck down by SCOTUS, he would still be subject to Romneycare which has the exact same mandate!!! Some people make no sense at all. (Seems like a lot of them are Republicans these days!)

Mar 27, 2012 1:23pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
JoshuaL wrote:

For those Democrats and Independents who do not like this law because it is not liberal enough:

This law is very, very obviously a stepping stone to move us in the right direction that ultimately leads to a Government option or socialized medicine. Obama could not pass anything more liberal than what was passed, congress was not going to do it. But it is much easier to move forward with healthcare reform in the future if the reform has already been started. This law puts a foot in the door for more changes in the future.

Do you not remember that there was a public option on the table to begin with, and then there was a huge public outcry and backlash and congress indicated that they were not going to pass it? Do you not remember those “blue dog democrats” who fuddled the whole thing up?

Obama cannot say publicly that, “This is a stepping stone to further reform that would include a public option.” Because then the Republicans and the HUGE medical industries would run massive smear campaigns against him, just like they did before, and it would turn the public against him because the large majority of the public are uneducated sheep with whom these smear campaigns and lies apparently work very well on.

Have some FAITH people and support this president and continue to support the Democrats and don’t pull another “2010″ and elect a bunch of Republicans who will just use their power to break up unions, outlaw birth control pills, force religion into politics, and work to destroy our environment and deny global warming on the sole premise that “the bible says it’s impossible.”

Mar 27, 2012 1:23pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
flashrooster wrote:

The real reason there’s so much opposition to this law is because there’s a small group of people who are making obscene amounts of money with the current healthcare status quo and they don’t want anything to change. So they pay off Congress, mostly on the right, to prevent any change to the current system. The result is that they continue making themselves millionaires and billionaires at the expense of most Americans. This is what has to stop, and voters on the right have to quit being so darned gullible, believing whatever they are told. They don’t seem to stop and consider that there’s an ulterior motive behind keeping conservatives in line. Rush Limbaugh makes around $50 million a year spouting extremist hatred, so of course he’s not going to change, and he doesn’t care what happens to this country or that Americans are becoming divided to the point of hating each other. Why should he care? It’s made him rich beyond his wildest dreams!

So, likewise, why should the healthcare industry do anything different than what they are already doing? Paying off elected representatives is a lot cheaper than what it would cost them if anything in our healthcare system is changed that would benefit the American people. Healthcare industry executives know that anything good for the American people will cost them and they’re in a position to prevent anything good for the American people from happening. But they depend on the right’s unsophisticated absorption of propaganda to keep the status quo in place. (Sorry if that offends, but it’s true.) Once the right stops believing in the propaganda that anything good for the American people is socialism and, therefore, anathema to American values, then we can take back our government. Until then our Republic will remaining completely devoid of any real representation. Unless you’re one of these wealthy industry execs who are paying for their representation.

Mar 27, 2012 1:24pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Oedipus wrote:

This is interesting. Here in California, as is the case in many other states, I am required to buy car insurance. It’s not a choice. Why? Because if I hit someone and I don’t have insurance, my problem becomes every other insurance rate payers’ problem.

How is this any different? If someone doesn’t have insurance and they go in for an emergency, guess who pays? Add to that the fat burger-bags in the South who end up in the hospital once per week to take care of their diabetes, which I have to pay for because they’re poor and don’t have coverage, yet don’t realize that their medical care is being paid for by you and I even thought they’re anti-tax zealots, and you have a river running full of hypocrisy, all at our expense.

Everyone needs to pay, even if it’s basic coverage. I am not paying for some fat Arby’s lover’s medical care.

Mar 27, 2012 1:25pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
123456951 wrote:

Here is the real problem with Obamacare. It will esentially another tax on the middle class in order to pay for the poor. But guess what…. The middle class is already taxed too much. Add in all of the state and local taxes and you begin to see why the middle class is so fed up.

Mar 27, 2012 1:25pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
123456951 wrote:

Here is the real problem with Obamacare. It will esentially another tax on the middle class in order to pay for the poor. But guess what…. The middle class is already taxed too much. Add in all of the state and local taxes and you begin to see why the middle class is so fed up.

Mar 27, 2012 1:25pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

We already have socialized healtcare in this country. When uninsured people get injured or severely sick (happens every day), we all pay for it. Either through our insurance premiums or through our taxes. All this healthcare law does is make those uninsured people go get insurance and pay into the pool.

Since there was already a mandate on doctors to fix every broke-ass car accident victim sent to their E.R. (and there will always be that mandate)….. it makes sense to mandate insurance coverage in some way. No?

Mar 27, 2012 1:35pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
BobbyKearan wrote:

I support the individual mandate because, as Justice Anthony Kennedy said, there are a lot of people benefiting from health care without ever paying into it.

Apparently, they are mostly ‘conservatives’ who benefit without paying. I suspect a lot of them just rack up huge bills and file bankruptcy to avoid paying what they owe. I’ve seen really rich people do that. Several of the ‘conservatives’ suing over the ACA have done it – one racked up $120,000 in credit card bills then filed bankruptcy and didn’t have to pay it back. Those are the people who are complaining that they will have to pay up one way or the other, no bankruptcy to allow them to wiggle out of it!

I want these people to pay up. I want people to pay their own way and not force me to carry the costs of their fiscal malfeasance.

For the deluded individuals who claim the Affordable Care Act caused their premiums to go up, look back at a three year period from six, ten, twenty years ago… premiums just go up all the time no matter what is going on. Guess where they go? Insurance company CEO salaries. THAT (and profits in general) is what is causing premiums to go up. When the ACA goes fully into effect, they can’t do that crap anymore. They will have to spend 80% of premiums on payouts and only 20% on overhead and salaries, and the premiums will plummet.

Mar 27, 2012 1:35pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
aota wrote:

The clueless are out in full force. People complaining that their rates are going up 51% because of Obamacare. The law has not yet gone into effect. The Government is meddling into people’s lives say those Republicans on Medicare. Obama has overreached say the Romney supporters not even realizing that he introduced a similar version of Obamacare first. These judges have no other alternative than to deem this Health care law Constitutional, but that won’t stop those Constitutional tea bag lovers from attacking Obama at every chance for every reason.

Mar 27, 2012 1:36pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
flashrooster wrote:

Jamie: “I take some degree of comfort in knowing that many of the people who are today rallying against “government interference” in their healthcare “decisions” will in due course find themselves without care and left wondering how things came to this point.”

Bear in mind that the right always has a steady and evolving stream of propaganda directing them on how to think in order for the corporate elite to continue running things in a way that makes them filthy rich at the expense of our nation. Point being, my guess is that they will never be left wondering how things get to the point where they can’t afford healthcare for themselves or their families. By then they will have talking points plugged in and somehow it will be the fault of those dastardly liberals. If the Affordable Care Act is allowed to stand, it will serve as the right’s scapegoat for years to come. I’m already reading comments that blame Obama for people’s rising insurance premiums. But can you just imagine what those same people would be saying if Obama included a clause that forbade insurance companies from raising their premiums? Socialism! Socialism! Government overreach! Anti-American! He’s not one of us! (and throw in a little “it’s an attack on religion!” and “it’s promoting homosexuality!” for good measure.)

Mar 27, 2012 1:40pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
BillDexter wrote:

The Process for removing Justices from their perch is impeachment.

It’s hard to do, though. Efforts fell flat when Massachusetts Supreme Court Chief Justice Margaret Marshall actively solicited plaintiffs to appear in her Court for the purpose of deciding the case upon her ideological values.

Oh, well.

Mar 27, 2012 1:45pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
flowergrower wrote:

I worry that congress is gonna make me drill for oil in my backyard because I drive a car. Even if I sold my car and stopped driving I would have to keep the oil well for the good of the many, thanks to the general welfare clause.

