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Health Care At The High Court

The Supreme Court takes up the constitutionality of President Obama’s health care reform. We’ll have the high court hearing on tape, and top analysts on their deliberation.

Dr. Sonia Nagda puts a pin supporting the health care reform law signed by President Obama as she gathers with other health care professionals in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, March 26, 2012, as the court begins three days of arguments on the health care. (AP)

Dr. Sonia Nagda puts a pin supporting the health care reform law signed by President Obama as she gathers with other health care professionals in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, March 26, 2012, as the court begins three days of arguments on the health care. (AP)

It’s the constitutional heart of the matter today on health care reform before the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington.  Can the federal government require citizens to have – buy – health insurance?  Opponents say that’s an offense to liberty.

Supporters say it’s the only way to keep free-loaders off the public’s back.  Certainly, the economics of the Obama health care reform do not add up without it.  Republicans used to back it.  Now they’re fiercely against it.  And there sits the Supreme Court, with all its tradition and leanings and politics.

This hour, On Point:  the high court, the Constitution, and health care.

-Tom Ashbrook

 

Guests

Karen Tumulty, national political reporter for the Washington Post.

Brian Fitzpatrick, a professor at Vanderbilt Law School.

Theodore Ruger, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times “The Supreme Court on Monday began three days of epic arguments over the 2010 health care overhaul law with a sort of appetizer — a 90-minute debate over whether the Court yet has the authority to hear the case.”

USA Today “Health coverage for more than 30 million people. The power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce. President Obama’s re-election. The reputation of the Supreme Court and the legacy of its chief justice.”

Slate “Forget precedent. Ignore Scalia’s musings. Next week’s health care argument before the Supreme Court is all about optics, politics, and public opinion.”

Transcript: Oral Arguments Day One

Here’s the transcript of the first day of Supreme Court oral arguments in the case over the health care reform legislation. You can hear an audio recording of the case here.

[Use the navigation bar at the bottom of this frame to reformat the excerpt to best suit your reading experience.]
http://www.scribd.com/doc/86794666/11-398-Monday

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  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    I support the Affordable Care Act but would rather have Medicare for every American. Get rid of Medicaid and class distinctions, just one program for every American: Medicare.

    • margbi

       I’m with you, Richard. I’ll never understand why the Single Payer Option was not included in the bill.

      • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

        I’d like to think the reason Single Payer wasn’t in the original bill was that Obama did the political calculation and figured he’d get nothing if he went for everything. The cynical side of me thinks he might not have gone for it even if he had both houses of Congress with him on it. I mean, he chose Larry Summers to head his economic team, backed down on Elizabeth Warren, and hasn’t really stuck it to Wall Street the way he needs to. I will vote for him (of course) but I’d like to see him stick his neck out a bit further (politically) and attempt to do some of the things his base is asking for.

        • Anonymous

          It was big pharma and the insurance lobby.
          Obama cut a deal with these huge corporate interest because they threatened to kill this bill. they had the power and the money to do so. It’s called politics of special interest and this is how our nation is run. 

          How is it that a doctor can charge $1200 for 20 minutes in a emergency room consultation? How is it that a hospital charges $40 for a few Tylenol. ( happened to a friend of mine) In some hospitals the cost of an MRI is $1200 and in others it’s $4000 and this can be in the same city. Our market based system is a mess. It’s killing this nation and every politician just kicks this can down the road. We need to rebuild our system, it would take a lot of sacrifice on the doctors, lawyers, hospitals and us to get this done. The big pharmaceuticals corporations need to be told the free ride and gouging of the US is over. Until we get real serious about the reform of health care in this country nothing is going to change in terms of the rising cost of health care.

          • TFRX

            You think you’re getting carried unconscious into a hospital, but you’re really being carried into a bazaar. It’s no time for free marketeers to say, “Aren’t you going to haggle?”

        • BEEZ

          Richard you make good points. I think that is exactly what will happen. In a second term President Obama will have “nothing to lose”

        • Anonymous

          But his supporters HAVE to do what FDR said to his, “MAKE ME DO IT!” This will require building crowds at meetings with Congressional representatives across the whole country. Those things will never happen without a strong message from the VOTERS.

          For a feeling of why, see Ezra Klein’s “book report” at:

          http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2012/mar/22/our-corrupt-politics-its-not-all-money/

          • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

            I agree Don but I’m not confident. 

            The left needs to form the Green Tea Party with a broader base than the Occupy movement.

      • Gregg

        He passed it without a single Republican vote in the House or the Senate. He had all the Democrats he needed. If Democrats supported single-payer then we would have it.

        • Victor Vito

          Joe Lieberman.

          • Gregg

             Not sure I follow.

          • Anonymous

            I think you do, but there probably are readers who don’t: Lieberman (I, CT) is viewed as a captive of the Insurance Industry, much of it located in Hartford, CT, which did not want a public option in any way. Lieberman made many statements in the summer of 2009 that he could not support the “current bill” when it included a public option.

            There were 60 Democratic Senators for only 14 weeks of the 11th Congress, from the death of Senator Kennedy to the election of Senator Brown.

      • denis

        Remember Hubert Humphrey’s adage, “It is better to get bread than hold out for bread with butter and get neither.”

    • Robert Riversong

      Yes, but Medicare needs to be coupled with a civil service health care provider system, such as a universal VA, with providers paid on the GS pay scale and all profit eliminated from such an essential public service. 

      For-profit clinics can still be available for those with too much money.

  • JustSayin

    This is the same court that supports corporations above individual human rights. I would guess that they will do their very best to contort the meaning of individual liberty as a right to be subjected to a fascist extortion scheme. 

    That’s a pretty slippery slope when they rule in favor of extortion. What’s next — greater mandatory payments to corporations via taxes and individually. What other corporate products will be mandatory for purchase?

  • Lin

    Why do I have the sinking feeling I’m about to be screwed. Again. This is not going to turn out well for the average American I’m afraid.

    Aside from the SC decision, when will Americans DEMAND they have the same capability as Dick Cheney to get a heart if they need one? The same health care as every congressman? The same health care as to Ann Romney? Why are these people “better” than you? And why are people willing to accept it? I will never understand what is going on with people fighting against healthcare for all.

    • Victor Vito

      In the model of civilization we currently utilize, they are better than you (and me).  What you earn, create, and your celebrity determine your value.  Not all humans are equal.  For that matter, not all Americans are equal.  This arrangement has existed since man intensivized agriculture and began societal specializaton.  Not to say that this can’t be changed, but it is what we have now.

      • TFRX

        It’s like if you and I fill some guy’s face with birdshot, and we have to studiously avoid flying to some countries lest we each be charged with war crimes, then we’re both guaranteed heart transplants at that age if we need them.

    • Gregg

      They are not fighting against health care we are fighting against Obamacare.

    • Robert Riversong

      Bad example. They gave Dick Cheney a heart because he never had one.

  • Victor Vito

    I love how judicial candidates and nominees refuse to answer questions about their political positions, but once on the bench, we ALL know their political affiliation.  Can we safely put an “R” next to the names of Roberts, Scalia, and Thomas?  Likewise, Sotomayor could safely have a “D” next to her name.

    Until we get past the foolishness of pretending they are apolitical, the American judiciary exists on a fundamentally flawed premise.

    • Robert Riversong

      Party affiliation or the party of the president who appointed them does not determine their leanings.

      Nixon, on the same day in 1972, appointed Lewis Powell and William Rehnquist to the Supreme Court. Powell was believed to be a moderate but began the radical shift to pro-corporate decisions that culminated in Citizens United (in fact, he wrote the infamous Powell Memo to the US Chamber of Commerce which detailed the right-wing agenda for the next 40 years). Rehnquist, known to be a principled conservative, opposed Powell every step of the way.

      What the Court needs is more honest conservatives and fewer radical activist corporatists.

  • Yar

    I am not knowledgeable about the law, but I understand ethics.  It is ethical to pay a person more than they are worth and unethical to pay them less than it costs to live.  Healthcare is a living expense, we have a responsibility to keep our nation free of communicable disease, so healthcare is an essential part of a living wage.  Should health insurance be broken down like other insurance, with a rider for cancer, a rider for heart disease, a rider for diabetes?  Basic coverage, accident and infection are required for everybody, 
    You can pick and chose what else is covered.  I would prefer single payer system funded by a VAT on consumption.  I believe it is the best economic model,  We pay 19 percent of GDP for healthcare, if we add a 19 percent VAT we will start reducing what we consume in processed foods and in health related expenses.

    • Robert Riversong

      Any consumption tax is a regressive tax on the poor and gives the wealthy a (relatively) free ride. We need to return to a truly progressive income tax with a top bracket of at least 70%, raise capital gains and inheritance tax rates, and institute a financial transaction tax.

      • Yar

        I agree that a VAT is regressive, but all domestic goods and services already have some health costs figured in.  So in essence the poor are already paying for healthcare for the wealthy and middle class when they buy consumer goods, they don’t the get coverage for themselves with their purchases.

        • Robert Riversong

          So they should pay more? You’re not following your own logic.

  • Anonymous

    I think Mitt Romney framed it very well before he turned on himself: they looked at the costs; recognized that the uninsured were getting healthcare in the least efficient (pain and suffering) and most expensive ways possible (ER visits and treatment of acute conditions). Insuring everyone was the only way to control health costs… Unless we want to be a nation that leaves someone’s uninsured mother dying on the side of the road.

    Me, I’d prefer universal coverage. Insurance companies redistribute too much wealth to executive administrators for being successful at denying coverage.

    If you don’t like the affordable health care bill… go try buying insurance for yourself and family. It’s a wake up call: after taxes, food and shelter, it’s not affordable for many people; not even close. That’s why we have so many uninsured.

    • Patrik

      Exactly.  Which is why expanding the pool is so important.  People need to understand that Healthcare should not be a luxury item which is available only to the few who can afford it.  It should be available and affordable to everyone as a basic right to a healthy life, along with food and modest shelter.  Leave the luxury items like high-end cars, houses etc… as the incentives to earn more money.

      • Robert Riversong

        Ah, but you confuse health care with for-profit health insurance. Health care should be universally available. For-profit health insurance should be illegal.

  • http://twitter.com/TweeterSmart b smart

    the hatred will abate once people begin to benefit from the law; if they are given a chance. 
    many of the people who are the strongest against the law will be the ones who benefit the most.
    kinda like when the ‘evil GOVERNMENT’ paves the road you take to work.

    • Gregg

      That’s what I’m afraid of. 

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      BSmart. Good point.  Also, how much general opposition is ill-founded and not based on fact?

    • Hidan

       That didn’t stop calls for tax cuts and cutting social programs by Red States who often are the ones who benefit the most.

    • William

      Not really. People today are very well informed on this issue and can look at the fraud and cost overuns with Medicare and Medicaid to see Obama-care will fail too.

      • TFRX

        People today are very well informed on this issue

        Hahahaha.

        And as far as fraud and cost probs with Medicare, you need to have a talk with some Tea Party doctor in Texas to the tune of 1/3 of a billion.

        That’s on the entrepreneur, not the government.

        • William

          That doctor is one of many that have been stealing from us via Medicare for decades. And yet, this guy got away with theft for years before the government official(s) “figured it out”.  So with Obama-care we are just creating another “honey pot” for thieves to tap because as we see with Medicare and Medicaid the government is unable or unwilling to stop the fraud.

          • TFRX

            Nice to see you can posit that the crime isn’t the fault of the criminal in this case.

          • William

            Who is the bigger criminal? The government officials that just refuse to stop the fraud or this guy? This guy is caught and going to jail, but there are thousands more like him and yet the government officals “just can’t figure it out”.

          • TFRX

            Hilarious what it takes for a right winger to defend a crook. You got a real bad case of Leopold and Loeb syndrome.

            A criminal is a criminal. And your math fails.

            Why didn’t the George W. Bush admin catch this crook, anyway?

          • Robert Riversong

            Yes, if we funded government programs adequately, they would have the resources to ferret out fraud.

            But the real fraud in the health care industry is in the insurance racket which profits most from denying care and in the medical establishment which rewards specialists with obscene incomes for prescribing unnecessary procedures.

  • Gregg

    Obama did not care what kind of bill he got, only that he got it. He promised, bribed, reconciled and lied it into existence. We see now he tell Russia he will have more “flexibility” after the election. That’s more of the same, get elected then do want you want. The guy has no shame. On the mandate he did as good of a job as anyone to argue for it… and against it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOaLLdpVzAs

    • Hidan

       Dude more would believe you if your weren’t so partisan.

      • Gregg

        Which Obama do you agree with?

    • Anonymous

      It’s called politics in the USA. Where have you been?

      • Gregg

         Which Obama do you agree with?

        • Anonymous

          In religion and politics people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every
          case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have
          not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand
          from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.

          Mark Twain

          • Gregg

            Sooo… which Obama do you agree with?

  • Jasoturner

    I believe we have the most expensive healthcare in the industrialized world, and there are people who vociferously oppose the re-engineering of health care delivery.  Why?

    As is typical is such seemingly illogical reactions, the best bet is probably to follow the money…

    http://blogs.ngm.com/.a/6a00e0098226918833012876a6070f970c-800wi

    • Gregg

      I may be misreading you. Are you equating those who oppose Obamacare with those who “vociferously oppose the re-engineering of health care delivery”? Because I don’t know of any one who thinks the latter. It seems the opposition to reforming Medicare comes from the left.

      • Anonymous

        Define reform.

        • Gregg

          Bingo!!!!

      • Anne

        I think the fear isn’t against ‘reform’ but rather ‘rationing’. Remember death panels? Advanced directives are important but they were reframed to be the thing that pulls the plug on your grandma.

      • Jasoturner

        Obamacare is a pejorative employed in political contexts.  The Affordable Care Act should provide a framework in which the re-engineering of health care could take place regardless of political affiliation.  The ardor with which Obama’s opponents want to repeal, rather than even try to work within the AFA framework suggests that the opposition is much less interested in re-engineering than in political point scoring and corporate donor butt-covering.

        When you see politicians sacrificing the good at the temple of perfection, you can be pretty sure the (political) game is afoot.

        • Gregg

          It certainly was sold as something it’s not on several levels. I can’t see how it is Constitutional but we’ll soon see. There are real reason to dislike this bill. It is completely consistent to oppose Obamacare (sorry, I like the name) and support health care reform.

  • Markus

    I favor single payer. It’ll be a mess, but less of one that today’s situation. That said, I dislike Obamacare because of all the bribes, give-aways and cost.

    But concerning this SC decision: It’s been stated before, but if the feds can tell you want to buy because it’s good for you, what are the limits? Or is it simply that we have to trust them not to go too far.  

    • zoubisoubisou

       Markus, Do you feel that way about having to buy car insurance mandated by the state?

      • Gregg

        You don’t have to buy a car.

        • NrthOfTheBorder

          Gregg!! True.  When they’re wheeling you into to the emergency room say: “I didn’t have to buy a car!”  

          • Gregg

            It’s just a horrible analogy. That’s all.

        • Robert Riversong

          You, obviously, don’t live in a rural area.