Mar 27, 2012 1:54pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
bbjones wrote:

This so-called healthcare law was NOT an insurance policy. It was a legal requirement mandated by federal law. If you want to boast that “…it’s your body and you can do what you want with it”, then start taking care of it properly. The best insurance policy is keeping your body clean. Some people have no choice because of disease. They need the assistance most. Or maybe someone with injuries. But the rest have no excuse. The real problem which has existed for some time is the burden placed on hospitals having to serve people without insurance who in large part are in the country without proper legal status. This has been documented in Los Angeles, CA by the medical profession. Obamacare is no care. YOU must obey him and his liberal cronies by paying the piper. YOU will not think anymore. YOU will do as they say when YOU are told to. YOU will believe all they say. YOU don’t exist anymore. YOU are only a number with an expiration date. BTW I know a number of Canadians who come here for med care because the Dr’s in Canada are incompetent. No more Obama!

Mar 27, 2012 1:54pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
varun.mitroo wrote:

So the first day the Obama administration argues that the mandate penalty is not a tax and is not part of the AntiInjunction Act (AIA).

The second day they argue that it IS a tax, so they can regulate across state lines. Hmmmm. I sense double speak.

Speaking of double speak – have you heard the Obama Administration’s reasoning for not taking up tort reform, you know, one of the REAL reasons why healthcare is spiraling out of control costs because of defensive medicine… They say that they don’t want to pass federal tort reform because that is a state issue and they don’t want to interfere with the rights of the states. WHAT?! Not a federal issue?? They can say that about tort reform and then ram the individual mandate down our throats. What hypocrites!

Not surprising, given their track record. They peddle the healthcare reform bill saying it is deficit neutral, and now of course the CBO shows the bill will cost 1.8 trillion dollars over the next 10 years, and that is without including a SGR fix for doctor payment! How can we afford it with a 16 trillion deficit that is already growing out of control?

Oh and let’s not forget all the “millionaires and billionaires” that are not paying their “fair share”, and all the corporate tax loopholes. What an excuse to start raising taxes for anyone > $250,000 income. I’m sorry but that is not a “billionaire”. And if you have a problem with corporate tax loopholes for very large businesses, why penalize hard working individuals and small business owners? They are already paying an extremely high tax rate without these mythical loopholes, and now you want to tax them even more?

Okay Obama administration, please tell us what other ridiculous logic you want to peddle. We are not buying it!

Mar 27, 2012 1:55pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

5-4 it will be struck down… end of communism is near…

Mar 27, 2012 2:10pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Terrae wrote:

Conservative activist judges to the party line. They always have, they always will. This law will therefore be struck down 5-to-4, there never was any possibility of any other outcome.
That’s also the exact same outcome we’ll see when the challenges against Roe v Wade come before the Supreme Court.

Mar 27, 2012 2:15pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
apropos wrote:

Those who do not buy health insurance until they are older should have to pay a much higher premium, just as they do for life insurance.

Mar 27, 2012 2:20pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Bert2 wrote:

You need governmental checks and balances on issues of life and death. Unregulated privatized for profit health care will lead to a) higher premiums and b) higher death rates simply because premiums provides direct income and deaths reduce the outgoing costs. It’s basic capitalism. And shopping around does not work because the you have a pre-existing condition” clause can always be invoked even retroactively, unless Obamacare is upheld.

Mar 27, 2012 2:32pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
diluded0000 wrote:

For the sake of argument, lets say the total annual cost of US healthcare is some huge fixed dollar amount. Some of it it paid for with tax dollars, some from insurance premiums, some out of pocket. But now look at who receives (most) health care: everybody that needs it. So some of us are paying lots of taxes, and lots of premiums, to cover the people who aren’t paying much tax, or paying for any insurance. So, if you are already paying big taxes and insurance, why would you oppose a bill that forces people who have the ability to pay into the system, to start paying their fair share?

I say let the individual mandate stand. Then indict every yes vote senator and congressman that took money from interest that the bill benefits, and every no vote representative that took money from interest that the bill harms.

Mar 27, 2012 2:39pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
KenInMN wrote:

No mention of how the Individual Mandate was a Republican’t Idea, hatched by the Koch Brother-funded Heritage Foundation, introduced by Republican’ts twice in 1993 and once in 2007, and how they were all for it until a Democratic president made it the law of the land…

Mar 27, 2012 2:41pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Jack1963 wrote:

Let’s face it, if the Court strikes the mandate, the other portions become impossible. The alternative is to do what should have been done in the first place. Establish a single payor system – medicare for everyone. Federal power to do that is beyond challenge, mission accomplished. Let the Teabaggers stew on that!

Mar 27, 2012 3:04pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
NobleKin wrote:

Private Health Insurance before and up to now was and remains a function of the control the Health Insurance industry has over the state markets and how coverage has been priced and to whom it is sold and how it is paid out to providers.

They have always made a profit, regardless of external economic factors and have largely held margins…but how?

Prices were going up at a rate of over 10% per year, every year of the last decade. At this rate it has been and will continue to become unaffordable to many tens of millions of Americans and businesses…who will eventually need care through extising government programs (Medicaid and Medicare). Republicans are working to gut both…death panel?

Big Insurance has been allowed to game the system by dropping those who get sick and refusing coverage to those who had a preexisting condition. Regardless of how much or for how long you might have paid into the private healthcare system, once they deemed you ‘uninsurable’ by their corporate standard, all of your care and all of your premiums (invested dollars) were gone.

As fewer and fewer people were able to afford healthcare under this doomed model of healthcare, premiums have continued to rise (as was long ago predicted) to unsustainable levels causing damage to the economy on two fronts: 1. By soaking up most available discretionary consumer dollars for other spending like pay raises for employees, new equipment and/or new autos, clothing and food; and 2. By forcibly increasing the number of people who have had no alternative but to go broke and go on a government/taxpayer funded program (which are being crushed by the weight of the ever increasing burden).

Meanwhile Big Insurance has employed massive numbers of people who contribute nothing to actual healthcare. They exist for the sole purpose of denying claims. They are the ultimate middle man operation. They pay massive sums on advertising, lobbying and sales executives, and CEO’s in the insurance industry are some of the highest paid in any industry. Dividends to stock holders have also been exceedingly high for an industry that provides almost no benefit to our healthcare issues. They take, but they give very little in return (unless you are a shareholder) to help solve our healthcare issues. Yet they prosper.

America is the only industrialized nation on the planet with large numbers of its citizens going bankrupt due to healthcare.

If I had to pay at the current rate of $1100/month to cover my family and I knew I would not go broke or be denied coverage for any condition, I’d gladly pay into a government system…instead of the ‘socialized risk but privatized profits’ model we currently have, where in addition to my premium, I pay copays and coinsurance and get billed from the medical providers for all remaining unpaid amounts the insurance company refuses to pay, and I can be dropped and lose all coverage if the insurance company say so.

If we go backward, this is exactly what we will have and the clock is still ticking at the same rate it was before Obamacare on when the entire system will implode.

Republicons have absolutely no solution for this. They might score political points in the present, but the looming issue will remain.

Mar 27, 2012 3:04pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
WouldChuk wrote:

Under Republicans, it will be “no cash, no credit card, no insurance–NO CARE even if you are bleeding to death. Can’t happen to YOU REPUBLICAN? Real story, Methodist Hospital, Dallas, Texas (call em to verify if you wish):

A man was so badly bludgeoned, apparently robbed, he was unrecognized. Dumped naked on the sidewalk, he was brought to the ER. No ID, no identifying marks (tatoos, etc.) he remained in a coma for 7 months (public paying the bill) as the hospital tried to find his family. Where was he from? Omaha, Sacramento, Toronto, N.Y., Miami? Europe? Where? Nobody in Dallas came looking for a “missing person” of his gender and age (his face was literally “shredded”). Who knows maybe he had the finest health care money can buy?