          • Gregg

            Actually I do.

      • Anonymous

        This argument does not apply.
        If it was a single payer system, such as Canada or one that has basic coverage through the Government and supplemental through private insurance companies that are regulated so they do not profit from health insurance (such as Germany, Netherlands, and France) we would have a better chance of getting this mess we call health care cleaned up.

        Of course the entire system from bottom to top would have to be redone, this wont happen in my view. To many special interest and to much money to be made of the suckers, we the people.

        It’s only going to get worse, not better. 

      • Markus

        As someone said, not a great analogy, but still a good point. That car insurance is mandated state by state doesn’t change the fact that it’s mandated and I think it should be. My guess is there are federal mandates that, in effect, force you to buy something. Can’t think of an example right now, but my guess is there are.

        But the question still remains. By giving the fed the power to force people to buy health insurance, have we made it significantly easier for them to force us to buy other things.

        • Robert Riversong

          They already have:

          “…every citizen, so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch, with a box therein, to contain not less than twenty four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball; or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch, and powder-horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder…”

          • Gregg

            Citizens were not mandated to join a militia.

    • Anne

      Single payer would solve the small business argument against the bill. If employers didn’t have to cover insurance they would be able to focus more on growing their business and wouldn’t go broke trying to pay higher and higher insurance costs every year.

    • Jim978

      The feds are not telling you what to buy “because it’s good for you.”  The reason for health insurance (like auto insurance) is to ensure that you have the ability to meet your financial obligations to others.  If you are the responsible party in an auto accident, your auto policy is there to cover your liability.  If you are sick or injured and are rushed to the hospital, why shouldn’t you be required to have coverage for your medical liability?

  • Anonymous

    The least expensive health insurance is medicare, and the best health care is the VA system, whose doctors are employed by the government.  

    The current law is not health care, it’s just a way to get insurance for the uninsured and hopefully control the rise in cost of insurance.

    The reason we have this bill and not a real health care bill is that unless something affects their pimps and puppet masters, the congressional whores are not interested in working on it.  Thus we have bills that let all 535 members of congress get their own personal goodies.

  • p.jones

    Tom, why didn’t the supporters of “Obamacare” use its real name… Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act again and again from the beginning? The Repulsicans have demonized this step against Big Insurance corporations by labeling it with an Orwellian sounding name. And now, it has stuck.

    • Gregg

       He owns it.

    • aj

      ” No Insurance Company Left Behind “

      • Gregg

         Unions need not apply.

    • aj

      “TARP for Overpaid Insurance Executives”

    • Ray in VT

      Probably because Frank Luntz found that it polls better.

    • aj

      “Romney Care Pig with Nancy Pelosi’s Lipstick On It”

    • aj

      ” Unconstitutional Dogshit Legislation”

      • aj

        “Lipstick on a Pig”

    • Anonymous

      The original name is more Orwellian than ‘Obamacare’.

    • zoubisoubisou

       Brilliant comment!!!

  • NrthOfTheBorder

    For Obamacare opponents : a question:  

    How can you be opposed to the penalty mandate on one hand, and on the other, reconcile how it is otherwise okay for the uninsured to cost families – with coverage – upwards of $1,000 dollars a year in hidden premiums?

      

    • William

      It seems illegal to force people into a contract for a product they don’t want.

      • NrthOfTheBorder

        William, ahmmm…? But what about a product they will [most likely] need?  And come a need as, statistically speaking, it will, is it okay for you, and me, to pick up their costs?

        • William

          You can’t force a person into a contract for something “they most likely need”…if that is the logic, then we should force people to buy poverty insurance incase (most likely) they get laid off in the future…where does it stop?

          • NrthOfTheBorder

            But if you fail insure a house and it burns – my insurance company doesn’t cover costs.  However, if you’re uninsured & need emergency care, then those costs are reflected in my insurance – or are levy on the system as a whole.

            Can you please connect your position between what you want it to be, and what it is?  

          • William

            So you also bear the cost of foodstamps, EIC, WIC, Section 8 housing because we don’t force people to buy insurance that would cover the costs of those programs. The Obama-care program does not address the problem of how to pay for medical care and how to make it more affordable. It just gives away more medical care without much regard for containing costs which is the Medicare/Medicaid business model. Both of which are failing due to out of control costs.

          • NrthOfTheBorder

            Seems that requiring everyone to purchase insurance is a way of spreading risk – thereby lowering costs.  Without this it costs more for people who are responsibly insured. 

          • Robert Riversong

            Medicare and Medicaid do include strict cost controls (which is why some doctors won’t accept those patients), except where the Repugs prevented the government from negotiating with pharmaceutical companies for bulk pricing.

        • Robert Riversong

          Everyone needs health care. Nobody needs health insurance.

      • Dbianco74

        What if I don’t “want” another government service such as agricultural subsidies… should I be forced to pay the portion of my taxes that go towards these activities? 

  • Jesse B

    Please ask your guests to answer this question that’s vexed me. A point being repeatedly brought up (including this morning by non-partisan NPR correspondent Nina Totenberg) is this hypothetical in support of the health law:

    If I don’t have health insurance and I get hit by a bus and sent to the hospital ER, they are required to treat me, and the cost ends up being borne by the hospital and by extension through the premiums paid by everyone else that has insurance.

    Except, I’m certain from my experience and others that hospitals charge non-insured patients for those services rendered. They are not just immediately dismissed. They are charged to the patient, regardless of that patient’s ability to pay. Yes, many of those uninsured patients will just dodge the bills, and many more may have no choice but to resort to bankruptcy. But I assume a greater majority of those uninsured patients will pay out of pocket or will work out a payment plan.   Thank you,

    • Gregg

      Nina Totenberg is non-partisan? She wished death from AIDS on Jesse Helms and his Grandchildren. That’s pretty sick partisanship.

      • Ray in VT

        The quote that I found for the incident, which was before my days of listening to NPR or paying a lot of attention to politics was:

        “I think he ought to be worried about what’s going on in the good Lord’s
        mind, because if there’s retributive justice, he’ll get AIDS from a
        transfusion or one of his grandchildren will.”

        If that’s correct, then it’s not quite wishing for him to get AIDS.  It’s an unfortunate remark to be sure, but so was Helm’s original comment, which was that AIDS is a “disease transmitted by people deliberately engaging in unnatural acts”.  That sounds to me like AIDS is a gay disease.

        • Ray in VT

          For disclosure, I did trust Wikipedia on that one, which I don’t usually do for such things.

        • Gregg

          I don’t see a difference, maybe you do. That’s cool. The bottom line is Nina Totenberg is not “non-partisan” which was my point. I have to be careful, I didn’t mean to delve into an AIDS discussion.

          Certainly there was truth to what Helms said at one point. I’d like to know when he said it. Totenberg’s comment was in 1995. I don’t see Jesse Helm’s opinion as deserving that. In the end Helms supported AIDS funding.

          • Ray in VT

            I sort of do, but I still think that it was unnecessary.  I think that her reporting is generally pretty down the middle, but the middle always depends upon where one is standing at the time.

            I don’t remember the early days of AIDS in America, and the stigma was that it was pretty much only something that gay men got in the 1980s, right?  I think that that stigma was relatively confined to the U.S., and it certainly not the case in Africa.

            Anyways, like you said, it’s probably not a tangent that we need to get onto.  It probably wouldn’t surprise you much to know that I didn’t think much of Senator Helms and many of his positions.  Probably also another tangent that we can do without today..

      • Jesse B

        Way to hijack a legitimate question with an unnecessary tangent.

        • Gregg

          Guilty, but you made me.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       How is the law’s mandate for insurers to provide free contraception covered in your ‘hit by the bus’  example?

      IF Congress had limited the law to emergency care you might have had a point but they grossly over reached.

      • TFRX

        If you want to go back to 2000 and convince John Ashcroft to not hold up that finding, be my guest. George W. Bush’s DofJ, the most hack-filled partisan idiots in history, were fine with it.

        Sounds like a fight between you and them.

      • Robert Riversong

        Medical doctors have determined that contraception is a form of health maintenance that reduces costs for all. Also, having children increases medical costs to society dramatically; having unwanted children increases social costs across the board.

    • ana

      My friend makes around  $/30,000/year and has opted out of insurance.  Hit with a broken leg she could be responsible  for thousands of dollars in costs with no way to pay it.  This is common in her salary range.

    • Robert Riversong

      You’re right that hospitals will try to recover payment from the uninsured, but in some states there is a fund for indigent care in the ER and even in-patient, paid for by hospital contributions. You have to apply for it.

  • Hidan

    I hope the mandate fails in court.  This Health Care bill is a give away to Phama and Insurance companies. There expected to get another 20 million “forced” by the law paid customers.  And the thing like in Ma. the people who are forced to have coverage can still be bankrupted with health care bills(Thanks Romney) and the level of coverage is being reduced for the same price.

    Ma. even has a deal with JP Morgan where people getting cigna are “Forced” to have a health saving account that JPM than “manages” for a fee of course and will invest this supposed money for health care bill in stocks after 1k. Of course any transfer or switching jobs will incur increase fees and taxes and JPM gets a cut of what your investments do.

    I much prefer Universal Health care with someone can go and get the help than this fake coverage where people can’t even use there health care cause the cost are still too high but politicians can pat themselves on the back for having people insured(Just can’t use it).

    Sadly the republicans option is a fairytale one that wouldn’t accomplish anything.

  • Brettearle

    The President was advised by Economic advisors, whom he has trusted, that the Affordable Health Care Act–more effectively, before it was watered down, for the sake of political compromise–would save the country from eventually going economically bankrupt.

    While the White House may not have made this point, successfully to the Public–when they were trying to, “sell it”, to the country–it is an essential and obvious principle that no one wishes to address.

    We hear nothing but the opposite point of view from the Republicans.

    While certainly the White House wishes to offer a comprehensive saftey net, it is the ECONOMICS which has always driven this policy.

    Economic survivability should (but can’t, necessarily) trump the Supreme Court question of Mandates to the public.  

    And yet no one is capable, in the Obama Adminsitration, of articulating the economic viability of the Affordable Health Care Act.

    Kathleen Sabelius makes comments, such as (and this is not an exact quote) `it’s all in the official briefs’.  She won’t, and she can’t, explain it.   She has said that the essential issues have already been asserted.

    It ain’t so.  And if they have been averred, it is certainly not enough.

    The propaganda of the Right drives the opposition to the Health Care bill.

    It is ADVERTISING that works with the general public.  One must present it and re-present it, for the sake of public recognition and understanding.

    That’s what the Republicans do–only, in their case, they become obsessive and programmed, about their messages….transforming public comments into fear-tactic propaganda,

    to wit, “Death Panels”.  

    • Gregg

      Would a 71 year old get a heart transplant under Obamacare?

      • Anonymous

        Yes.  It’s not a health care bill it’s health insurance.

        • Gregg

          How about a 95 year old?

          • Anonymous

            I think anyone could regardless of age.  However, I think a 95 year old and their physician need to have a heart to heart talk it.

          • Gregg

            Alright, you didn’t take the bait. Nice job.

          • Anonymous

            What, no comment on the heart pun?

          • Ray in VT

            I’m not sure if it would, so I don’t have an answer there, but a more existential question that I would ask is should one?  Totally leaving aside the question of who decides and who pays, should someone?

            We, as a nation, spend a huge amount of money in the last days of people’s lives, and we have come to think that it is some sort of ultimate good to keep people alive as long as possible and in whatever condition that they are in. 

            Speaking in terms of some of my experiences with my aged relatives, there are times when we just have to let people go.

            Do I want the government making the decision as to when?  No.  The insurance company? No.  I can only hope that I have enough of my wits about me when my time comes to go out on my own terms.

          • Gregg

            The question of “should he” IMO is none of the Governments business. If government pays they must make it their business to be responsible with our money. Rationing must happen. When it does someone will have very hard decisions to make. It will probably be more than one, maybe a panel.

          • Ray in VT

            Maybe some sort of death panel?  That’s a joke.

            I thought about making that point in my post, but I wanted to see if someone else addressed it.

            If the government, and by proxy the taxpayers, is picking up the tab, then, in the abstract, shouldn’t it have a say as to what gets covered? 

            If that hypothetical person isn’t covered by public insurance, like Medicare, then he must have private insurance, and that would have to be pretty pricy for a 95 year old.  That person would have to be fairly wealthy, I would figure, to get coverage.  The argument is that we already have health rationing for such a person without public insurance because only the wealthy can afford it.

            I wonder how the nations with national health care deal with this.

          • Gregg

            That person can choose to pay for what ever coverage they want from whatever insurance company they want. They can choose to spend their life savings or sell their house. There is no such choice with a government mandate.

          • Dbianco74

            I doubt any doctor under any health system would perform a heart transplant on a 95 year old. 

      • Robert Riversong

        Under the present for-profit system, they gave Cheney – who never had a heart to begin with – someone else’s. Clearly this is an untenable system.

    • William

      Obama-care does not lower the costs but just transfers the cost to the taxpayers and encourages more fraud like we see with Medicare and Medicaid. So it is not a failure of “selling it”, but a failure in the plan itself and most Americans have seen through they hype and don’t want it.

      • Brettearle

        Dozens of Economists, with a commitment to fiscal policy for Health Care, would disagree with you.  

        Do you really think that the President wanted to bring the country down?

        Precisely the opposite.

        • William

          The President said “I want to remake America”… remake it to what? The CBO recently projected the cost to 1.7 trillion vice the original figure of 900 billion.

          • Brettearle

            You’re editing the CBO report to suit your bias.

          • William

            Did the CBO say it or not? Did Obama say “I want to remake America?”.

          • Brettearle

            The CBO offered long range financial gains that would far exceed short-term losses.

            That IS the point.

            And, as far as remaking America is concerned….

            Every President thinks that the country needs to make major changes.

            There isn’t a strong-minded candidate who campaigns for President that–in one way or another–doesn’t feel that country needs to noticeably change ….especially in terrible economic times, after Bush II took us into 2 wars on a credit card and helped to get us into a credit-default-swap hole. 

    • ana

      The government should send to each household a simplified statement of this bill, written at the fifth grade level, for people, such as I, who can’t get past too much legalese.  WE cannot depend on the polarizing media to inform.
      It is the level of misinformation presented to the citizens that is driving our nation into paralysis.

      • Brettearle

        Well said.

        Couldn’t agree, with everything that you said, more than I already do. 

      • Anonymous

         It can’t be written at a 5th grade level, because when you right 1000 page legislation, it’s because you’re hiding a lot of giveaways in it.

  • Ping1

    Give up my freedom so the government can wipe my nose….what’s not to love?

    • Gregg

      Comment of the day!

    • Patrik

      Everyone for themselves eh?  You know I heard one of the earliest opposers of the reform is now bankrupt because she could not pay her medical bills…

      http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/03/09/441386/lead-plaintiff-in-health-care-reform-case-filed-bankruptcy-with-medical-debt/?mobile=nc

      • Jtmeserole

         No one is saying there isn’t a problem that needs to be addressed. The issue is the current “solution”.  In this case, the medicine may be worse than the illness.  The issue is the out of control rising costs of healthcare. This work of legislation did not cure that problem. In fact, it stands to cause more problems like shortage of doctors. In IA, for example, there is already a shortage of psychiatrists. Imagine the flood of people seeking treatment as coverage becomes universal. It will overwhelm the system.

        • TFRX

          As coverage becomes universal, many people who only get healthcare on a “day late dollar short” basis in an ER with no insurance will have things prevented or treated before the health outcomes become worse.

      • TFRX

        That’s something which would be funny if it weren’t such a harsh thing to happen to someone on a personal level.

        And just one more case where it needs to be said that personal bankruptcy in America is most likely caused by one catastrophe, like a virulent health crisis.

        Conversely, let’s all stand back and wait for all the right-wing poster children fail to happen. I’m sure there’s a Joe the Plumber willing to make crap up to be lionized by Fox News.

    • ana

      Freedom to do what?  If you plan to refuse health care when sick, let us hope it works for you.  A “mere” broken arm can result in thousands of dollars in costs.  
      Preventive  care alone is costly, especially in our current system.   

  • Jay

    Is there not a precedent for the individual mandate with
    car insurance? Everyone who owns a care must buy insurance.

    • Ray in VT

      But that’s on a state level, and not everyone owns a care.  It’s a difficult comparison.

    • John in Vermont

       The precedent there is that it was done state-by-state – it’s not a national mandate.  Most states adopted a “no fault” system to take auto accidents out of the court system.  No fault only works with universal insurance.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       Not in every state.

    • Anonymous

      Unless you don’t own a car.

      • Dbianco74

        Everybody owns a body. :)

      • Jay

        Think about it as determined by the sphere of influence
        of the mandate. Car insurance operates in the sphere of car owners. Health insurance
        operates within the sphere of all citizens. So, health insurance mandate would be
        applied to that sphere (all citizens).

    • Robert Riversong

      Yes, but the states are not constitutionally limited, as is the federal government.

      And, at bottom, both mandates are wrong. No government should be able to force a citizen to purchase anything on the private market. If vehicle liability insurance (or health insurance) is considered a public good, then government should provide it and take the profit and excessive overhead out of it.

  • ulTRAX

    1792: THE ORIGINAL INDIVIDUAL MANDATE
    If the Constitution prohibited individual mandates, surely this provision of the Militia Act of 1792… written by those who knew Original Intent best, would NEVER have been written to include the following individual mandate:
    That every citizen, so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch, with a box therein, to contain not less than twenty four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball; or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch, and powder-horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder; and shall appear so armed, accoutred and provided, when called out to exercise or into service, except, that when called out on company days to exercise only, he may appear without a knapsack.
    http://constitution.org/mil/mil_act_1792.htm

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       Has this been repealed?  I lost my musket and I don’t want to be in violation of the law.  Maybe we should update it to allow Glocks instead of muskets.

      • Ray in VT

        If muskets were good enough for the Founders, then they’re good enough for me.  Who needs to fire more than twice per minute and hit much of anything beyond 30 yards anyways?

      • ulTRAX

         
        You’re avoiding the issue of the Mandate. This law stood for 111 years until in 1903 when the very concept of the Militia was rethought and it was integrated into the Army. At that point the government provided the weapons. The law wasn’t repealed because the mandate was thought unconstitutional.

        • Gregg

          Did Government mandate every citizen join the militia?

    • Anonymous

      Prett sure that was under Congress’s constitutional authority to raise and manage an army, not the commerce clause.

      • ulTRAX

        You’re avoiding the key issue here: that the Constitution clearly did NOT prohibit an individual mandate back in 1792… so to claim it does now is amusing. BTW, Congress’s power to create a well regulated militia is separate from its power to raise an army.

        • Anonymous

          Congress has a constitutional power for organizing and training a militia (you are right, it’s separate from the army one).  Congress does not have a specific Constitutional power to provide universal healthcare.  I’d consider the musket mandate more akin to conscription than to the health care mandate.

          • ulTRAX

            “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States;” Just what is the general welfare? It’s one of the key purposes the Constitution is dedicated. But it’s really up each generation to decide. Does Congress stop with paying for lighthouses? Dams? Highways? Public Health? Research into health? Medicare? Environmental regulations? Worker safety? Government and the private sectors bootstrap each other to higher levels of prosperity and a civilized society. Why isn’t universal health care next?

          • Anonymous

             And if Congress claimed the mandate was a tax -the way we pay for everything you list above – then there would be no Supreme Court case today.

    • Robert Riversong

      Just more proof that the right to bear arms is only in reference to the need to bear arms when serving in the militia.

      • ulTRAX

        The Gun crowd has a curious argument when it claims the Second Amendment protects an individual right to own a firearm. Rights usually entail some CHOICE. In reality Congress passed a MANDATE for Militia members. The “right” in the Second is that these constitutionally mandated militias could not be disarmed.

         If there’s a place where gun rights are protected it’s in the Ninth. But we stray.

  • Drew You Too

    An insurance mandate will not ultimately affect the Healthcare crisis in this country in my opinion. The true problem is the unmitigated greed of big pharmaceutical companies and some portions of the general healthcare system. We can’t have universal healthcare because so many still have the Red Scare mentality that was drilled into our skulls for so long. As a result, many of us think anything that benefits all is Socialism or Communism. Universal Healthcare is the ONLY solution if we truly want to care for The Least Among Us (if only people could practice what they preach). Big Pharma and Insurance will continue to make record profits because it’s their Right, right? Administrators will continue suck resources from the system because they deserve it, right? Profitability will continue to trump Humanity because we all know Humanitarianism is a dirty word, right? Regardless of the outcome of this debacle things will continue just as they have in the past.

    And for those who call this legislation “Obamacare”; I think you’re detestable. You don’t like Obama, we get it. And even worse are those who are trying to Take It Back (the term Obamacare). Those chanting “We Love Obamacare” on the Supreme Court Steps should step down from their pulpit and go watch Clerks II. Why would you want to Take It Back? It’s derogatory, just drop it.

    Profit should have NO place in healthcare, PERIOD. Now go ahead and call me whatever you like, I care about my fellow man, woman, and child so obviously I must be evil.

    • Anonymous

      So you never referred to the ‘Bush Tax Cuts’?

      • Drew You Too

        If I had I would have called them BushCuts. To answer your question I referred to them as the Tax Cuts enacted by the Bush administration.

  • Gregorclark

    I’m a Democrat, and I’m OPPOSED to Obamacare and the individual mandate in its current state.

    Pure and simple, any mandate without a public option is fleecing the public and forcing all of us to pad the bottom lines of the insurance companies without any choice in the matter.

    Bring back the public option, and I’ll support the mandate. A vast majority of Americans, according to polls in 2009, wanted the public option. It was the Republicans and so-called centrists like Joe Lieberman who stole it from us. Shame on them!

    Thanks for this important show Tom.

    –Gregor Clark
    Middlebury, VT

    • Anonymous

      Aren’t you folk in VT getting single payer? That will be a good experiment that the rest of the country will be able to learn from, one way or the other

    • Robert Riversong

      As another Vermonter, I oppose not only the Obama mandate but a public option as well. The only way to provide universal care and keep costs reasonable is to nationalize the entire health care industry, make all hospitals publicly-owned and all health care providers civil servants paid according to the GS pay scale.

      Private medical clinics can still offer expensive care to those with too much money.

  • Tony, Washington, DC

    Speaking from a genuine independent perspective, this country will slowly become a failed social welfare state regardless of what happens with Obamacare.  It’s quite simple, there are more people who are looking to others to fund their choices and lifestyles than there are people who will have the economic ability to fund said choices and lifestyles. 
     
    Alas, it may take another century for Americans to squander the economic legacy our ancestors bequeathed to us; however, squander it we will.  We began squandering our legacy with the passage of the 16th Amendment in 1913 granting the Federal Government the ability to tax income.  This amendment was supposed to address economic inequality.  Obviously, it hasn’t worked because we have winey liberals squatting in our cities.  The only thing the 16th Amendment gave us is a corrupt, economic inefficient, wasteful tax system that is riddled with political giveaways to their respective favorite groups that penalizes savers.

    • LastGasp

      So well said Tony. Sad but true.  The idea of the bottomless money pit, or the Government as Parent, is fully entrenched and internalized.

    • Robert Riversong

      In fact, the Founders established a state “in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”. Welfare is a foundational value.

      While I agree that wages (as opposed to income from profits, interest and dividends) should never have been taxed, it is however true that the progressive income tax addressed economic inequality until the Reagan “revolution” which dropped top marginal and capital gains rates. It was during the times of highest top marginal rates that America was most prosperous and the economic decline (and casino capitalism) began with Reagan and has been continued by both parties since then.

      • Gregg

        Somewhere along the line promoting the general welfare came to mean providing the general welfare.

        • Robert Riversong

          That line was set by our Founders. Thomas Paine proposed the first social security system to be financed by an inheritance tax on the wealthy.

          • aj

            I have a high regard for Paine, he was far ahead of his time.  But be honest, the Real founders used his pamphlet for propoganda in the summer of 75′ to go to war, and then GeorgwWash. the slave holding NativeAmerican-blood drinking shitehead told him to get lost.

            So it would be a stretch to call him a founder strictly historically speaking, though I wish he was. He clearly had more righteousness in his left-testacle than the entire southern delegation (including Jefferson, that red headed scumbag) in the continental congress.

            The real founder, GeorgeWash. was all to happy to see a true populist uprising against the moneychangers bloodily put down with the wrath of a totalitarian crackdown in 1786.

            My founding father was Tecumsah the Shawnee. But that’s a whole nother story they don’t teach you in your culturally bias PUBLIC schools.  Nope, you gotta learn about him on your own.  That’s the one good thing about being trapped in a 6X9, reading.  Tecumsah was a man’s man.  Onions.

      • LastGasp

        Robert, where does the $ come from?

        Scarcity is real, Entropy is real, aging and death are real.

        You could, and we do, spend a lot of money fighting those forces. And if you demand that everybody is due the same access to such “treatments” we could likely spend an infinite amount of money.  While the Federal Reserve would like to make this possible, and the Industry Cronies who profit from our quixotic crusades love it, it is not sustainable.

        Rejecting the Constitution and becoming a Socialistic society with elite control for our own good, will NOT defeat those inevitabilities, but will ensure that the experiment in liberty we have tried in this country for the blink of a historical eye, to great success, will be over.

        • Robert Riversong

          There is no shortage of money in America. It is merely concentrated among the tiny minority who are the least responsible.

      • Tony, Washington, DC

        Actually, there is no positive correlation between higher taxes and higher growth.  America’s pre-Reagan higher growth was not the result of higher taxes; it was due to the fact that America was the only country that had an intact infrastructure after World War II.  In other words, we had the human and physical capital to produce goods and services to sell to the rest of the world because Europe from England to the USSR was decimated.  Asia was a wasteland from India to Japan.  And, let’s not forget that North Africa and Middle East were in ruins.  South America was a den of socialists and communists, and Canada was too small to lead the world.
         
        You see Robert, that is the reason why we had high growth with higher taxes pre-Reagan.

        • Robert Riversong

          Look at the entire history of marginal tax rates and prosperity vs economic crashes. The crashes invariably occurred following drastic decreases in top rates, which encouraged speculation and greed.

          1918: top rate of 77% above $1,000,000

          1922: top rate 58%

          1925: 25%

          1929: 24%

          1932: 63% increasing to 94% above $200,000 by
          1945

          1964: 70%

          1982: 50%

          1988: 28%

  • Dan

    The “tax penalty” would be a whole lot cheaper than using COBRA if I ever get laid off or decide to freelance. Bring it on! :)

  • Ckinvctr

    I fervently hope the Affordable Care Act is upheld.  My husband and I are in our 50′s & 60′s, self-employed and considered uninsurable due to pre-existing conditions.  Thus we cling to old individual policies we were able to get when we left group insurance employers.  We pay 22,000 per year just in premiums, not to mention deductibles and co-pays.  My only hope for choices to reduce our expense is this Act.  I’d hire another employee in my business if I didn’t have such high premiums for my own coverage.

    • William

      I would rather see the government make employees pay for the unemployment insurance and workman’s comp. insurance instead of the employer.

      • TFRX

        Don’t employees already contribute to UI?

      • Ckinvctr

        The 22,000 is our health insurance premiums.  It has nothing to do with unemployment or workman’s comp insurance.

        • William

          Yes, but why should an employee not pay for u/i and w/c insurance too? After all, they reap the rewards and not the employer. It si about personal responsibility and paying their fair share. Why dump it in the employer?

  • LastGasp

    Given our economic fiasco, leveraged and flames fanned from government meddling, micromanagement and inept or corrupt oversight, why in the world would anyone want to set the precedent for giving the government to power to to force individuals to participate in economic behaviors they see fit?

    Largely for the benefit of political banking and industry crony friends, in the name of the “public good”?Are all the lessons and wisdom of tyranny from our founders completely lost today?

    • Drew You Too

      Learn from history? We Don’t Need No Education!

      My apologies for the sarcasm, I just couldn’t resist.

      • LastGasp

        Let’s not lose the message of The Wall, a scathing critique of the bureaucratic status quo, not a marxist manifesto.

    • TFRX

      You forgot to say “Republicans and Democrats both do it equally.” Next time you slip up like that you may get thrown out of the club.

  • LastGasp

    Lets not conflate Constitutionalists with the establishment smear of “Tea Partiers” here, whether or not they overlap. Nice attempt to throw baby out with bathwater.

  • jim b

     is paying taxes to the federal and state government whether in the form of real estate, federal, or gas has a public option? c’mon… i am sick of footing my hard earned tax dollars contributing to people who freeload. if obamacare does not go through,… then to the conservatives, many of you who live in the south, please do not call 911 if you do have a medical emergency and do not have insurance. go and ask the republicans to fix you up.

    • William

      Would you support a law requiring an individual to pay their medical bills rather than forcing them to buy medical insurance?

      • Anonymous

        That certainly is an option rather than the individual mandate.  Don’t pay anything, but then when you need medical care, you must pay for it, including the premiums for all the years you went without insurance.

      • jim b

         unfortunately.. that law still won’t work… hospitals are still mandated to fix uninsured and indebted patients even if such a law gets pass

        • William

          Maybe, but what happens when those poeple have to start paying…I bet a lot of them receive EIC so cough that up which is around 4-8 grand. Then they have cable tv, cell phone(s), ..give it up, just go down the list. There are quite a few scammers in this country that when push comes to shove..they will pay.

          • TFRX

            I looooove how much you know about the cushy ride this society gives poor people.

          • William

            Those that pay more tend to know more.

          • TFRX

            There are quite a few scammers in this country that when push comes to shove..they will pay.

            Keep squeezing that stone, bub. The blood is in the poor people! It’s in there somewhere!

  • LastGasp

    The value, and purpose even (tool against tyranny), of Liberty, is completely lost on our current mass culture.

    • Robert Riversong

      In a republic, liberty never exists alone – it always is paired with civic responsibility. It is that latter half of the equation that is lost on our mass culture, which is about every man for himself and to hell with the commonwealth.