Under the Republican “patri-idiotic” logic, he wouldn’t be given care at the ER–no cash, no credit card, no insurance card, no care, too bad YOU DIE?

So my Republican-patri-idiotic fellow Americans, you think this couldn’t happen to “you?”

Mar 27, 2012 3:18pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
WouldChuk wrote:

Under Republicans, it will be “no cash, no credit card, no insurance–NO CARE even if you are bleeding to death. Can’t happen to YOU REPUBLICAN? Real story, Methodist Hospital, Dallas, Texas (call em to verify if you wish):

A man was so badly bludgeoned, apparently robbed, he was unrecognized. Dumped naked on the sidewalk, he was brought to the ER. No ID, no identifying marks (tatoos, etc.) he remained in a coma for 7 months (public paying the bill) as the hospital tried to find his family. Where was he from? Omaha, Sacramento, Toronto, N.Y., Miami? Europe? Where? Nobody in Dallas came looking for a “missing person” of his gender and age (his face was literally “shredded”). Who knows maybe he had the finest health care money can buy?

Under the Republican “patri-idiotic” logic, he wouldn’t be given care at the ER–no cash, no credit card, no insurance card, no care, too bad YOU DIE?

So my Republican-patri-idiotic fellow Americans, you think this couldn’t happen to “you?”

Mar 27, 2012 3:18pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
BillDexter wrote:

Noblekin,
Why do you think it is a good idea for the Federal Government to mandate the purchase of private insurance, given your description of it?

Mar 27, 2012 3:25pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
flashrooster wrote:

diluded: “Annual healthcare spending totals $2.6 trillion, equal to 17.9 percent of U.S. annual gross domestic product, or $8,402 for every man, woman and child.”

That, my friend, is patently absurd and should not be acceptable to any American, liberal or conservative. It certainly isn’t conservative to waste money like that. No other country comes close, and yet all other developed nations cover all of their citizens. We don’t. We pay more than everyone else and STILL don’t cover all of our citizens.

As if our high costs aren’t bad enough, every year over a million Americans have to file for bankruptcy because of healthcare costs, and many of those have insurance. And the numbers grow higher with each passing year. No other government allows that to happen to their citizens. No other country’s citizens would put up with it. For our government to protect us against terrorist attacks and tainted water and food supplies, but not protect us from unavoidable financial ruin makes no sense. Why is it this way? Because terrorist attacks and poisoned food and water supplies hurt the wealth, and possible well-being, of the corporate elite who actually run our country. Fixing our healthcare system hurts their profit taking, so it doesn’t happen. Our healthcare system is devised in a way that allows only the wealthy to leave their descendents an estate of any value. Our system is set up to milk the rest of us dry before the day of our deaths, and it was planned that way by those profiteers who profit from this illogical system. What’s really sad is that there are a lot of Americans who have bought into the propaganda that this is a good system and systems of governments that protect their citizens from losing everything due to sickness or an accident are not just bad, but against American values. It’s that notion that any change to our current healthcare system is unAmerican that fools people into defending the status quo. It’s crazy. And millions of Americans will continue to suffer because of it. We’re also being taught not to care about other Americans, and somehow THAT’S an American value. So millions of Americans are going broke due to healthcare costs. Tough.

Mar 27, 2012 3:25pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Kiljoy616 wrote:

So funny to watch and read poor people blame each other keep it up fools. Because the insurance you have now will go up one way or another either way we are going to become one violent divided country. That is fine by me.

Mar 27, 2012 3:27pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Kiljoy616 wrote:

Burn America to the ground because of some Jesus freaks. Come on corrupt justice bring down the country and bring back a nice two tier society. I so love having poor uneducated Jesus freaks to pray on.

Mar 27, 2012 3:31pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
flashrooster wrote:

Great post, NobleKin (as usual). Thanks for sharing what we should consider to be important information. It’s a shame that the propaganda being spewed by the corporate elite is teaching our fellow countrymen and women that any change to our current system is against American values and that forcing millions of Americans to go bankrupt because they simply can’t afford their family’s healthcare has somehow become an American value. It’s shameful.

Mar 27, 2012 3:34pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
UnPartisan wrote:

The US needs a publicly offered health care option available to all paid with taxes. Obamacare is a failure. Mandating that we all become customers of the same companies that is part of the problem is not a fix. Im a fiscal conservative, the only thing that makes sense is a public hospital system, just like we have police, firemen, and libraries.

Mar 27, 2012 3:39pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
SeaWa wrote:

If healthy people opt out, then healthcare insurance (private or public) cannot work. Point blank bottom line. It’s mathematical. We are in a death spiral. Premiums and deductibles go up which encourages healthier of the insured to drop coverage, which causes premium and deductibles to go up, which cause the healthier of the remaining insured to drop coverage, which causes prices to go up for those that remain, which causes premiums and deductibles to go up, which…..

That’s just the insurance side. Our medical healthcare infrastructure has fixed costs. As we stop going to the doctor and utilize less medical care, the entire infrastructure will crumble. The writing is on the wall, almost everyone understands this. But everyone is also too selfish and self-centered to work out a solution. Left vs Right philosophy brings us to our knees while most Americans are somewhere in between.

Hey supreme court, you listening?! Nah, why bother, you think you are gods. So what if people suffer and die for your philosophical arrogance.

Mar 27, 2012 3:40pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

I almost hope the conservatives repeal it. Then they’ll have to find something else to blame their troubles on. “I used to be rich and handsome….. before Obamacare! I used to be slim in the waist and my car was more awesome….. before the birth certificate situation in Hawaii!”

Good times.

Mar 27, 2012 3:44pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
sdguero wrote:

Around 50% of the cost of healthcare these days is used to pay for malpractice insurance. If the government had taken the simple step to reign in malpractice lawsuits to something reasonable (like a $500,000 wrongful death limit, and $100,000 limit on everything else) it would reduce the liability carried by providers and therefore reduce the cost of malpractice insurance considerably. This would make the cost of health care drop significantly, reducing the cost of insurance.

Of course getting politicians to limit malpractice lawsuits will never happen because lawyers make a TON of money by suing Doctors and hospitals. They also have more control over government than any other special interest group.

The current system is boned without major reform. Obamacare will be even worse. And the insurance companies and lawyers love Obamacare because they will be able to harvest federal insurance monies even easier than the private funds they currently pillage out of the system. It’s a sad state of affairs and adding more government (judicial branch being a large part of what screwed it up in the first place) will not make things better.

Mar 27, 2012 3:53pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Ciao wrote:

Wow, if there’s one thing Obama is good at it is instructing people on who they should hate. Wall Street is EVIL!! No wait, now Oil Companies are Evil, go hate them. Can’t forget Insurance Companies. We also have to include Fox News and all Republicans. Is there anyone this guy does like other than green energy companies about to go bankrupt?

Mar 27, 2012 3:55pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

sdguero writes: “Around 50% of the cost of healthcare these days is used to pay for malpractice insurance.”