      • LastGasp

        Civic responsibility is cultivated in communities, within individuals, not forced to participated in from above.  Most, enough, people are good. Coercion is counterproductive long-term.

        • Robert Riversong

          Civic virtue is cultivated by a nation’s ethic, and the American ethic from the colonial days onward has been one of competition for material affluence with little regard for the common good (see Why America Failed by Morris Berman, 2012).

          The notion of limited government is, itself, limited in practice by the irresponsibility of the citizenry. When corporations act on greed, government must step in as a counter-balance. When citizens fail to exercise civic virtue and responsibility, government must step in to fill the void.

          We get exactly that government which we deserve. 

  • LastGasp

    Its Liberty vs. Entitlement, the Road to Serfdom well paved.

    • Robert Riversong

      That’s a simplistic perspective which ignores the basis for our republic. The only “entitlements” are the Natural (inalienable) Rights that our government is mandated to support: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – each of which requires a healthy body.

    • Anonymous

      You sound like a bumper sticker.

  • 7LeagueBoots

    If this passes it is vital that the cost of health insurance is brought down to a reasonable level, one that people can actually afford to pay.  What *should* happen is that my taxes pay for my health insurance.

    As a side note, everyone who drives is already “forced to engage in commerce”.  If I drive, I am required to purchase auto insurance at my own cost from a private insurance company.  There is no difference between what is already happening and what is proposed by the health insurance mandate.

    • Robert Riversong

      The primary distinction is that it is states which require vehicle liability insurance, not the constitutionally “limited” federal government.

      But the underlying issue is the same: no government has the right to force a citizen to purchase anything on the private market. If liability insurance is considered a public good, then it should be provided by a public insurance pool. 

      Similarly, the public good of universal health care should be paid for from the public coffers, which would do more to reduce costs than anything else, both by removing the profit and excessive overhead and by negotiating bulk purchases from the private market. Better yet, make all hospitals publicly-owned and all providers civil servants who are paid according to the GS pay scale.

      • aj

        I agree up to final sentence. Though nationalized providers such as NHS (UK) and the VA (US) are both well run and efficient providers of health care, I think I would stop short of “nationalising” providers and just wipe out payers ( insurance companies) with public financing; and maintain a private provider system with thin profit margins like Canada. 

        • aj

          I changed my mind. NATIONALIZE THE WHOLE THING!

  • Jay

    Think about it as determined by the sphere of influence
    of the mandate. Car insurance operates in the sphere of car owners. Health insurance
    operates within the sphere of all citizens. So, health insurance mandate would be
    applied to that sphere (all citizens).

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    All citizens are guaranteed free legal defense, something that most people will never need. If every US citizen committed a crime they would be entitled to it. But health care, something we will all need, sooner or later, emergency or not, we’re not entitled to?

    My biggest issue with the Republican stance is that everyone is guaranteed health care at a hospital. No. They’re guaranteed treatment at an ER, and the costs are paid by everyone that follows the rules and pay their taxes.   How is that the personal responsibility that the Right talks about so much? They don’t want people to burden the system by freeloading, yet they seem to think that anyone can walk into an ER and get free healthcare. 

    The bigger hypocrisy is that the individual mandate was THEIR idea, but the minute it gets bipartisan support, or in this case, the banner is taken up by the Dem, now it’s somehow wrong for the country and wrong for it’s citizens.  Gingrich was recently interviewed and made a statement that championed the  individual mandate. When the host called him on it, he said, “It’s a variation on the individual mandate.” The only variation I heard was that it came out of his mouth and not someone on the Left.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you Scott! Totally Repubs trying to bring down Dems. If the pres was republican you’d see all repubs supporting this and not screaming about constitutionality!

      • Scott B, Jamestown NY

         Obama could win over a lot of people just by showing ads of Republicans (Newt, Glassly, et al), those still in Congress or active in Republican policy, calling for the independent mandate in one scene and the saying how it’s wrong for the country in the next. Talk about flip-flopping!

    • Anonymous

      The individual mandate dates back to at least 1995 when 27 REPUBLICAN senators offered it as an alternative to the Clinton plan to require all employers provide insurance.

  • Megan

    I’m curious about how this is different from having to buy car insurance.  Everyone who drives has to have car insurance. Why doesn’t that translate to everyone who uses the health care system (which is everyone) also has to have insurance?

    • Wbsurfver

       It seems like the health insurance could be a whole lot more expensive than car insurance. Supposedly I would have health care so that if I get sick, it won’t break the bank. If the health care itself could break the bank, then there is no point in having it. The amount I am paying for health insurance currently. I could buy 2 or 3 cars with over just 3 years. So there you have it, not a very good argument on your case. What is the benifit to a person who stays healthy and doesn’t have to go to the doctor and take all of the nonsensical drugs ?

  • Dbianco74

    How can Justice Thomas not be removed from this vote?

    • TFRX

      Republicans don’t know the meaning of the word “recuse”.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       By that argument Eilena Keagan must recuse herself since she was directly involved in the government’s defense of Obamacare, as solicitor general.

    • William

      What about Justice Kagan?

  • Snibs

    If I want to own and drive a car. I’m required (by the gov’t.) to have liability insurance.   While it’s not the same as being required to carry health insurance or be financially penalized, it IS similar.   Of course,  I can choose NOT to drive a car but for the majority of our populace, this is not practical as – with the exception of major cities – mass transit is not available.    

    • lodger

      Because there is no consideration (in the legal sense) for the mandate. Your simple existence forces you to buy. There is no opt out. You can opt out of auto insurance by not driving.  The license to operate a vehicle is a privilege granted by the state.

      The real question is: Why don’t we have single payer when a majority of the public support it?  Why was it acceptable for Baucus to take discussion of it off the table?  The corporate media is deliberately avoiding the real story.  Obama got elected on his promise of a public option. 

      Single payer is the only fix to the tsunami of costs that will hit once boomers get on medicare. The republicans are right about that. They are wrong to ignore the fix: get young/healthy into same risk pool and pay for it with taxes.

  • Irene Moore

    I’m a Canadian.  To hear the discussion in the United States about health care in terms only of commerce makes me wonder how the conversation became so distorted.  Universal health care ought to be a discussion of the health and welfare of the people, but in the United States it is apparently a discussion about commerce.  Yikes.

    • Anonymous

      Because the Commerce Clause of the Constitution is the only way TO enact federal law over all states.

    • Anonymous

      Well we are nation of very selfish people, or so it seems.
      We are all for government letting us carry guns and to use them with abandon and yet, we wont deal with the mess that we call health care in this country.
      I must say it’s sad that Canada seems to have been able to solve this problem, and yet we can’t.

  • Glenn Koenig

    Whatever the Supreme Court decides won’t matter that much in the long run.  The states will find a way to wiggle out of this eventually, either way.  This law is the bastard child of a failing federal government.  It’s a half way measure between single payer (which has clearly been shown to improve the medical care system, both in cost and effectiveness in most other countries), and a ‘free for all’ market system that allows the current mess to get worse.
    The current medical care and medical insurance system in the US today is a corrupt and dangerous system.  It not only cost too much, it also endangers people by overtreating them because that’s how it makes the most money.  Put another way, the economic incentive in the current system is to label people as sicker than they might already be in order to administer medical procedures & drugs that increase revenue.  That’s why I refuse to call it a ‘health care’ system and you shouldn’t call it that either.  It is a medical services delivery system; you are responsible for your health, and only you can truly maintain it.

    • Anonymous

       I often think many of us already give ourselves “healthy care” by living healthy lives.  One commentator I heard on local radio the other day said he thinks health care is his obligation and that what we get from doctors is medical care.  Both of us seemed to agree that we prefer health care over medical care which, in this country and as you point out, is a medical care system whose main purpose is to make money for a medical care system.  “Corrupt and dangerous” seems like an accurate description.  “Cartel” may be another apt way of looking at it how insurance and pharma conspire to make us dependent on them.

      • Anonymous

        My late cousin, who passed away at age 50, was a health nut. She ate well, worked out and she still succumbed to ovarian cancer. The health insurance corporate mindset was overwhelming and lucky for her she had a partner who was good at advocating for her and a father who used his own hard earned cash to pay down some of the bills. Imagine arguing with some rube on the phone while you are months away from ones death over the cost of morphine to ease the pain.  

        Life style is important, but it’s not going to save you from a serious illness if you get one.  

        • Anonymous

           You’ll get no argument from me, Jefe.  That’s sad (to say the least) about your cousin. And her struggle is all too familiar. But I think the commenter’s point about health care and medical care in the US being two different entities is valid.  Still, our health is determined by many factors and at least of those factors is completely out of our control: genetics. When, like your cousin, we suddenly come face-to-face with a serious illness in spite of our good habits, it doesn’t seem too much to ask that the system we depend on has good habits itself!  But we don’t have that system.  Our aching bodies are turned over to a private system in which the profit motive rules. 

          My own experience with private health insurance showed me that, though it may sometimes be unreliable and costly if you’re employed by a business, it’s far worse if you’re self-employed.  You pay higher premiums, and the insurer (the big one!) tries to avoid paying up when you actually get sick  (once in 18 years).  In my case, I got my state’s insurance commission on their backs and finally the insurer paid in full, having postponed payment for months.  This is apparently a common practice:  refusal as a way of postponing payment.  During which interlude, the providers don’t get their money and start upping their fees to make up the difference.  Yet another completely indefensible cause of inflation in medical care.

          • Anonymous

            Well that’s the free market for you.
            They can do whatever they want.
            By the way if the GOP get’s there way and you overturn the idea of states regulating the health insurance conglomerates this problem will only get worse as they will all move to the state with least regulations. Most likely Texas. Which has the largest uninsured population of any state, at about 6 million. That’s akin to the entire population Manhattan not having health insurance.

          • Anonymous

             Oh, man. Have you ever seen the size of the conglomeration in Tennessee?  The physical plant(s)?

            Note:  On the plus side of health care in Texas is a kind of army of decent folks who have put their backs and (when they have ‘em) their bucks into non-profit safety nets providing medical care with for-profit, professional medical staff putting in time there as volunteers.  That’s not the point, of course.  But it does take some of the desperation out of an otherwise shameful situation.

  • Tom

    What is different about requiring that everyone have health insurance when mostt states require everyone who wants to own and drive a car to have auto liability insurance, which is requiring people to buy a product from a private insurance company?

  • April B

    What the commenter just said
    is SO wrong…NOone is “sitting at home twiddling [their] thumbs” in
    regard to healthcare, even if they think they are and even if they want
    to be. Simply being alive means that you WILL need healthcare at some
    point. For my own son, simply being born (with a serious medical
    condition) necessitated healthcare. When being born is the precipitating
    event for purchasing healthcare, it ceases to be a “normal” product for
    sale.

  • LastGasp

    Rule of Law, Not Men, needs to be fully re-appreciated again in this country.  The value of limited government vs tyranny and corrupt State-Corporatism needs to be discussed and understood.

  • Janesib

    Two additional issues: If the healthcare bill passes, it will forever be to the credit of John Roberts and Barack Obama.

  • Anonymous

    Why are the widespread state requirements to purchase automobile liability insurance (from private businesses) not being cited as an obvious parallel to the “individual mandate” issue at hand?

  • Mgoodman

    Doesn’t mandated health insurance equate exactly to mandated car insurance? Even more so in that having a driver’s license is considered a ‘priviledge’ not a ‘right’? And what about the fact that not everyone requires a car, as compared to everyone needing health care at some point? This is the logical comparsion we should be using, no?

    • Anonymous

      Mandatory car insurance is state level and only applies to people who own cars. The individual mandate applies to you simply for existing, and it’s federal. The powers not specifically assigned to the federal government in the Constitution are left to the states and the people, therefore states have powers that the federal government doesn’t.

  • Anonymous

    Car insurance is not analogous as mentioned below.  Unlike the ER example where you will not be turned away from ER’s that receive federal funds, if you are involved in an accident and you don’t have car insurance (where required), you can wind up in jail.

  • Carol kirshner

     What about the laws requiring that car passengers must wear seat belts, and that children must ride in car seats?  Don’t these necessitate the purchase of a product?

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       State vs. federal.

  • Anonymous

    REMINDER:  Congress opted in the legislation to exempt themselves from OBAMA care, along with their staffs.  Also, the Executive branch with their staff.  WHY?

    • Anonymous

       I dunno. Why?

    • denis

      where in the legislation are congress and the executive branch exempted from the ACA?

  • LastGasp

    Won’t the liberals be thrilled when we’ve trashed the Constitution, have Unlimited government, and then some theocrats get elected.

    There are bigger principles worth preserving than coerced equal outcomes.

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      In the middle and tempered. The Constitution won’t get trashed if we’re diligent – and diligent in this respect does not mean to forego common sense out of fear that broad-based solutions will, automatically, lead to ruin. 

      • LastGasp

        Laws not Men. I don’t trust men. Granny said The road to Hell is paved with Good Intentions for a reason.

        • NrthOfTheBorder

          ????

        • Anonymous

          Why is that you sound like Moda?

          • Ray in VT

            I was just thinking that as I scrolled down the page.

      • LastGasp

        Think about Rule of Law vs. Arbitrary Power of Discretion.

  • Tie

    The economic (not political, not legal) case for the mandate is summarized here: http://newsatjama.jama.com/2012/03/26/jama-forum-what-is-the-economic-rationale-for-the-health-care-laws-individual-mandate/

  • LastGasp

    Don’t like free loading? Stop giving freebies.

    • Ray in VT

      Are you, or rather we, willing to turn people away at the emergency room?  Don’t have insurance or means up front, then you don’t get it the door.  Too poor to get treated?  Just die then.  That’s not a situation that should exist in our society.

      • TFRX

        He lives Libertopia, and shows little interest in what happens to swaths of people who now have no ability to get preventive or in-time care. Do you think he cares about them or the stresses their care puts on hospitals to which they go?

        • aj

          Why are liberals like you defending an health insurance scheme that was conceived at the heritage foundation?

          You would probably say, you want single-payer but pragmatism dictates that you compromise principles like the sellout Obama did and put up a partisan defense of a plan that was created by your opposing faction, irony?

          The thing about this is, all you affluent yuppies with private insurance are content to pat Obama and say good job, but for people who are going to be on medicaid in this Obamacare will realize that very few doctors and almost no specialists and absolutely no dentists will treat patients on medicaid.  This leads to a seperate but equal health care system no different than having to go to the ER in real world scenario’s. 

          The left in this country is so affluent that they have no clue what its like to live in poverty nowadays?

          • aj

            In other words; THERE IS NO LEFT IN THE USA 2012; there used to be, but that was before the affluent self-righteous liberals moved to the burbs and left my people in the hood to kill each other.

            Eugene Debs, Huey Long, Henry Wallace, Seargant Shriver, Black Panthers.

            I respect your opinion but your defense of Obamacare is suspect?…

          • aj

            Mother Jones, Jane Adams, Helen Keller, Frances Perkins, Joan Baez 

          • TFRX

            Wow! Nice to know that someone thinks I’m an affluent yuppie!

            Stop projecting whatever beliefs you ascribe to suburban lefties onto me, and whatever you think I don’t know about Medicare and Medicaid.

      • LastGasp

        and it wouldn’t. Most people are good, even if they aren’t socialists.

  • Mshah

    My state of TN as well as many other states require that you BUY Auto Insurance before you can register your auto in the state.  How would this be viewed?

    • Glenn Koenig

      Live somewhere where you don’t have to have a car.  But everyone has a body, and thus potential need for medical services.

  • LastGasp

    Why are we childishly conflating the notion that things are good, or valuable ideas, that they can only be realized by socialistic means?

    • Anonymous

      Because nobody got into the 1% by looking out for everyone else.

      • LastGasp

        Only the 1% can achieve the basic necessities of life today?  What B.S.

        Flat Screen TVs, cars, Air conditioning, ipods, video games, quadruple bypass surgery etc etc are luxuries.

        Just because the Federal Reserve has flooded our society with funny money making us believe we can have it all, does not make that fallacy true.

        • TFRX

          For a Libertarian, every concept you have about the poor seems to be a Fox News talking point.

        • Anonymous

          Oh hogwash.

      • NrthOfTheBorder

        True enough MrNutso.  Their fortunes accumulated by virtue of a system making it possible to do so. 

        What galls me are those opposing a reasonable tax on the 1% because they believe they too, one fine day, will be rich: “and damn it – I don’t want freeloaders to tax it all away!”

    • Ray in VT

      Why do people insist that the free market will take care of our problems when it runs counter to our experience?  I don’t see the market fixing this.  Why are some people seemingly opposed to anything that the public collectively does?

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      You mean when cries of “socialism” trumps common sense?

    • Anonymous

      You have it back-asswards.  YOU conclude that anything accomplished by collective action is socialistic.  You’re the childish conflator in chief.

      • Anonymous

        I have no problem with collective action.  I have a problem with those who think ‘collective action’ is equivalent to “government program”

  • John in Vermont

    After this law is struck down we need to go after the use of taxpayer money to pay for people who can’t afford health care. Let a few of them die at the doorstep of the emergency room and the rest will start buying health insurance.

    • denis

      so how is it you know the law will be struck down?

    • Glenn Koenig

      Fine.  But my choice is to pay $800 per month for it, in which case I’ll have to default on my mortgage and thus lose our condo.  My wife and I will be out on the street!  Is that what you want?  I’m sorry, it’s not that easy.  I don’t make enough money to afford both.

    • Anonymous

      What about those who can’t buy it?  Do I eat, or have health insurance?  Eat and hope I don’t get sick.

    • TFRX

      Buy it with what?

      Do you know how an insurance pool works?

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      Yes, opponents taking the stand against big gov’t forcing them to buy insurance either want the system to continue as is (ie the responsibly-insured pay for those who aren’t) or, they want nature to enforce the need to buy.  Both arguments are just nuts if you ask me. 

    • Betsy Packard, Lexington, KY

      Beyond the conservative rhetoric, do you actually KNOW what Obamacare is alll about?  It’s a good start on giving this national national health care.  Why is it the US is the ONLY “developed” nation NOT to have national health care.  Our maternal mortality rate is higher than Ireland’s and Italy’s.  THEY have national health care.  Our infant mortality rate has been higher than Cuba’s.  Are you not ashamed of these statistics?  Are you into “Social Darwinism?”   With what Dubya caused our nation to spend in ridiculous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we easily could have had national health care, but we’re too busy killing people.  What I want to know is, when are we going to file charges for treason and crimes against humanity against Bush, Cheney, & Co.?

      • Frafish

         I live in a country that essentially has national health care and it gives a peace of mind that one can’t imagine unless he has lived under such a system. All of the arguments going on in the US seem silly and simplistic to other people in the world. So much for American Exceptionalism.

      • Robert Riversong

        No need to file criminal charges against Cheney. He now has a heart (transplant).

  • Anonymous

    What, pray tell, do the opponents to the Affordable Healthcare Act propose: let the market work it out? Guess what, the market has been failing to work it out for decades and we now have one of the most expensive, least efficient and least effective healthcare systems in the world.

    We recently had a higher child mortality rate than Cuba!

    Yes, the best healthcare in the world is available here, to those who have money, but with modest resources, you’re throwing dice! There is healthcare rationing by virtue of availability and cost.

    • Betsy Packard

      You  are so right!   And we have a higher maternal mortality rate than Ireland and Italy!   That is obscene.  I go to the Univ. of KY for all my complicated health care, and ALL my doctors support a national health care program. 

    • Tony, Washington, DC

      Here is a proposal to solve our healthcare crisis oh wise one.  It’s called implementing healthy lifestyles –

      1) eating balanced healthy food,
      2) drinking a minimum of 3 liters of waters per day,
      3) little or no alcohol, no illegal drugs,
      4) little to no prescription drugs: we are a drugged society,
      5) doing at least an hour of physical activity 5 days a week,
      6) no smoking
      7) sleeping 7 – 8 hours per day

      If the above lifestyle choices are implemented, it would address the whelming majority of our healthcare issues.  The below list is from the CDC website:

      1) Heart disease2) Cancer3) Chronic lower respiratory diseases4) Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases)5) Accidents (unintentional injuries)6) Alzheimer’s disease7) Diabetes8) Influenza and Pneumonia9) Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis10) Intentional self-harm (suicide)

      LIFESTYLE CHOICES, LIFESTYLE CHOICES, LIFESTYLE CHOICES
      Of course, I don’t expect a liberal such as you to implement my recommendations because that would require you taking responsibility for your own health.

      • LastGasp

        Hey I’ve got it Tony! MANDATE that, and they’ll get on board in a heartbeat!

        • Gregg

          If they can mandate you buy health insurance then they can mandate you buy broccoli.

      • ana

        The last line of your statement is utterly  false.  Liberals are far more likely to heed 21st century research into what makes for healthy choices.  My conservative friends most often cling to their “freedoms” to live and  eat as they please, the science be damned.
         You know those darn hippie types out growing some of their  own food and protesting  Big Agra.

        Actually, it has nothing to do with lib or conserv.
        Folks of either persuasion can work  against their own self interest and you are right, there is much the individual can do to reduce the failing helath of our nation.

        • Tony, Washington, DC

          Okay Ana – there is a couple of kernels of truth to your rebuttal…I’ll reluctantly agree with the first part your statement-:) And wholeheartedly agree with your last paragraph…cheers

          • Tony, Washington, DC

            there are a couple of kernels XXXXXX

    • Robert Riversong

      Come on. It’s not fair to compare US healthcare with Cuba’s, which is one of the best systems in the world.

      • aj

        Dr. Ernesto “Che” Guevaro is in haven smiling proudly.  Che was up their with Gandhi and Jesus from my perspective.  That’s probably why the CIA had him shot. 

  • LastGasp

    If people are not against this for the Liberty and Constitutional reasons, it is only due to ignorance.

    • Anonymous

      Once again, everyone not sharing your simplistic interpretation of the Constitution is ignorant. 

  • Lost Cat 00

    I hope that all the conservative callers abstain from driving, it will clear the highway. But the fact is that thet are mandated to buy car insurance if they choose to drive. I would hape to pay, by inflating my medical costs,  their hospital bills when they will show up sick and without insurance.   

  • Anne Cataldo

    I am 27, and fortunately get health care through my employer. But, what about war? I DO NOT feel that my money should be funding the death of innocents, yet that is where my tax dollars go… And speaking of unconstitutional… what about the Patriot Act?

    • Tony, Washington, DC

      I think you should read the contitution and that will address your concerns…

      • Scott B, Jamestown NY

         The Fed govt should help states. I hate unfunded mandates the US govt puts on state as much as anyone. 

          Start with low-hanging fruit:
        Universal forms – Saves billions to providers, insurers, gov’t, and leades to better treatment and tracking of that treatment

          Get AARP members and some off-duty cops and have a muliti-million person march in twos and three start visit every medicare/medicaid supplier, and if it’s a closet in a stripmall,  a garage, or po box it gets reported and investigated ASAP and shut down ASAP.  More billions.

          Use the billions to start the public option and to make sure medicaid/medicare on fed and state levels stay solvent, and not spent on some pet project from someone in Congress with a wild hare up their wazoo.

         

         

         

      • Frafish

         The constitution is a living breathing document that has accumulated thousands of precedents and interpretations that conform to the changes in our society. Reading the Constitution doesn’t fully resolve anything. One has to take into consideration all of the cases that explain and define that document. The Constitution is merely a framework from which we begin our journey

        • Robert Riversong

          Oh, come on now. We all know that God wrote the Constitution and handed it to Moses on some stone tablets.

  • Robin

    My family pays $800 a month for our health insurance and we are all healthy (except for the occasional ear infection or strep throat).  Our friends are on MedicAid, and pay nothing.  However, they are all ill (mental health issues, spinal surgeries, thyroid disorders, among others) and receive better care than my family, even when we are seen at the same Hospitals and Clinics.

    How is this not already leaching off the system?  Shouldn’t they be required to pay their part, instead of those with insurance having to pay higher costs to cover what they don’t pay?

    • MA Resident

      This sort of thing was true in Mass, too, before the universal health care was enacted. Coverage of people in the so-called “free pool” was nearly unlimited. Now they have a plan that is more in line with a low-cost insurance plan – covers catastrophic events so the taxpayers don’t have to.

    • William

      It would be more fair if your friends had to give up their EIC check to help pay for their Medicaid but that won’t happen.

    • Anonymous

      Well if we had a single payer system this would not be a real problem. By the way they have to be dirt poor to get Medicaid, for a family of four that’s about 20 to 24K a year.

      What is interesting by your comment is the word leaching. Would you consider anyone who is poor to be a leach?
      The other thing is you seem to have your facts wrong.
      You are not paying higher premiums and deductibles because of Medicaid, it’s due to the nature of our entire market based system. 

      • aj

        24K is not dirt poor? Come to the Bx, I’ll show you dirt poor. 

        • Anonymous

          That’s the Federal guideline for income for a family of four to qualify for Medicaid. For and individual it’s about 12k a year. In Massachusetts 12K a year means you’re homeless.   

          • aj

            ” I’m not concerned about the very poor.  If there’s a hole in the safety net I’ll fix it”
            -former governor of Masachusits Mitt Romney

            Taken that statement and your data, outlook is bleak for this Nation’s ‘least of these.’ 

            He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
            -Matthew25 verse45

          • aj

          • aj

            .

      • TFRX

        Those damn Lucky Duckies.

      • aj

        Read the followin bit. I think it puts into perspective wages in this country, as opposed to the distorted view of affluence we see looking through the (in the words of TFRX) “Beltway Inbred Mainstream Corporate Media Bubble” looking glass. 

        “Now for the next dose of cold water. The BLS reckons that by 2020 the overwhelming majority of jobs will still require only a high school diploma or less and that  nearly 3/4ths of “job openings due to growth and replacement needs” over the next 10 years will pay a median wage of less than $35,000 a year, with nearly 30 per cent paying a median of about $20,000 a year (in 2010 dollars)”
        -Alexander Cockburn counterpunch.org

        • aj

          How much do you think Andrea Mitchell makes per annum at NBC news?

          • aj

            300,000… 400,000??…

  • Worried for the country(MA)

     All the pundits claim the ‘liberal’ justices are locks to uphold Obamacre.  Why?  Is it because the ‘liberal’ justices don’t believe that the constitution limits government power?  Why have a constitution?

    • LastGasp

      Sadly this is the level of insanity and shortsightedness, and historical ignorance we live in today.

    • TFRX

      You really need to familiarize yourself with the rightward drift of judicial appointees (on all levels) in the last 1/3 of a century.

      And you have no complaint about Clarence (Recusal is a Four Letter Word) Thomas?

      (Kagan is not a comparison.)

      • Worried for the country(MA)

         Why should Thomas recuse himself?  Because his wife has a conflict?

        Don’t you believe in woman’s rights?

        Very weak.

        • TFRX

          I don’t have the time to list everything you need to brush up on.

        • notafeminista

          Wish I could like this one twice.

      • Worried for the country(MA)

        BS.  We’ve never had such a large and powerful central government as we have now.  We are at a tipping point and we need to actively push power back to the states or we are goners.

        • TFRX

          Yes, because more people need Texas-style state government.

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            Why do people keep moving TO Texas?  There must be something there they like.

          • TFRX

            All those taxpayer dollars to bribe companies to go there? All those “wink wink” “low cost” employees? The natural advantage of having some oil?

            The Texas lege is the national laboratory of bad government. Not that MS, AL, SC and KS aren’t fighting for the title.

          • notafeminista

            Oh see I like how you did that…good dogwhistle.

          • TFRX

            Dogwhistle? Thank Texas’ “low labor cost structure”. And don’t make me start quoting them on it.

      • notafeminista

        Please.  Says who?

    • Anonymous

      Kennedy is the only one I have doubts about- I’m fairly confident I know how everyone else will vote.  Though if I’m wrong on anyone in the case I’m guessing it will be the 4 consistent conservatives.

      • Robert Riversong

        We don’t have “4 consistent conservatives”. We have five conservatives and four radical pro-corporate judicial activists.

        Lewis Powell was the first of that breed (wrote the  infamous Powell Memo to the US Chamber of Commerce which set the agenda for the activist right wing for the last 40 years), while the principled conservative William Rehnquist (also appointed by Nixon) fought Powell tooth and nail.

        • aj

          Stevens was the last liberal on the bench, and Ford (republican nominated him).

          Obama is the biggest sellout in the entire history of the 21st century. An UTTER SELLOUT!

          It’s beyond depressing, there are no words.

        • notafeminista

          No.  We have five judges you agree with and 4 you don’t.

  • LastGasp

    Ms. Tumulty is displaying flagrant disregard for the Constitution and the founding rationale of this country, which was based on historical observation of the failures of men and tyrannical governments, and thus established limited government and Rule of Law.  Just a fact.

  • LastGasp

    Insurance Industry is a Crony, State-Capitalism feature of this, and is precisely what the Constitution should protect us from.

    • Ray in VT

      Agreed.  Let’s cut ‘em out of the equation and just go with a national system like every other industrial nation.

      • LastGasp

        Doctors, Patients. Community Clinics and 
        Charitable care for the truly needy.  Insurance is just another business idea, not good or bad, let it free to compete across state lines, and see if it meets the needs of customers at reasonable rates, and is better that just paying doctors directly, or not.  Let people and organic economics decide.  Mixing the Government with the Healthcare Industry is the worst of all worlds.

        • Anonymous

          That wont work, we already have a market based system and it’s huge failure.
          The market wont cure our health care mess.

          • LastGasp

            No we don’t. There is not competition across state lines, and the links between federal and state governments and big insurers is so strong and established, and such a gravy train of tax-money supported, Federal Reserve-subsidized spending, they will never want to truly compete.

            Do you really think Health insurance and Pharma industries are as competitive as Auto insurance and auto parts? No way.

            Thus prices are high and rising.