That’s a made-up number. Not even doctors claim that to be true. What is known is that those 22 states which have passed tort reform over the past 15 years (limiting malpractice lawsuits and payouts)…. have seen no reduction in healthcare costs to customers. They’ve actually gone up, with the national average. So what ever savings there might be in that tort reform laughing gas, they do not make it past the hospital and insurance company’s pockets.

http://www.mainebiz.biz/article/20101004/CURRENTEDITION/310049998

Mar 27, 2012 4:05pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
PKFA wrote:

There was a time when, if you were sick, you went to the doctor or hospital and paid the bill. If you were unable to pay there was great shame and your neighbors or church members helped you out. Perhaps even the doctor or hospital would forgive all or a portion of the bill. Costs were defined, explainable and reasonable. And sometimes tough choices needed to be made.
Then someone invented health insurance. Now the choices weren’t so tough- you could push the costs onto someone else. You need not be sick to go to the doctor; in fact, the doctor became a gatekeeper between the patient and the hospital or, increasingly, the pharmaceutical company. Because the consumer wasn’t the payor, costs skyrocketed. And if you were unfortunate enough to not have health insurance, that was not so much of a problem because the system still had a provision for you to get treated and pay a certain amount out of pocket. the system worked so well that, not only did individuals not have to make tough decisions about certain procedures, they did not have to make tough decisions about lifestyle, either- there were always new drugs coming on line for cholesterol or diabetes control.
So here we are now debating whether, in order to support an unsustainable system based on corporate greed, individual irresponsibility and government interference, we should be forced to pay for something we may not consume, even if we are willing to accept responsibility for that, simply because the “majority” believes it’s in their best interests. We are near the tipping point where the majority is using the Law and Government to steal from the minority. Such activities cannot stand. I hope the Supreme Court votes FOR the mandate. Such a vote will trigger a HUGE backlash this election against the looters and moochers by the producers.

Mar 27, 2012 4:07pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
NobleKin wrote:

@BillDexter

The only viable option to retain the private industry was the massive compromise that is the Affordable Healthcare Act. (probably why it was originally proposed by Republicans)

I do not like it, but at least it puts private insurance on a leash, whereby they cannot raise rates without sufficient justification and they must spend a larger portion of premiums on actual care or hold them in reserve for future care. They cannot deny coverage or kick those who have become sick from coverage…along with many other patient protections that ensure better coverage for the money. It also ensures there is a much wider array of options for every citizen regardless of which state they live in.

To date many states have minimal insurance options where the prevailing insurers essentially hold a monopoly within the market. In states where option are more varied, they remain confined to the ‘rigging’ the industry has been allowed. Under the AHA the system would open and look more like the exchange system available to Congress, which in theory will drive prices down further.

To understand why this compromise was done, look up the PBS show Frontline from 2010. It offers chilling insight into the power of Big Insurance over our government.

On the other hand something akin to this model has worked seemingly well in Switzerland, so there is hope.

But I believe the AHA remains wasteful and is a handout to an industry that has been little more than a very fat leech on our healthcare system for decades…they’ve been a large reason why costs are soaring, but it is complicated as to why.

I would much prefer a fully Socialized program that spreads the risk for our society in a far more economic fashion, puts more dollars into building our healthcare infrastructure, and eliminates the middle man ‘insurers’ who are not contributing to the HC needs of the nation.

Almost no one in politics over the past decade and beyond has denied the looming threat of eventual collapse the private model is leading to. It is just a question of when.

Mar 27, 2012 4:08pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

dsdfd complains: “The unaffordable act has increased my premium by 55% over the past 15 months.”

Actually, it was you getting older and fatter and not shopping around for a better insurer that drove your rates up. The new law has not kicked in yet. So we’re still under the old system. What ever problems you’re having are…. part of the problem. No?

Mar 27, 2012 4:12pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
tazimmerman wrote:

The car insurance analogies need to stop. Owning a car is optional. Remaining healthy and productive is not.

If human life is as precious as Republicans say it is (and oppose abortion because of it), why is it OK to force people into bringing a child into this world, but then letting the child suffer or become a burden on the rest of us? Shouldn’t we be doing everything we can to make sure every single man, women and child, as precious as their lives are, leads a healthy and productive life?

Mar 27, 2012 4:25pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Lucidious wrote:

Everyone pays for health insurance via insurance, death, bankruptcy or illness. If you live without health insurance you live without preemptive care and have a lower quality of life. When you finally do succumb to your illness and seek emergency treatment it will be much more expensive, bankrupt you and everyone else will have to pay for your care. We either need to have health care for everyone or let the uninsured die. The reason why your premiums have gone up is because only the part of the mandate that requires companies to accept pre-existing conditions has been put into effect. Insurance companies are required to cover everyone but people are not required to participate. In 2014 when everyone is required to join premiums will plummet because the currently healthy people even things out.

Mar 27, 2012 4:27pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
flashrooster wrote:

Conservative judges have already ruled that the Affordable Care Act IS constitutional. If this conservative Supreme Court, the same court that stabbed our democracy in the heart with their Citizens United ruling, rules against the Obama Administration on this, it will be crystal clear that the 5 justices appointed by Republican Presidents are playing partisan politics, something they are sworn not to do. Heck, numb-brains Thomas’s wife has actively lobbied against the Affordable Care Act. We already know how he’s going to rule.

Obama has been a fine President given what he’s up against, but if for no other reason than to make sure the next Supreme Court Justice isn’t another rightwing, corporate puppet, we need to give Obama a 2nd term, just in case he gets another opportunity to nominate another justice. Then maybe we can revive our democratic system and enact serious campaign finance reform.

Mar 27, 2012 4:27pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Ciao wrote:

You are all aware that any raise in health insurance rates must be approved by the state department of insurance, right? And that the insurance companies must prove that their claims history justifies the increase or it is denied? You all make it sound like the insurance companies just charge whatever they can get away with, but they have been heavily regulated for years.

Mar 27, 2012 4:31pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

sdguero writes: “Around 50% of the cost of healthcare these days is used to pay for malpractice insurance.”

Recent report from Harvard Medical School concludes that the actual number is actually around 2%. Previous economic studies say anywhere from 0.5% to 1%.

Care to tell us where you got 50%? Can you send us a reference. Here’s the Harvard Med study:

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/2010-releases/medical-liability-costs-us.html

Mar 27, 2012 4:37pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
USAPragmatist wrote:

@sdguero, maybe you should educate yourself on the issue before posting, you look like an idiot. Many studies have been done calculating the cost of lawsuits on healthcare, of all the credible studies the one with the largest % was 2.4% (http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/117479-trial-lawyers-tout-new-report-on-cost-of-medical-malpractice) and that includes all the INDIRECT costs, the direct costs is less then .5%. Plus the ability to sue someone that wronged you negligently is one of the few consumer protections we have in the healthcare industry. Ask any trial lawyer and they will tell you that medical malpractice cases are some of the hardest to win too.

Mar 27, 2012 4:42pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

Remove the mandate and ensure no further Federal control over our lives and I’m all for this.

Mar 27, 2012 4:48pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
flowergrower wrote:

It turns out that congress will not be allowed to make us buy commodities (oil) in order to keep prices low, but they may still force us to buy the equipment to get the oil out of the ground, and they will not think twice about putting the euipment in your backyard. They will have to do this so we can afford to drive to the hospital when we’re having a heart attack. Another thing, we will be forced to grow opium next to the oil rigs in order to control the price of pain killing medicine.

Mar 27, 2012 4:48pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Workingpeople wrote:

I agree with many of you including carolo43 who said work for what you want! If you want insurance then paying for your own insurance. If you want home owner insurance, pay for it. What do you think you should do if you want health insurance, a boat, a new car, a degree, etc..? Exactly, by paying for it yourself!!

This is a free country. Everyone has the right to get a job, earn income, and pay for what they want and need and that including health insurance. Lazy people do not deserve a hand-out. I have to work for everything I own and everything I want, so why do I have subsidies those who choose not to work? If you want something, get a job and pay for it yourself. That’s the American way. That’s what makes this country great!

Isn’t bad enough that working people like me is already subsiding many of governmental funding programs that include Medicaid (and whatever else the government sees fit) – now we are being forced to buy health insurance too? What’s next? Mandating everyone to buy health insurance is unconstitutional! No one, not even the government should tell me what I can and cannot do with my earning. No one can tell me what religion to believe in so why should they tell me I have to buy health insurance – which by the way I have, through my employer —-and yes I have to pay for that.

What is the incentive for forcing people to buy insurance? If poor people can’t afford to pay for the insurance now, how are they going to be able to afford it if the law goes into effect? Socialism sounds great if you are receiving a hand-out! Why work if you can get everything for free? Someone has to pay for that and it’s not the poor people who could not afford it.

Mar 27, 2012 5:03pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
gordo53 wrote:

Everybody is bashing the insurance companies (they deserve it), but that is only a small piece of the problem. There’s also big pharma, the big hospital chains, the medical equipment industry, and (lest we forget) the trial lawyers. As a group, these people throw hundreds of millions of dollars at the political system. With those dollars they buy access and influence with our representatives in Congress. Don’t look for any significant savings to be realized any time soon regardless of who’s in the White House or controlling Congress. Politics is an enterprise unto itself and we the people are not the first priority. To put it another way, money talks and everybody else walks. Most of you folks are way to partisan for me. As bad as both parties are, it’s the way the system works that really stinks.

Mar 27, 2012 5:08pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

Good point, BloggingPatriot. Reagan’s “Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act” requires:

“hospitals to provide care to anyone needing emergency healthcare treatment regardless of citizenship, legal status or ability to pay.”

So…… when that mandate was passed, who did Reagan think was going to pay for it? Doctors don’t work for free. At least my doctor doesn’t (unless he stole that new Mercedes E outside his office) Someone is paying those bills now to cover Reagan’s mandate. Any of the tea party folks and reagan-worshippers want to guess who has been picking up the tab for ‘anyone needing emergency healthcare treatment regardless of citizenship, legal status or ability to pay.’ ?

The new mandate for everyone to get insurance coverage is logical, given the above mandate put into place by Reagan.

Mar 27, 2012 5:23pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
ParrotLvr wrote:

Question, If the supreme court over rules Obama Care, will they only over rule the provision about mandated healthcare, or all the provisions such as no caps on lifetime, no denial on pre-existing conditions, etc?

Mar 27, 2012 5:39pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
flowergrower wrote:

It’s unconstitutional to force us to buy anything, eat anything, or be injected with anything. This argument is unimportant only to those who would like to see the Constitution newly fouled. Maybe we won’t be forced to buy oil drilling equipment, maybe we will be forced to buy solar panels because they’re necessary to make cheap hydrogen. The new cars will run on hydrogen. So we will have to buy new hydrogen powered cars, too.

Mar 27, 2012 5:55pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
oneofthecrowd wrote:

In the late 1980s 2.7 million illegal aliens were granted amnesty and became taxpayers. There were est. 3.2 million illegals in 1986 and now we have about 11.4 million as of 2010 (drop from the peak in 2007). So, we have 11.4 million people not paying any taxes. I don’t think anyone anticipated nearly quadrupling the number of illegals after Reagan’s time, we are in a different place now.

Mar 27, 2012 6:03pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
BurnerJack wrote:

When the government generates a guaranteed market, the price skyrockets. In ancient Greece, if someone was caught cheating in the Olympics, he was mandated to have a sculpture of himself made with his offences engraved on the pedestal at an exorbitant cost. Why? He had no choice. By law. I suspect this is where the term “Chiseler” came from. Ironically, those that want greater competition are deemed “pro- insurance company Republicans” whereas those who want no choice, guaranteed market without competition are deemed “pro-people Liberal Democrats”. This mandate could be termed the “National Chiseler Bill”.

Mar 27, 2012 6:07pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
UnPartisan wrote:

@NobleKin

I am afraid if this goes through that at some point Health Insurance providers will go bankrupt or just fold. If they can’t raise the rates to match the increase in payouts, and they can not operate a profitable business, why operate the business at all. And that is the root of the problem with US healthcare, it is a business. Businesses exist to make a profit. That just isn’t right when it comes to healthcare. It is a hard sell though for the fiscal conservatives. For myself, a public option is the only thing that makes lasting sense. Sure we can remove the limits on insurance and allow them to compete across state lines, and limit malpractice suits to levels like in Europe, but I don’t think that hits at the root of the issue at all.

If we base ourselves on the European models, and get the public option, the malpractice insurance issue works itself out. Quite simply you can’t sue the doctors over there like you can here. There is a lot of waste right now that doctors produce just to keep from being sued. The private options will always be available. Just like you can hire body guards and private security, or for the rest of us just depend on the police. You can go to the library, or a book store. The only downside is the heavier tax burden a public option would create. But we can lay a bunch of that off on public universitities and require them to provide public health care services. Doctors have to go through 3 years of residency at a pittance salary before becoming full fledged MDs. Make all of them work in the public option. We have public defendents for attorneys that make less than their private sector counterparts, but it still works.

We just need to decide that we are going to do it, and then work on ideas to make it work as cheaply as possibly on the tax payer. If you carry private insurance maybe you get a tax credit of $2k, otherwise everyone else’s taxes goes up a minimum of $2k (poor or rich alike to pay for the health care). Or just extend it out of medicare/medicaid.

Mar 27, 2012 6:14pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
scythe wrote:

when is scalia due to retire?

Mar 27, 2012 6:21pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

Regarding Reagan’s unfunded mandate (EMTALA) for hospitals to provide emergency care to any person regardless of citizenship status or ability to pay,

oneofthecrowd explains: “I don’t think anyone anticipated nearly quadrupling the number of illegals after Reagan’s time, we are in a different place now.”

Well that’s kind of the problem with Reagan’s mandate. The world always changes and the citizens are left with the fallout. And because no one in either party is willing to repeal Reagan’s misguided law, it makes sense to require people to have insurance coverage. Unless you think Medicaid claims and OPP (Other peoples’ premiums) are a form of free money.

Mar 27, 2012 6:30pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
NukerDoggie wrote:

And you’re SURPRISED that the left-right ideological divide has completely infected and hamstrung the Supreme Court too????

Mar 27, 2012 6:33pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
divinargant wrote:

A clear over reach of the limited congressional and federal power as prescribed per the Constitution. Whatever your personal or political persuasions may be, this is clearly the whole case and nothing but the case. States may take up this venture up individually as states, though not at the federal level. This will fail, and the efforts to put this together will in the end have all been for naught.

Mar 27, 2012 6:49pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
NobleKin wrote:

@sdguero

Probably spouting something stated on a Right Wing hate radio station, but nice try.

The statistics you claim are made up and intentionally puffed to generate baseless hate and fear…typical Republicon tactic.

Republicons want Tort reform in medicine to protect Corporate hospitals, Big Pharma and the medical device industry. In general they want Tort law reformed to the extent all corporate interests are shielded from the little guy when they do damage to the little guy.

If you lose your life or are permanently damaged to the extent you are in pain or deformed or debilitated, too bad – your compensation will be limited to peanuts and Kleenex.

Mar 27, 2012 7:17pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
flashrooster wrote:

divinargant: What difference does it make if a healthcare mandate comes from the State government or the Federal government? How is it different for John Q. Public? Either government has that right or they don’t.

Mar 27, 2012 8:02pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
SeaWa wrote:

We need the mandate AND a national plan option. Insurance won’t work if everyone doesn’t participate and the private sector will take us for a ride if they don’t have to compete with a public plan. If you think that is socialism, then drop ALL of your insurance policies, because Insurance by its very nature, is socialistic. K?