          • Anonymous

            They are in other countries.
            We pay more for drugs than any other industrial nation.
            I love the simple idea that health care is like auto parts.
            It does not work that way and if you think it should or does, you are really mistaken.

            There is not that much in the way of competition in health insurance and pharmaceuticals. I’m always amused when people use the free market idea. We have had a free market health care system for as long as there have been insurance companies. Yes there are individual state regulations, but there are the same with auto insurance, to use your auto analogy.

            It’s not working.

          • Robert Riversong

            By 1820, America had more banks and insurance companies than any other
            country in the world, and it’s only gone downhill since then.

  • Hidan

    The caller Fred’s right .

  • SomMom

    1. There is an exemption for people who really can’t afford to pay for health insurance but aren’t poor enough to qualify for expanded Medicare.
    2. If we left it to the states, most would do nothing. Mass. hospitals are stuck with the bill for uninsured patients coming in from NH or RI.
    3. As someone with a chronic health condition that has cost very little per year (one specialist visit per year plus an inexpensive drug that’s $200/year), I could not get any health insurance until I got married and my husband got a job.
    4. OK, if this libertarian doesn’t want the gov’t to mandate that he buy insurance, he is nevertheless paying for other people’s care if he does buy insurance, and WE are paying for HIS care if he doesn’t buy insurance.

  • sky

    But shouldn’t some people have the right *not* to pay for other’s lack of insurance? 

    • Anonymous

      I think we already are paying because those people walk in and get seen in the ER. Because they KNOW they can show up in an ER and cannot be refused service, the show up with minor issues. Hence, folks like my brother who is a Nurse Practitioner end up running the ER to keep doctors focused on the real emergencies. So because folks without insurance come in and do not pay, WE end up paying ANYWAY because someone has to pay for it…so hospital and insurance rates go up to compensate for it.

    • notafeminista

      No…people with money have no rights at all.  Money must be handed over to the state to be disbursed as the state sees fit on the state’s schedule and there’d better be no complaining about lest one be labeled as a greedy incompassionate wastrel.

  • Margaret_altman

    This cannot be relegated to the states.  They cannot be islands. Already Massachusetts’ border town health facilities are seeing patients from outside the state.  Has to be all or nothing.

    • Anonymous

      We’re also getting medical tourism from overseas, as there is not check for residency at the subsidized clinics in the state.

    • notafeminista

      And people are going outside Massachusetts for treatment and then getting dinged $200 for it.  Brilliant.

  • Wrightsamw

    If the supreme court find this unconstitutional, what about state-mandated auto insurance? In Iowa I’m required, by law, to have auto insurance or pay a fine. Couldn’t that be found unconstitutional?

    • LastGasp

      Please study the Constitution.

    • Robert Riversong

      The US Constitution limits only the powers of the federal government. All other powers are vested in the states, and it’s the states which mandate vehicle insurance.

      But I would argue that all such mandates to purchase a product on the for-profit market are unethical if not illegal. If any kind of insurance is considered a public good, then it should be provided from public funds or through a public agency.

  • Gregorclark

    Tom, I’m tired of the implication that all of us who oppose the current bill are freeloaders.

    Just like your last caller said, I’d be delighted to pay taxes to fund single payer, or even accept the current mandate if a public option were included within it. I fully believe that all Americans should have health care, and all should share in its costs. However, the law as written forces us all to pad the bottom line of the big insurance companies, whether we like it or not, and that’s just plain immoral (not to mention hugely wasteful).

    You want to talk about freeloaders? How about big pharma and big insurance, who have been fleecing us all, with politicians’ nods and winks, for decades?

    Gregor Clark
    Middlebury, VT

    • Robert Riversong

      But we have always had welfare for the corporations while detesting welfare for the needy. That’s the American Way.

  • Eveendicott

    I have Romney Care and it works. Before it, my husband was denied insurance for high cholesterol and I was denied for a routine female complaint. I then got a job with health insurance but then the business shrank and lost its group plan. Presto, I signed up for Romney Care and am very happy — no health history. My ex-husband refused to get health insurance and freeloaded for years — now he is forced to take responsibility and has a very affordable plan. People in other states should have this opportunity, too. 

    • LastGasp

      People in other states DO have the opportunity should they vote for it. That’s the point. The Fed doesn’t have the power, and shouldn’t, because we don’t want them to have such power to be used for more nefarious or corrupted purposes, as our founders wanted to protect against.

      I know its hard to think about tyranny and serfdom etc etc when our iphones are so satisfying, but look around the world, look back at history, and realize our current 
      comfort and security is a blink in time, largely on the back of worthless paper printed by the Federal Reserve. 

      We need to get, and stay, real.

  • Tom

    Every working person n the UK is required to pay health insurance. No-one is forced to buy a car, as one of your guests suggested could happen.
    From a European perspective, listening to the arguments on this is like watching Laurel and Hardy go round and round on a building site, accidentally whacking each other on the head with ladders.
    — from Tom (Brit in Burlington, Vermont)

  • Hidan

    what if you can’t pay the penalty? do you go to jail? get your wages garnished?

    • Tom

       To Hidan, no you won’t go to jail. You will have your wages docked when you are making enough money. If you don’t ever make money, you don’t ever pay it. Like student loans for example.

  • phillip

    We have our health care system that functions within the free market system which alows people to pay in or not and yet hospitals are required to treat anyone who needs medical assistance.in the rest of the free market system if you don’t pay you don’t get the survice.

  • BHA in Vermont

    It is fair only when those without insurance are turned away at the doctor’s office or the ER if they don’t have the money to pay the bills.

    The entire current system is a scam. My daughter had an expensive medical treatment. Our insurance company had some ‘deal’ with the providers and the ‘Charged’ cost is much higher than the ‘agreed cost’ which is the basis of what insurance company pays as well as our part. The exact same procedure would cost someone with a different insurance company a different amount depending on what kind of ‘negotiating power’ their insurance company has. Then there are the uninsured, they pay the whole thing. If I recall, the ‘charged’ amount was well over twice the ‘agreed’ and actually charged amount. How much does it ACTUALLY cost for any given procedure?

    I agree with the last caller, we NEED single payer. We are ALREADY paying for all the medical care, but in a horribly inefficient, admin heavy and thus overpriced way. I talked to a friend yesterday. He has a fried who will be getting a knee replacement. This person has no job, no insurance and lives on welfare. Who will pay for the knee replacement? All the tax payers and insured people who are NOT on welfare.

  • Joshua in Atlanta

    We already have universal health coverage in the US because hospitals with ERs are required to accept all comers without regard to their ability to pay. This is the most expensive way to provide universal coverage. I’m ok with removing our current universal coverage system but I do not think most people want to see the poor dying in front of hospitals for lack of money, so we need to do something make this system cheaper. I’d prefer a single payer system that includes “death panels” to keep costs down but Obamacare is better than nothing.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       You are forgetting that the hospitals can then sue you for the bill if you try to be a freeloader.

      • TFRX

        Your politeness is no cover for your charged language.

        Unless that’s the new strategy for plenty of well-off people who just lah-dee-dah around without health insurance, then go to the ER and get treated. Like they plan for that to happen.

        • notafeminista

          Actually according the US Census Bureau it ain’t the well off people who lah-dee-dah around.  In fact, in a story right here on NPR post 2000 census they discussed the (then) 20 million people eligible for existing social benefits who did not use them.  

          • TFRX

            You’re confirming what I say about “well off” people who “lah dee dah” around without having health insurance. “Worried” is describing a section of people who exist in great number in his/her imagination, but plays that as a big threat. And at the same time thinks that going around without health insurance, especially if one is a manual laborer, has kids, or doesn’t have a job with paid sick days, is a great way to save some money (yay! beat the system) and at the same time have peace of mind.

            And were you aware that plenty of Red states hire people to create obstacles to put in the way of folks who demographically qualify for social benefits? It’s a cottage industry designed to keep those folks uninformed in order to save cash.

          • notafeminista

            Well off people aren’t eligible for public benefits.  They aren’t the ones doing without.

    • ana

      Change “death panels” to end of life counseling.  Most in that process opt not to have extraordinary means, especially once their  mental faculties have failed.
      The decisions are made when one is competent in order to make clear one’s wishes and are valid only if the person is declared incompetent.  As long as one is competant that document can be changed  anytime. 
      Palin and her ilk imply that patients will be talked into a binding decision valid even if the person is competant.  Not true.

      • Robert Riversong

        Palin is concerned about this because she’s always been incompetent.

  • Scoots36

    States don’t require auto insurance. They require proof of financial responsibility so they can either prove they have a certain amount in their bank account or they can show they have auto insurance.

    • Anonymous

      ALL 49 DO. EXCEPT NEW HAMPSHIRE.

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

       The Right has no alternative for those that want to buy into medicaid because they can’t get insurance.  I don’t understand their disconnect in understanding the word “option”.  They don’t want people being forced to buy insurance, but they don’t want to give the people that want it an affordable alternative.  They shout “Free enterprise!” and “Freedom of choice!”  When was the last time we saw insurance go down in double digits year after year? Never.  Anyone heard of insurance lowing rates for pre-existing conditions? One like: pregnancy, acne, and being a woman, not just cancer and chronic conditions. 

    The Right says that they don’t want the gov’t coming between you and your Dr.  I’ve had insurance bean counters come between me and my health care providers time and time again, than when I have been on Medicaid. Medicaid OK-ed my cancer treatments, even a 2nd opinion.  I didn’t get the Platium-level treatment, but I didn’t want or need it. I just wanted to get well and find the best way there. 

    Are those on the Right really that naive that insurance companies have buildings full of kindly old doctors with big rubber “APPROVED” stamps going over claims? No, they’re full of bean-counters wanting to maximize profit for execs and stockholders.   You don’t have to look far for example after example. Do a websearch for “Cigna let her die” and start reading.

    • William

      The problem with expanding Medicaid is the states have to pay the majority of that bill and they are all complaing the costs are out of control.

      • Scott B, Jamestown NY

         The Fed govt should help states. I hate unfunded mandates the US govt puts on state as much as anyone. 

          Start with low-hanging fruit:Universal forms – Saves billions to providers, insurers, gov’t, and leades to better treatment and tracking of that treatment

          Get AARP members and some off-duty cops and have a muliti-million
        person march in twos and three start visit every medicare/medicaid
        supplier, and if it’s a closet in a stripmall,  a garage, or po box it
        gets reported and investigated ASAP and shut down ASAP.  More billions.

          Use the billions to start the public option and to make sure
        medicaid/medicare on fed and state levels stay solvent, and not spent on
        some pet project from someone in Congress with a wild hare up their
        wazoo.

         

         

  • Dougie425

    If the law is repealed, hospitals and doctors should not treat anyone without insureance.

    Maybe then the freeloaders will volunteer to buy insurance.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    If this gets struck down, does that mean that there will be more support for a single payer system?

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       Maybe some states will go for single payer but never at a national level.

    • aj

      That’s the triple bank shot us on the Left is hoping for, but reading through these comments, and all these self-described liberals seem to be in consensus that they like obama care that was created in the Heritage foundation.  That;s why I hate you affluent self-righteous hypocritical “liberals” more than my selfish friends on the right.

  • Sue

    One of the reasons that health expenses are so high is that when people aren’t insured and have high health expenses, they declare bankruptcy or barter down their bills and the doctors and hospitals are out their fees and ins. companies and patients have to pay higher fees to make up for their lack of payment.  The individual mandate or the single payer system would help for that reason, keep health expenses down.

    • William

      Would it? You still have 20-30 millon people going onto some sort of government paid medical insurance so there would be no reason for doctors etc..to lower costs because they are still going to get paid.

    • Robert Riversong

      The US spends far more on healthcare than any other country
      as a percentage of gross domestic product, and the US healthcare system is to
      blame for declines in the country’s life expectancy ranking, according to a 2010
      study from Columbia’s School of Public Health. The study blames reliance on
      unregulated fee-for-service and specialty care as the causes of both the
      increased spending and the relative deterioration in survival rates.

  • alex

    Also when asked about individual components of the bill, a majority are in favor. alex

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

     What about people who can’t afford insurance or who are denied insursance do to a pre-existing condition?

    • Tom

      To Greg Camp:  If you can’t afford it, you will have your wages docked when you are making enough money. If you don’t ever make money, you don’t ever pay it. Like student loans for example.

      Under Obamacare, you can’t be denied insurance due to a pre-existing condition. — BECAUSE Obama fixed that unethical behavior.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

         My comment was in response to Dougie425, but Disqus didn’t attach it.

  • Betsy Packard, Lexington, KY

    My only objection to Obamacare is that the Republicans didn’t let it go far enough!  However, it’s a good start.  And the hilarious part of this argument is that Obamacare is Romneycare of Massachusetts.  I have relatives in Massachusets who say it’s a good program.  It is positively shameful that the US is the ONLY “developed” nation that does not have national health care.  I don’t see anything unconstitutional about it at all. 

  • TomK in Boston

    The righty rhetoric on this bill is bizarre. Requiring the  freeloaders to buy insurance from private corporations so they can go to private hospitals and buy drugs from private pharma corporations is “socialism” and “a government takeover”??? It doesn’t get much more stupid than that.

    The most bizarre of the bizarre is watching the TeaOP geezers on SS and Medicare bleating about socialism and gub’mint. They approach the hypocrisy of etch-a-sketch.

    The history of the “mandate” is also amusing. From today’s WaPO:

    “The tale begins in the late 1980s, when conservative economists such as Mark Pauly, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of business, were searching for ways to counter liberal calls for government-sponsored universal health coverage.

    “We wanted to find an alternative that was more consistent with market-oriented economic ideas and would involve less government intervention,” Pauly said.

    His solution: a system of tax credits to ensure that all Americans could purchase at least bare-bones “catastrophic” coverage.

    Pauly then proposed a mandate requiring everyone to obtain this minimum coverage, thus guarding against free-riders: people who refuse to buy insurance and then, in a crisis, receive care whose costs are absorbed by hospitals, the government and other consumers.

    Heath policy analysts at the conservative Heritage Foundation, led by Stuart Butler, picked up the idea and began developing it for lawmakers in Congress.

    By 1993, when President Bill Clinton was readying his major health-care overhaul bill, the Heritage approach — subsidizing and facilitating the purchase of private health plans, while using the individual mandate to maximize participation — had gelled as the natural Republican alternative.”The “socialist” plan was developed by conservatives to be “more consistent with market-oriented economic ideas”, LOL.Just like class war General Ryan pontificates about the dreaded debt and deficit while proposing massive tax cuts, the right is going crazy attacking their own idea.

    • Robert Riversong

      “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy: that is the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

      • notafeminista

        “Just because I have pizza doesn’t mean you have to eat the box.”  ~ P.J. O’Rourke.

  • leftofcenter

    People who say that single payer is bad are hypocrites for one reason. If the worst happened and you lost everything and needed treatment, you’d be screaming for single payer.

    • TomK in Boston

      The rest of the developed world has single payer, they pay about half of what we do as a % of GDP, and they live longer. In anything but the righty alt universe, end of debate, case closed.

      • TFRX

        It’s just another Privilege Carveout.