Mar 27, 2012 8:05pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
MadMtnScot wrote:

Reading some of these comments is maddening. Some of you are claiming that insurance companies are greedy. Well, let’s look at that. “average operating profit margins…8.24 percent” (Bloomberg Jan 2012) Microsoft profit margin is about 32%. Apple is about 28%, General Electric 9.85%, Starbucks 11.2%, CBS 9.78%, Google 25.56% (Ycharts.com). Are they even MORE evil? Then some of you complain that the insurance companies rates are going up. It is because of the new requirements placed upon them by those parts of Obamacare that have already begun. If you don’t think any have begun, then you aren’t paying attention. This is all designed to lead us into a single-payer system. This may sound appealing to the more liberal-minded of you, but before you plunge all the rest of us into your socialism experiment, go live in Europe for a while and see how socialized medicine works. If you have a problem with an insurance company trying to deny you treatment now, you can hire a lawyer and fight them. Try fighting the US govt. You all need to think things though a bit more.

Mar 27, 2012 8:18pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
NobleKin wrote:

@Unpartisan

It appears as though there is something upon which we can agree. I think the 2010 AHA was a sellout to Big Insurance and probably many other players seen and unseen.

I think it comes as close as we are going to get to maintaining the ‘private’ model. But it is likely doomed as you said for business reasons when profitability becomes too difficult to maintain…perhaps by design.

The fact that we have allowed our national model of health insurance to become what it was and is (pre Obamacare) to the extent it has been failing over the past 20 years is utterly amazing and a complete waste of national resources.

Most Americans I know understand the underlying problems because nearly everyone I know has had to deal with their insurance costs and medical expenses. It must change. It is not sustainable and it is one more looming threat to our economic viability as a nation.

The Tea Party nonsense needs to end. Americans need to come together on this single issue and lobby for a national program that provides care for all at sustainable costs levels.

We are currently spending rougly $13,200 on insurance premiums for the family and this does not include co-pays and co-insurance costs.

I shudder to think what it will be like in the coming years if the AHA is repealed and nothing is done by whomever is in charge to correct our course.

I don’t mind paying that $1,100 per month amount in taxes towards a national program if I know all in my family will get care when needed and we won’t be kicked out of the insurance program and we won’t go bankrupt like so many have in America when they got sick.

Understand – every year you pay your premium it is dollars out of your pocket or out of your employer’s pocket (just like taxes). It builds nothing towards our national care model and provides nothing for actual long term health care needs. When your premium is spent, unless you need care the year you paid it, it is gone! If the law is repealed and Big Insurance is allowed to drop you from coverage again because you fall into a high risk category ALL OF YOUR PREMIUMS INVESTED are gone and you will not get ‘private care’. You will be forced to spend every penny you have for care and then move into a government program after you’ve gone bankrupt…either Medicare or Medicaid.

I guess the Republican model is just that: Let Big Insurance dig deeply into the pockets of everyone who presents the lowest possible risk to minimize payouts while controlling the pricing of the market, limiting payments to healthcare providers and charging the premium that only 70% of the country can afford. They know the relative rates of disposable income for the average consumer, they know the margins they want to achieve, they know how many sick people they will cut from coverage or providers they will refuse payments to when necessary. CEO bonuses will again be massive, stockholders will get their cut, thousands will remain employed doing the work of limiting claims and making patients suffer. Welcome back to the Republican model of healthcare in America.

Mar 27, 2012 8:27pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
libertadormg wrote:

I feel alienated from the Supreme Court.

Mar 27, 2012 8:56pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
BillDexter wrote:

Noblekin,
Thank you for your civil and thoughtful posts.

I agree, at least in part, with most of your observations. I simply cannot see the proposed solutions you champion as being anything but more of the same.

Just for consideration I will generalize, using your assumptions, the private insurance industry has great sway over policy makers, kicks people off the roles when they need help the most, overcompensates it’s management and makes too much profit at the expense of sick people.

But, HOW has this come to be? Starting from the ‘old days’, again generalizing, when a person was sick, someone might send for the local Doctor, who would try to help with whatever he carried in his bag. The cost of the service was a strictly private affair between the two parties. Technology changed. Vast improvements were made. The concept of insurance entered the picture. Now, three parties would agree to the cost. At no time was this ever intended to be or flouted as a utopia. Most people regarded insurance companies as being snake oil salesmen or carnival barkers. But – if enough people agreed, a private insurance company could make a profit and therefore exist. What if they took too much money as profit? Either the clients or the Doctors or both would take their business elsewhere and they would cease to exist.

The height of private insurance came about when employers wanted to offer family medical coverage as a recruitment tool to attract the very best employees to their ranks. To meet this demand, insurers competed fiercely for market share. A company I worked for in the 1980ies would change providers almost every year, playing one against the other to secure the best deal. This, it seems to me, is the model many people (you?) hold as the minimum standard that everyone ‘deserves’. But- that market for insurance is gone. With industry flushed from our shores and massive influxes of new arrivals every year, that market is completely gone.

So now what? Why didn’t the insurance companies go out of business or at least radically change their products to meet the new reality? Because – - -the Government was already regulating what they do, and how they are required to COBRA people, and how much they must keep in reserve for a pandemic, and how much they pay into the uninsured pool. THAT’S when costs started to skyrocket. With sales way down and mandated outlays up, that’s when costs go up. With skyrocketing costs, again, the government steps in. People don’t have what they used to have, so MORE regulations! With more mandated outlay comes – - -more cost!

The presumption that the government is at liberty to seize private industry for public good is either eminent domain, illegal search and seizure – or – a backroom deal that the industry agrees to. I suspect the later. I also suspect that ‘Obamacare’ is, in fact, more of the same.

Mar 27, 2012 8:58pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
sherley wrote:

Americans have 4 very Conservative and 1 conservative = 5 justices……and not a single of 435 republicans in congress are for this bill…remember the Republicans want the United States President to FAIL…and their getting the 5 conservative Supreme Court Justices to do that for them…..the Constitution, the Law will have no bearing is “Obama Care”….Hatred will be the dealer….and the republicans will love it…………like i said their is no constitution or law being concidered here….just the Conservative, tea party demands…wait and see…………….

Mar 27, 2012 9:26pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
divinargant wrote:

flashrooster – Not exactly. In general terms, under the Federal system of government, each State individually regulates its own health care practices, restrictions, etc. Granted, there is some limited Federal involvement, though by and large it is each States own responsibility to establish what it deems as necessary and appropriate. I believe this to be an advantage for John Q Public since state lawmakers serve smaller districts, live closer to their respective costituencies, and are more accountable therein as well. On a state level, elected officials are easier to replace. Granted, State government lawmakers are no shining star here and I would not suggest that they would necessarily be any more or less effecient than those at the Federal level. Yet, given the reasons I have outlined and given the choice, I do believe that pushing this off to the State level would be the better prospect.

Mar 27, 2012 9:40pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
flashrooster wrote:

I find it utterly reprehensible that people on the right consider the Affordable Care Act, a law designed to improve our healthcare system and make it more affordable, to be an unconstitutional infringement on their rights and yet say nothing about being cajoled into an invasion and nation building in Iraq, something so expensive and destructive, and costing thousands their lives. Likewise with Bush’s Surveillance Program, something that truly infringes on our rights. That’s all fine and dandy because it doesn’t interfere with the rich getting richer, which is the standard for what does or doesn’t get done in Washington.

I hear Republicans clamoring about “freedom” regarding the Affordable Care Act. This doesn’t infringe on anyone’s freedom. What kind of freedom does a person have if they get sick but can’t afford their healthcare? How is it freedom when over a million Americans are forced into bankruptcy every year because of healthcare costs? What kind of freedom is that? Now compare that to the “freedom” they defended by allowing this country to get tricked into invading another country that didn’t pose a threat to us, costing us a trillion dollars, and counting, not to mention the lives of 4,500 service men and women. How is that acceptable but making healthcare more affordable is not?

Whenever the government does something that helps the American people the Republicans go crazy and put their propaganda machine into full gear. Socialism! Socialism! The problem is quite simple. Our capitalist economic system has evolved in a way where certain industries are able to maximize their profits at the expense of America’s Middle Class. This is the current status quo that industries will fight tooth and nail to protect. Any attempt on the part of the government to help Americans will, in some way, interfere with someone’s profit taking. So whichever industry is getting hurt, be it the healthcare industry, the banking industry, Wall Street, the oil industry, etc., they send in their lobbyists with their check books and tell Congress what they want, or don’t want. Both Parties play the game, but the Republicans are particularly bad about preventing Democrats from passing any legislation that would help Americans while costing some industry some profits. As a result, nothing gets done in Washington, but elsewhere the rich continue to get richer while the American Middle Class slowly dies. People wonder why nothing gets done in Washington. Well that’s the reason. Indirectly, it’s government’s fault. More specifically, it’s the Republicans’ fault. But most specifically, it’s the fault of the profiteers who have bought our government out from under us. That is what we, the people, have to change. But the right has to wake up and quit swallowing the propaganda hook, line and sinker. They need to stop listening to the likes of Rush Limbaugh who tells them that liberals (defined as everyone who isn’t a stanch conservative) are the enemy, that liberals hate America, that liberals are terrorist sympathizers. That brain venom is pushing the right over the edge and will ultimately destroy our country.

Mar 27, 2012 9:41pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
UnPartisan wrote:

@NobleKin
I think we agree on a lot more issues, I am very liberal on social issues, they just aren’t at the forefront during a down economy. I know this is about the only thing that Obama could get passed in this day and age as socialized health care is a scarey system for those who don’t trust the government. I may not think that the government is good at running businesses, and I would rather take care of myself rather than depend on the government, but for services such as police departments, fire departments, libraries, schools, and other social services, those should be ran by the government. Now I am more supportive of these things to be ran at the local and state levels (which all of the above are), but right now for anything to happen we are going to need it to be established nationwide first.

Granted it took a while for my point of view to change on this issue. It was hard for me to accept that a public system can be more beneficial than private enterprise. However for profit is just not appropriate for dealing with people’s health. The fiscal conservatives at some point are going to support a public option, the private system has failed miserably due in my opinion to the insurance subsidizing the costs, and our litigous society.

Mar 27, 2012 10:16pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
fromthecenter wrote:

While I don’t agree with everything that was included in the healthcare bill, anyone that has been sick or visits a dr would agree that our system is bad and getting worse. I doubt many people would agree with bohner that our system is the best in the world. I guess you could say that if money was never an object it might be. But, for the majority of Americans…those that are paying 8 – 10,000 a year for insurance and varying degrees of out of pocket expense, it sucks. It also sucks for a large portion of the population that can’t see a dentist or put off dr visits and only get care via the emergency room. It just boggles my mind when I see the koch brother buses driving around the country filled with knuckleheads shouting to keep away from their healthcare. I have yet to see any solutions offered from the tea party or republican party on how to fix anything. Other then tort reform and allowing insurance to be purchased across state lines. Both of which I agree with, but neither will solve the problems that we are facing. I have yet to see a better solution then the single payer system. But, there is little chance of that ever happening in this country.

Mar 27, 2012 10:48pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Mitch_Connor wrote:

Why can’t I opt out of this nonsense?

Mar 27, 2012 11:12pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
flashrooster wrote:

divinargant: I agree with you, but in theory only. The truth is, State governments are no more responsible to the people than the Federal Government, and can often be less so because State officials tend not to be scrutinized as closely as Federal officials. Very few people really know what their State officials are doing.

Furthermore, State officials are susceptible to the same kind of bribery as Federal officials. And now, thanks to corporate America’s favorite Supreme Court, State campaigns are increasingly being run on national levels with lots of outside cash. So experientially, State government officials are no more beholden to their constituents than Federal government officials.

Let’s not kid ourselves, the entire system has been corrupted. But having said all of that, you still didn’t answer my fundamental question: What difference does it make to Joe Smith whether a government mandate is handed down from the State government or the Federal government? The result is the same. Joe Smith might feel a little more comfortable with it on an emotional level whether it was decided on the State level or the Federal level, mostly due to his political leanings. But for all practical purposes, it doesn’t make the slightest bit of difference in Joe’s life where the law originates from.

Mar 27, 2012 11:16pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Numnum wrote:

Right wing republicans are hypocrites… In one hand they cry “don’t take away my freedom and make me buy medical insurance”… And in the other hand they MANDATE women to have an intrusive ultrasound against their will AND pay for it. Really!?!?!

Stop comparing car insurance and broccoli and compare it to laws being passed by state conservative politicians against women rights. Repeal laws against women rights and not health care laws that will benefit all American tax payers.

Mar 27, 2012 11:36pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Numnum wrote:

Right wing republicans are hypocrites… In one hand they cry “don’t take away my freedom and make me buy medical insurance”… And in the other hand they MANDATE women to have an intrusive ultrasound against their will AND pay for it. Really!?!?!

Stop comparing car insurance and broccoli and compare it to laws being passed by state conservative politicians against women rights. Repeal laws against women rights and not health care laws that will benefit all American tax payers.

Mar 27, 2012 11:36pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Numnum wrote:

Right wing republicans are hypocrites… In one hand they cry “don’t take away my freedom and make me buy medical insurance”… And in the other hand they MANDATE women to have an intrusive ultrasound against their will AND pay for it. Really!?!?!

Stop comparing car insurance and broccoli and compare it to laws being passed by state conservative politicians against women rights. Repeal laws against women rights and not health care laws that will benefit all American tax payers.

Mar 27, 2012 11:36pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Numnum wrote:

Right wing republicans are hypocrites… In one hand they cry “don’t take away my freedom and make me buy medical insurance”… And in the other hand they MANDATE women to have an intrusive ultrasound against their will AND pay for it. Really!?!?!

Stop comparing car insurance and broccoli and compare it to laws being passed by state conservative politicians against women rights. Repeal laws against women rights and not health care laws that will benefit all American tax payers.

Mar 27, 2012 11:36pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Numnum wrote:

Right wing republicans are hypocrites… In one hand they cry “don’t take away my freedom and make me buy medical insurance”… And in the other hand they MANDATE women to have an intrusive ultrasound against their will AND pay for it. Really!?!?!

Stop comparing car insurance and broccoli and compare it to laws being passed by state conservative politicians against women rights. Repeal laws against women rights and not health care laws that will benefit all American tax payers.

Mar 27, 2012 11:36pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
idlespire1 wrote:

How is the mandate any different than having to pay towards Medicare with every paycheck you get?

Mar 27, 2012 12:12am EDT  --  Report as abuse
schmetterling wrote:

I don’t believe there’s anything unconstitutional about having to get insurance. This has more to do with politics than anything and that’s why things cannot get done in Congress. The idealogical views are so far apart that it’s been a circus since Obama’s election four year’s ago. Given all the BS he’s had to put up with from the Republicans, and their constant bullying, Obama has done a pretty damn good job on a whole lot of issues. The problem is that he’s just a decent hearted being, that’s very smart and a Great Leader. Yep! Rush is still the best the Republicnas got! and that ain’t sayin much!

Mar 28, 2012 1:13am EDT  --  Report as abuse
THETERP wrote:

I’m tired of the free ride everyone should have some kind of health insurance for a rate set depending on income. The taxpayers should pay for those who choose not to have insurance and not pay the medical bill. Some state budgets are running in the RED due taxpayers paying the these bills.