        In a world where Dick Cheney’s lesbian daughter, or Rick Santorum’s wife (who had a “medically induced miscarriage”, whatever that is) don’t get treated like pariahs owing to what they’ve done, but rise above it all and are exalted for who they’re related to.

        Therefore it’s something they can’t imagine anyone else needing.

  • leftofcenter

    Is Ron Paul right? If you get into an accident and don’t have coverage (thru no fault of your own), you deserve to die because the govt. has no obligation to save you? If you really believe that, that’s REALLY sad.

    • LastGasp

      nice slander.

      “you deserve to die”

      Is the world so limited and black and white to you? Either Government provides Healthcare to all, or we all die on the street? 

      Classic leftofcenter view.

      • TFRX

        What did Paul say? And where was the gasp of the Republican crowd when they realized, to a man/woman, “Hey, that could be me!”?

  • Anonymous

    The Democrats took the Republican idea of the mandate but didn’t use Republican tactics to get the people behind it.  They should have aired racist ads showing health care queens who choose to not buy insurance driving to the emergency rooms in their Cadillacs to get free emergency room care. 

  • Sailing551

    The people who growl at the federal government for mandates should turn their anger toward employers who decide what health care you can have, demand to look into your personal life by asking for your facebook password, and hold your lively hood in their hands. Talk about control over your life!!!!

    • notafeminista

      The beautiful thing about is that one can always choose another employer.   Tricky thing that liberty.

      • Anonymous

        And more and more of them are choosing to cover less and charge the employer more. Your reasoning is flawed. By the way, when unless you have about 300,000 to 500,000 saved for a major medical emergency good luck with the bills. Having health insurance does not mean one has coverage for a major illness. What amazes me is how you make these simplified statements based on your own ideology and instead of offering up a solution you go on about “personal responsibility” which is really an absurd way to look at society in my view.

        • notafeminista

          Not altogether surprising that the concept of “personal responsibility” is absurd to you.

      • ana

        Really?

      • Tom

         To notafeminista:    I always think that one of the reasons the US is going down the toilet is that it is much harder to choose another employer if you have health insurance with your current employer. A lot of people in the US admit to actually staying in a job they hate, or has little prospects, BECAUSE it has health insurance. Your system has TAKEN AWAY THE FREEDOM that you mentioned. This lack of freedom is unthinkable in Europe. No-one in Europe has to spend a nano-second thinking about healthcare when looking for another job. Which must be one of the factors that Americans have much worse upward mobility than most other civilized countries.

        • notafeminista

          We all make our choices.   There is nothing in free market tenets that advocates employer supplied health care.  Nothing. 

  • Tom

    Just follow the British system.
    All working people have to pay a small amount in health insurance tax. It is barely noticeable on your salary. Ig you are not making money, you do not pay. Everyone (even foreign visitors), gets free health treatment. Period.

    • Anonymous

       And it’s kindly, attentive, good care, in my experience. My brushes with medicine in Britain and in southern Europe have been far more reassuring than the disorganized, costly, inattentive “health care” — via private insurance — here in the US.  Medicare turns out to be way more efficient than UHC.  But the doctors are still rushed and distracted in a way they shouldn’t be.

    • notafeminista

      No they don’t and the NHS doesn’t have enough money.  The VAT alone England is 17.4%  Ain’t nothing “free”.

      • Tom

         To notafeminista: I am British, so sorry to inform you… yes they do.

        • Ray in VT

           Is the public system wholly paid for by that health insurance tax, and how are costs contained?

        • notafeminista

          So the VAT pays for beer and skittles? 

  • Brettearle

    I have not heard, nor seen, the Republicans identity one specific
    edict, within the Affordable Health Care Act, that speaks to losing a life, intentionally, as the result of so-called, “Death Panels.”

    On a radio program that reaches 38 states, I recently asked the grandson of FDR–who is the CEO for Blue Cross/Blue Shield, in Massachusetts–whether Herman Caine’s claim was accurate, as to whether he’d be dead today, had he presented with advanced stages of cancer, under Obama Care.

    Mr. Roosevelt struck down Caine’s specious claim–IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS.

    I then asked Mr. Roosevelt about the deplorable and outrageous “Death Panels” propaganda, first circulated
    by former Governor Palin.

    I questioned whether the fallacious assertion was sensationalized and exaggerated from the following:

    An epidemeological study of triage, in national emergencies, written by Rahm Emanuel’s brother (a medical researcher, MD), published in a scholarly journal and commissioned by the Obama Adminsitration.

    Again, Mr. Rossevelt emphatically confirmed my claims.   

    • TFRX

      First, “Herman Cain v. anyone named Roosevelt” is almost an unfair fight when it comes to veracity.

      Second, Republican poster child? That’s an automatic fail, merely par for the course. Now if we could only get our mainstream media to figure that out.

      See Terry Schiavo, Joe the Plumber’s little helper, and that one farmer they could never find who’d lose their farm over the Estate tax.

  • Sailing551

    It’s such a pathetic hypocrisy that the Republicans were instrumental in creating this mandate idea way back when they actually were trying to solve a problem. Now they have no intention of solving the problem of the rising number of uninsured, they have demonized the poor and middle class, and their main mission is to be opposed to anything Pres. Obama proposes, and belittle any of his accomplishments.

    • Brettearle

      Well said.

      Pathetic Hypocricy is an ultra-appropriate phrase, for what the Right has asserted. 

  • ulTRAX

    A Single Payer system would have placed ObamaCare on a firmer legal foundation… not to mention finally deal with the outrageous cost of health care American style. ObamaCare sadly locks-in those inefficiencies of our disjointed and fragmented private health care system.
    It’s ironic that Obama went with system the GOP once favored because it’s akin to the crony capitalism the GOP loves. Yet the GOP has gone so far to the lunatic Right it can’t even appreciate that it WON the battle against HillaryCare.

    • Hidan

       That’s what I heard and because Obama comprised(which will never be admitted by the right) he weaken the bill itself.

      I noted this before the Democrats or obama’s ilk are to the right of the Tories in the UK and the Republicans doing everything they can to not admit that obama is doing what they once supported has run to the far right mirroring the British Nationalist Party.

      • TomK in Boston

        The socialist Obama is the last surviving moderate republican.

        • notafeminista

          Moderate – any individual lacking conviction trying to serve all masters.

          • Ray in VT

            Moderate: kept or keeping within reasonable or proper limits; not extreme, excessive, or intense; also a nearly extinct breed of Republican that could be pro-choice and/or in favor of environmental protection.

          • notafeminista

            Thank you for repeating what I just said.

    • Anonymous

      I think if you go back and trace the tortuous process of getting the ACA through Congress, not to mention getting the cooperation of the insurance industry, pharma etc., you’ll remember how the peculiar sausage of the existing legislation was made.

      The other point to keep in mind is that all this kerfuffle isn’t really about medical care; it’s about defeating Obama, no matter the issue.

  • progressive-libertarian

    1) What exactly is the difference between a “tax” and a “penalty”?

    2) There needs to be a tax on free riders who can afford to pay. On the other hand, medical debt is our number 1 cause of bankruptcy — it’s not clear how much money is lost through bankruptcy vs. free riders who could pay.
    3) Why was the individual mandate written as a penalty rather than a tax? (We don’t remember if there was some legislative procedural reason). All of this unnnecesary brouhaha would have been avoided if the legislation had been written properly.

    4) The option for everyone to buy into Medicare, paying premiums equal to the cost of the extra coverage plans, would have been a far, far better solution than this patchwork of private and public health insurance. It would have set a baseline for private health insurance plans. It would have contained costs in the healthcare system across the board. The reason that we do not have a comprehensive and rational healthcare system is because of conservative opposition fueled by Big Money shoveled in from the private health insurance mafia.

    5) The unisured care costs us nationally about $40 billion/year, considerably less than the cost of our overseas wars. Even this is an inflated figure (hospitals jack up the prices they charge for procedures that are billed to uninsured individuals), but maybe it is worth paying as a nation to avoid having to do the individual mandate.

    6) Although Obama’s health initiative is a huge step forward in eliminating preexisting condition and illness as a pretext for rejecting coverage and insuring children through age 26, we absolutely hate the individual mandate. Health care as it is is too expensive for what it is. Doctors make hundreds of thousands of dollars per year mainly to routinely dispense drugs. A 10′ visit bills for $300. It is obscene to mandate that minimum wage workers pay doctors such amounts simply to get access to needed meds. Doctors have have a monopoly on the delivery of health care that patients should be able to opt out of if they need to (this is why medical procedures abroad are flourishing for those who can afford to travel). The ability of each person to care for him/herself should override the rights of doctors to exclusive control over medical pharmaceuticals and devices.

    7) There are/were alternatives to the individual mandate. The government could simply cover catastrophic insurance for everyone not otherwise covered. Alternately, the uninsured could go to a network of public clinics, urgent care facilities, and hospitals of last resort. That would cap the expenditure of money on free riders via triage delay rationing.

    8) Better still would be a national health care system, where every American automatically has access to basic healthcare as a right of citizenship. The rest of the industrialised world does much better than we in this realm. If we were not spending $700+ billion/year on war or if we decided to tax extreme wealth, this would be an easy goal for us to achieve. It would take health care out of the hands of employers.

    • Brettearle

      Tell me how bankrupt Scandanavia is under socialized medicine.

      • LastGasp

        Now that’s Apple’s to Apple’s!

    • TFRX

      Plenty of good stuff to consider, but:

      There needs to be a tax on free riders who can afford to pay.

      I don’t know that that describes a meaningful number of people.

      It resembles the persistently annoying thread invented for a GOP debate which gave us the mythical “30-y.o. with a good job which doesn’t provide (any subsidy for) HC”.

      By definition, a good job has some healthcare with it. Otherwise it’s a bad job. Or, otherwise, we’re just describing a freelancer or independent contractor, and splitting hairs for the preferred right-wing framing about whether that is a “job” or not.

      • notafeminista

        As opposed to the left-wing framing that decides what is a “good” job with a livable wage.

        • TFRX

          More Republican Poster Child Fail in search of the mythical “30 y.o. with a good job that somehow comes without health insurance”. Quit while you’re behind.

          • notafeminista

            “Anec” is not a sufficient prefix for data.

    • Anonymous

      1. No clue
      2. If you are referring to Elizabeth Warren’s work, she counted anyone with any medical debt as a medical bankruptcy, even of the person in question said it wasn’t a medical bankruptcy. I am willin to bet that the actual cause of bankruptcy is being unable to work due to being sick – something Obamacare doesn’t address.

      3. Because Obama promised he wouldn’t raise taxes on anyone who made less than 250k
      4. Medicare only pays the marginal costs of medical care – that is, the costs to see that individual patient but none of the staffing or equipment overhead. That’s why so many providers cap the number of Medicare patients they see. Put too many more on Medicare and they either never get an appointment or providers can’t pay their bills
      5. I could get behind it as long as it wasn’t as convoluted as the current legislation and was realistic about costs.

      6. There are some changes becoming more common with nurse practitioners and physycian’s assistants being able to write prescriptions (or at least help doctors screen for them). I think that there is a problem though, where people expect MD level expertise and experience without MD level costs. If people lower expectations we can lower costs.
      7. The problem with government provided anything is that there are no incentives for cost controls and you get bureaucrats and unions diverting funds into their own benefits instead of care.
      It would be nice if we could get it to work though
      8. There are not as many extreme wealthy people as some like to pretend. Even taxing them exorbitantly would barely pay for the current services tha we have to borrow to provide. The middle. Lass needs to plan on paying themselves for whatever new services they demand from the government.

  • lodger

    For all the sensible people who recognize single-payer financing as the only solution: We already have single payer, but it’s done selectively, in a way to charge taxpayers more, and enable parasitic insurance companies to profit more by covering only the cheapest, most low-risk patients.

    Those of us who buy our insurance (like I do) pay twice: We cover ourselves, and then we pay taxes to cover the people who get single-payer insurance. These people also happen to be the most expensive to cover: the disabled, the elderly, the indigent, veterans, active military, residents of reservations, etc.

    Nearly 50% of the medical costs in this country are spent on single payer. 

    We the taxpayer already pay for the most expensive! It’s time we get the young/healthy into the same risk pool, and cut the private insurance profiteers out of the equation.

    HR676: Medicare for All. Ask your senators and reps why it hasn’t even been discussed.

  • Robert Riversong

    What makes this entire discussion bordering on either inanity or insanity is that we are arguing about access to a medical industry which is the most expensive in the developed world while having the worst outcomes, and kills more Americans annually than any other cause.

    Death by Medicine by Gary Null PhD, Carolyn Dean MD ND, Martin Feldman MD, Debora Rasio MD, Dorothy Smith PhD, October 2003

    Introduction
    Never before have the complete statistics on the multiple causes of iatrogenesis been combined in one paper. Medical science amasses tens of thousands of papers annually – each one a tiny fragment of the whole picture. Each specialty, each division of medicine, keeps their own records and data on morbidity and mortality like pieces of a puzzle. We have now completed the painstaking work of reviewing thousands and thousands of studies. Finally putting the puzzle together we came up with some disturbing answers.

    The reported total number of annual iatrogenic (medically-caused) deaths in the US is 783,936, making it greater than the number of annual deaths from heart disease or cancer (and as few as 5% and only up to 20% of Iatrogenic acts are ever reported). On top of the fatalities, there is an annual total of 16.4 million unnecessary procedures and hospitalizations, resulting in 3.08 million non-fatal iatrogenic events.

    A ten-year projection, using this understated number, of 7.8 million iatrogenic deaths, is more than all the casualties from wars that America has fought in its entire history.

    Conclusion
    “A definitive review and close reading of medical peer-review journals, and government health statistics shows that American medicine frequently causes more harm than good…It is evident that the American medical system is the leading cause of death and injury in the United States.”

    • notafeminista

      You bring up a fair point.  What are the methods used and resulting numbers for iatrogenic deaths in Western Europe?  I’m assuming you have them since you already said the US had the worst outcomes.  …yes?

      • Robert Riversong

        In Europe, one patient in 122 dies from a hospital-acquired infection. In the US, it’s one in 7 – at an annual cost of $35 to $45 billion.

        • notafeminista

          So…source, total numbers and methodology are gleaned from where exactly?  I assume you are aware that (for example) infant mortality rates are not counted the same by country.  There is no universal standard.

  • TFRX

    Uninsured? You may be low-information and not know it.
    http://crooksandliars.com/files/vfs/2012/03/gallup_uninsured.jpg

  • TomK in Boston

    Socialism: Requiring individuals to take personal responsibility by buying insurance in the free market from private corporations so they can go to private hospitals and consume drugs and devices made by private pharma corporations and private device makers.

    What would have Marx have thought? You couldn’t make this stuff up.

    • notafeminista

      You forgot the part where they get penalized monetarily for personal choices.  How about we starting fining people with more than two children who choose not to get an abortion with the 3rd pregnancy?  A series of fines for those who insist on using plastic grocery bags…a fee schedule for anyone driving a personal vehicle that can transport more than 4 adults…why the list can just go on and on.