Mar 28, 2012 2:53am EDT  --  Report as abuse
divinargant wrote:

flashrooster: Your points are well taken. In the final analysis it would likely not make one bit of difference in Joe or Jane’s life from where the mandate originated from, although perhaps it should. What will likely matter foremost to these individuals is the affordability, accessibility, quality and delivery of healthcare in their lives and to that of their loved ones. I do believe that this has a better chance at a better outcome at the state level as opposed to the the federal level, particularly economically, though that is just my opinion. I might point out however, and more importantly to me, that my original comment was centered more around federal power and its limitations as it relates to the U.S. Constitution in this matter. You say the result is the same for Joe in either case irregardless of origination. Perhaps that is so. Then again, perhaps not. We really do not know with any degree of certainty for that has yet to be played out.
This much I know..never before has congress compelled individuals to engage in interstate commerce by forcing them to purchase something or pay a penalty for not participating in said purchase. I believe this is a violation of the Constitution. Perhaps it should make a difference to Joe afterall, for it is his Constitution as well as it is ours that is being compromised and at stake. I am of the opinion that the U.S. Constitution has been breached enough at the federal level over the course of time and that it is time to scale back federal power. I believe there is no better starting point than this case at this moment.
Perhaps it should make a difference in Joe’s life where the law originates from and perhaps for many Joe’s out there it does. I know it does for this Joe..for at the very core of this matter lay the Constitution and all that that implies.

Mar 28, 2012 4:37am EDT  --  Report as abuse
insbuysrv wrote:

In lieu of a mandate there are other mechanisms that could be created to compel people to buy health insurance voluntarily. HIPAA already mandates that anyone with current health insurance that has been in place for 18 months with no more than a 63 day lapse can purchase a policy without any waiting period for preexisting conditions. This should be the basis for availability with a waiver for preexisting conditions to avoid people buying a policy on the way to the hospital. Those who don’t qualify under HIPAA could still buy a policy regardless of preexisting conditions but would have to meet a waiting period for coverage of those conditions.

Mar 28, 2012 10:57am EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

BillDexter writes: “The presumption that the government is at liberty to seize private industry for public good is either eminent domain, illegal search and seizure – or – a backroom deal that the industry agrees to. I suspect the later. I also suspect that ‘Obamacare’ is, in fact, more of the same.”

This is exactly the problem created when Reagan enacted the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) in 1986. It effectively commandeered doctors under federal authority to and required doctors to ‘provide emergency care to incoming patients, regardless of citizenship, insurance status, or ability to pay.’

So who pays for that? Judging by my doctor’s house and his boat…. I can tell you the doctors are not eating this. They get their money. Since that mandate is already in place and no one in either political party has the courage to repeal it…. we need to make sure that everyone is paying into the pool. That’s why Obama’s mandate makes sense fiscally. Ideally, we would just socialize medicine and keep it simple like every other developed nation in the world. But that’s not likely with tea in the air.

Mar 28, 2012 12:11pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
BillDexter wrote:

AlkalineState,
The tea in the air swirls around exactly such dysfunctional ‘laws’ as you and others name. The Tea Party is NOT in concert with the GOP. It was formed by frustrated social libertarian – fiscal conservatives such as myself who object strenuously to the unsustainable giveaway laws, bailouts and GOP fingerprints on them. Really, you are making my point.

You conclude “we need to make sure everyone is paying into the pool”.

The problem I have is: the pool leaks. A lot.

Do you not agree that every program the government runs is subject to legal challenges of EVERY limit on the outlaying of public funds under the auspices of ‘discrimination’? Do you agree this is a problem, or, is that what you’re really after?

If the Private sector is the problem, then why not remove the government regulations that prevent customer choice? The insurance companies, hospitals, or even pharmaceutical companies ARE ALL REGULATED to provide the same product as each other, so they are NOT in competition with each other for market share, which is the way price setters ARE kept from gouging in a free society. It is NOT too late to repeal EMTALA or ANY law.

Liberals revile ‘profits’, but liberals never admit that we are NOT engaged in free market capitalism, we are engaged in over-regulated corporatism. Liberals blame ‘conservatives’, but liberals never admit that the Democrats run this country, and have done for decades, and no Republican ‘law’ EVER happened without the Democrats full blessing, like Reagen had from Tip O’Niel and Ted Kennedy for EMTALA.

It seems to me that pushing government regulation to fix the effects government regulation has gotten us to where we are, and not the fleeting traces of private enterprise that once worked so well.

Mar 28, 2012 2:55pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

Well Bill, the tea party’s claims of being against all forms of government intrusion flop since they were not on the streets (or even off the couch) at the time Reagan was passing his mandates forcing doctors to take care of every hillbilly meth-head or ghetto stabbing victim who comes through the door with injuries.

Where were the ‘outraged’ tea party members then? Not formed yet? I know. That’s the point. What do you want to bet, most tea party folks have never even HEARD of Reagan’s EMTALA healthcare mandates. These tea party folks are experts on Hawaiian birth certificates though. We’ve all been educated by the tea party on what constitutes a real birth certificate down there. Give me a break. These people are just another bunch of ignorant paraonoid republicans, re-packaged. You’re better than that.

Mar 28, 2012 3:39pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
BillDexter wrote:

And you are better than such demagoguery. True, the Tea Party has the unfortunate condition of having been piled onto by social conservatives. However, the original premise remains – a desire to return to limited, constitutional government. I repeat that the Tea Party is NOT in concert with the GOP, but was formed in rebellion to the GOP’s spending follies. The birth certificate is just a talking point used by talk radio.

AlkalineState, your tone is out of character from what I normally see from you.
“meth-head”? “getto-stabbing victim”? “ignorant paranoid republicans”?

Aren’t these examples of precisely what you are accusing Tea Party members of doing?

I have seen people use the words ‘Tea Party bailouts’ referring to tax money given to the banks, etc. after the housing bubble popped. I swear they believed it, too. The Tea Party adamantly and strenuously objected to the bailouts and really, it was the Republican endorsement of those bailouts that gave the Tea Party traction to successfully challenge GOP seats in the primary elections. I will stand by my conviction of wanting LIMITED government and hope that we don’t loose our sovereignty to public debt in the mean time.

Any chance of a splinter group coming off the Democrats who oppose the ever-more spending?

Mar 28, 2012 4:37pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

Bill, the tea party candidates run as Republicans, sit in congress as republicans, and only endorse other republicans. It’s not like I’m making that up. Sarah Palin, Rand Paul, Michele Bachmann. Am I missing something? If your response is, “These people are not real tea party members”…. somebody better tell THEM. Because they’re currently speaking for the tea party.

And you’re right about that hillbilly / ghetto stuff. That was in poor taste and I apologize.

Mar 28, 2012 4:55pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Axsimulate wrote:

@shelbyanne

You need to check your facts. You see, Congress is not Republican, it is in fact divided between Republicans and Democrats.

Mar 30, 2012 2:12pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Axsimulate wrote:

@Jill_Again

Citation please. I for one Oppose Obama care. I currently have no health insurance, my company dropped health care for all employees. I cannot afford to pay for it myself nor can I afford Obama care and I make too much to be exempt and too little to pay for it.

Mar 30, 2012 2:17pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
stonehillady wrote:

If I don’t subscribe to western style HCare, & this Bill Passes & I don’t have the Fine money would I be put in Jail Ms. Ginsberg ?
Would this be a reason to seek asylum in a different country for cruel & unusual punishment ?
Sorry but, there are many people that western style medicine of disease management vs disease cures has serious side effects & we don’t want to be drugged, cut, & radiated. Don’t get me wrong western Medicine is great when you are physically injuried but their treatments for diseases is to the benefit of the Drug Companies. Holistic & Homeopathic Medicines would they be covered ? According to the FDA they are NOT part of HCare if you are a licensed Dr. so they are not covered now by any Insurance.

Apr 02, 2012 5:50am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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