      • Anonymous

        If you want to take the argument into the realm of absurdity, by all means keep on going.
        But you are already paying for people who do not have health insurance. You are just not aware of it or choose not to understand what’s really at stake here. The idea of personal choice, as the be all to end all is kind of absurd in the realm of health care.
        You could say this about public health safety issues, such as disease control and the health of children.  If there was a diphtheria outbreak would you be say it was personal choice not to get treated for this? How about TB?

        • notafeminista

          I understand very well what is at stake here and it is the slipperiest of slopes.  And yes, if I choose not to get treated for TB then it is my choice is it not?  Or perhaps you advocate restraining someone bodily and forcing treatment on them? 

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            TB is an aweful disease I doubt you will deny treatment.

            Where did you get idea that Universal healthcare is Bad? 

          • ana

            TB is very contageous and  life threatening to yourself and others if left untreated. 
            Would you forego treatment for a broken leg or head injury?

          • Anonymous

            Well you need to read up on some history. Particularity public health history. If you had TB and refused treatment you would be putting others at risk. It’s not your choice to go around infecting people with a disease. You see this is where libertarians start to sound like complete fools. As if your personal selfish ideology trumps the good of a entire community.

          • notafeminista

            So then your answer is “yes.”  You advocate bodily restraining people and forcing treatment on them.  Would you say the same of someone who refused AIDS treatment?

      • ana

        I heard this  same type arguement last night from a prominent lawyer on Charlie Rose. 
        My large number of relatives in Canada have great single payer health care, drive whatever car they like,  have personal freedoms equivalant to our own and are healthier as a nation then we.
        If your fears are real, I would say not to worry.  If you are manufacturing absurdities for political reasons, I would say maybe it is time to grow up. 

      • TomK in Boston

        Awww, I know, it’s hard to play nice with the other kids, except when you need them for yourself. Thing is, we have this “nation” concept where we cooperate for the common good. Sometimes we pay for what we don’t need or want but others do, sometimes they do the same for us. At least, away from the randish right we have that concept. It goes back to the founding of the USA:

        “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men”

        See, we cooperate in a government to secure our rights, it doesn’t work if we try to do everything by and for ourselves. Learning that is part of growing up.

        • Anonymous

           But then the founders set up a federalist system, so that the states could do for themselves what the nation didn’t agree to do as a whole

          • TomK in Boston

            Actually, the reason why the Founders replaced the Articles of Confederation with the Constitution was that the USA could not function without a central power over the states. You don’t like the Constitution, you are an Articles of Confederation fan. Then the red states tried to “nullify” the federal gvt in 1860 and I thought we had settled that, but maybe in the TeaOP time machine the civil war hasn’t happened yet.

          • notafeminista

            Thought we settled it?  The so-called red states to which you refer had their land and their livelihoods literally devastated by the blue states – at the conclusion of which the blue states stuffed all the government help the red states could stand down their throats culminating in the dependency society you see before you today.  All in the name of the “common good.”  Pffffft.   A pox on all their houses.

          • Ray in VT

            That is some real “creative” historical interpretation.  It really amazes me how you can find a way to blame just about everything on the government.  Perhaps at the end of all of that devestation those who fired the first shots should have been left to wallow in the wreckage that they brought upon themselves.  One would have thought that all those good red state boot strappers would have been able to right themselves after 150 years.

          • notafeminista

            Too late now – dependencies created by mandates (read: if you don’t do X, we will fine you or throw you in jail [gulag]) have seen to that.
            Can’t afford school?  Go to the State.  Can’t afford an operation? Go to the State.  Going bankrupt? Go to the state.

          • TomK in Boston

            Do you think states have the right to secede from the USA?

            In 1860 the red states had a slaveocracy which benefitted nobody but the aristocrats, and the only reason it was devastated was treason against the USA.

            I wish we’d let them go. They could have their medieval, superstitious, anti-science aristocracy based on agriculture and mineral extraction, and we could continue with the 21′st century without having to drag the backward children along, kicking and screaming.

          • notafeminista

            But you didn’t.  Thanks Lefties.  You reap what you sow.

        • Robert Riversong

          The problem is that Americans, from the very beginning in the colonies, never lived by their republican values, but strove – often with religious conviction – toward personal material affluence at the expense of the common good.

          Read Why America Failed by cultural historian Morris Berman, 2012, in which he follows this thread throughout American history, reaching a high (low) point with the Reagan revolution and continued in a bi-partisan consensus ever since.

          There have always been voices crying in the wilderness against this hedonistic individualism, but nobody’s ever listened (with the minor exception of the 60s which was quickly co-opted).

        • notafeminista

          Your rights don’t begin with depriving me of mine.

      • Anonymous

        I say let’ em die with their tea party signs in their cold dead hands.   Cull the herd.

        • notafeminista

          Won’t happen.  The Left won’t permit it.

        • TomK in Boston

          If you can afford insurance and don’t buy it, I don’t care if it’s a heart attack or a car crash, you should only get the care that your cash will buy. If that procedure costs $100,000 and you only have $99,000, drop dead.

    • William

      It is rather odd to hear anyone on the left endorsing the idea of “personal responsibility”.

      • Robert Riversong

        In fact, personal responsibility has been the mantra of the Left – freedom balanced by responsibility for the common good.

        On the right, the mantra has long been unlimited personal freedom without responsibility.

        • notafeminista

          The Left doesn’t want freedom for anyone – quite the opposite in fact.  The Left is busy paying attention to what you refer to as “the common good”  (also known as the collective in some quarter) and taking money from the individual to pay for the collective.

          Read “A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” sometime.

  • Me

    Taxpayers are screwed either way! They pay for those who aren’t covered now who need medical care! And will be eating the bill under this new healthcare law if it becomes law for those who are forced to buy insurance who don’t have the $ to do so!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      HA? Taxpayers has been paying the uninsured before the AHA was passed.

      What are you talking about. Who do you think pays for all uninsured ER visits. the patients who apply for Free Care at hospitals in Boston. The local government gets the bill and pays for it.

      • Bacinmass

        Actually no — the govt does not pay for uninsured care.  The cost is paid by the “free care pool” which is a fund into which all the insurers must pay.  As a result, since the insurance company funds come from their health plan subscribers, the people who have insurance (health plan subscribers) are paying for those who do not have insurance.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

          Nope Local Govenment do reimbursed Hospital if someone applied for Free Care and the money comes from the tax payer but there is a limit in billing the Mass Gov for free care i think it is 3 months limit, if the hospital miss that 3 months it is written off. Free Care pool what so ever still the fund comes from US via local government.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            The money Where ever it comes from it is still paid by the tax payer via State. if they want to pay the hospital they can and if they want to pay it they can too.

            it is very very complicated it takes years to learn Medicare reimbursement.

      • Me

        Yea! And who does the gov’t get the $ from? The Taxpayers!

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

          ha??? that’s what I wrote the money is coming from the Tax payers. where else will it come from?

        • Robert Riversong

          And, if the rich and the corporations would start paying a fair share (if any) of taxes, there would be more than enough money to pay for all our collective needs.

          • notafeminista

            No there wouldn’t.  Let’s assume for the moment that the taxes wouldn’t be passed on to the consumer in the form of increased costs.  The minute the Left got their hands on that money there would be more and more demands for it.  This is not rocket science.

            “My money does not cause your poverty.”  ~ P.J. O’Rourke.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    One I first arrived in Boston in 1993 and worked for NEMC to do medical billing. I asked myself I cannot believe the HMO are denying procedures that can save a patient life. The procedure was done and the patient will forever live but left with a burden of medical bills that he will pay for the rest of his life.

    Why some Americans are against Universal Healthcare. I researched and researched and then one day I heard Nixon and Kaiser Permanente’s audio recording of creating an HMO bill that will create health insurance for Profit. Nixon passed the bill. One Senator from Massachusetts decided to have a Universal Healthcare plan for all Americans in 1972.

    • TomK in Boston

      The right has their panties in a major twist over nonexistent gub’mint “death panels” and are blind to the very real corporate death panels. 

      The right scream about “rationing” and apparently can’t see that the worst rationing is being unable to pay for what you need. You wanna see rationing, take your Ryan Groupon to WellPoint in the ayn rand America.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        I was not born in America but my idea of Universal Healthcare or I called Global Insurance in 1993 was in my brain already. I didn’t know the Senator Kennedy has the same idea like mine. Healthcare for everyone poor or rich.

        We can pay $10 billion a month for 10 years for the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and destroyed millions of lives. We can’t even spend a single dime to save human lives.

        my rational thinking is justifiable

        • Wbsurfver

           The healthcare industrial complex may not be that much different than the other one. I actually think they charge alot of money for cancer treatments that probably in many cases aren’t very good to say the least. You can spend alot of money, but where will it go, to save lives or line the pockets of insurance companies ? Those wars are to spread democracy right ? Govt has a similar line for health care.

  • SomMom

    Even young people need insurance … In fact, under Affordable Care, they’ll be covered by their parents until around age 25.
     
    How many young people have skiing or car accidents, alcohol poisoning, need birth control, get pregnant, end up at ERs with various ailments and injuries, and even get life-threatening diseases? They need insurance. And it’s not as if 25 to 30 year olds never need medical care… 

    • notafeminista

      Of course they do.  And at 25 their parents shouldn’t be paying for it anymore.

      • Anonymous

         The true irony here is that Obamacare limits the difference that can be charged between the old and the young – but then they let the 26 and unders stay on their parents plan at whatever the market prices it at.

        • notafeminista

          Because old people are more expensive.  Something like ..what?  2/3s of your total health care expenses will come in the last 20 years of your life.

          • Anonymous

            Right, but since PPACA states that the old can’t pay more than a certain multiple of the rates the young do, a 24 year old buying his own insurance will have to pay a much higher premium than a 24 year old added to his parents’ plan, even though his health care needs are the same.  It encourages dependency.

          • notafeminista

            Breakthrough!  The Left is the definition of encouraging dependency.  Well done my friend. 

  • Betsrc

    I am now required to pay for others’ health care. It would be better if all of us were required to provide for ourselves. In Santa Barbara, for instance, the County is being required to pay up to $500,000/year for a county jail inmate’s medication, more than the entire budget for medication. That affects all of us here. http://www.noozhawk.com/article/032012_county_to_cover_inmate_rx_costs/

    • Cplsteel

      Yes you are required to pay for others’ health care but that is the case with or without Obamacare.  The cost of the people who use healthcare is spread across everyone: its called insurance.  The issue people have with Obamacare is that it requires them to participate as a payer (everyone is a taker eventually).

  • Bruce

    If it waddles like a duck, quacks like a duck and defecates like a duck, it’s probably a duck—that’s what the Tea Party-dominated GOP objection to the “individual mandate” reminds me of.  The case brought before the Supreme Court is just another example of the Kabuki theater in which Republicans resort to any extreme means to frustrate the President’s agenda no matter how reasonable or sensible the compromise offered by the President.
     
    We’ve witnessed an opposition Party taken over by a collection of flat earthers, birthers and Tenthers–those who would use the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution (i.e. States’ Rights) as a pretext to roll back not only federal safety-net and social insurance programs, but also equal rights for racial and ethnic minorities, labor, women and gays.
     
    It should surprise no one that under the guise of “liberty,” they oppose national health care reform, and seek to retard progress toward securing health care as a human right—something that every civilized Western democracy in the world has managed to achieve while controlling cost, guaranteeing access and maintaining quality of care. 
     
    We’ve seen this tactic employed in the health care debate before when the ludicrous “death panel” charge was instigated by the Village Idiot of the North.  Also, recall Sir Jim Demented when he exclaimed that his party should make health care reform “Obama’s Waterloo”—a fitting remark for a leader of a Party that is now on a mission to “take the country back” to the nineteenth century. 
     
    In addition, after passage of the Affordable Care Act, wasn’t it Mitch McConnell who famously said that his highest priority is to ensure that Obama is a one-term President.  Isn’t it obvious that the unprecedented obstructionism served up by the GOP from the debt ceiling debacle to stonewalling the infrastructure jobs initiative, has also been employed here to sabotage health care reform?
     
    Typical of right-wing attacks on the “individual mandate,” there is the suggestion that we can eliminate the mandate AND keep the good parts of the reform (e.g. no exclusions due to pre-existing illnesses).  This claim offers us another insight into the psyche of the conservative free-lunch crowd—those who promised us a painless, cost free path to prosperity thru tax cuts that benefited primarily the wealthy.  Once again, if you remove the individual mandate, where does the revenue come from to pay for all the good reforms in the ACA that all of us agree are needed?

    I have my doubts about whether the Supreme Court will upphold the Act.  This, after all, is the same Court that gave us the chicanery of Citizens United.  If they strike down the “individual mandate,” I guess our esteemed Congressional leaders could push the “re-set” button, and like an etch-a-sketch tablet, provide us the contours of an alternative system.  How about Medicare-for-All or some such single-payer approach?  That would work for me. 
     

    • William

      “reasonable or sensible the compromise” where? 

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      The reform hasn’t started yet. if I can legally post the emails sent to me by CMS. I will post them here but I cannot for I signed an agreememt.

      So, ordinary people like you can see the difference between AHA and without AHA.

      Referral in the new law You are not required to have Referrals from PCP to be seen by a Specialist.

      In the current healthcare system HMO can give a referral but cannot guarantee that the procedures or surgeries will be covered or reimburse.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    We already paying for the uninsured before the AHA was passed. Free Care is paid for by the Commomwealth governmant but after the bill was passed the healthcare expense gradually decreases since Mitt Romney left office.

    That is the truth. If you want to continue paying for the uninsured for the rest of your life do not support the AHA.

    Pay for it and each year and the cost will go up until our medical system will go down the drain.

    • Anonymous

       Can you cite where you heard that health care expenses decreased? Premiums have gone up, ER use has gone up and the costs of state subsidized coverage have been far beyond what was projected.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    Massachusetts uninsured residents has been paying $250.00 on their Mass State tax since the bill was past. if they don’t get health insurance.

    I don’t see and hear people from Massachusetts complaining about the law. We voted for it and We love that we have Universal Healthcare in the State where it all begun.

    The America will follow soon.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       No we don’t love it.  The mandate in MA is a necessary evil.  It did clean deadbeats out of ERs.

      Romneycare isn’t scalable or affordable at the national level.  Obamacare is clearly designed as a stepping stone to single payer.

      MA still has the highest health insurance costs in the country.  This problem pre-dates Romneycare.  The cause of the high costs is the state government restricts and limits competition.

      Charlie Baker had it right when he said we should encourage competition AND expand transparency into quality of care. Indiana did this with their state plan and reduced costs by at least 20%.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        you are one of the minority. sorry to tell you that.

        Physician Billing and private practices are getting reimbursed. I am one of the wtinesses.

        • aj

          FAX68 you really know your stuff when it comes to all this paperwork stuff, all that red tape would make me lose my effin mind.

          And what if the Supreme Court throws it out, how frustated will you be, if all is for naught? 

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            Medicare does not make people lose their mind. The HMO makes me lose my mind with all those low rate reimbursement. thanks

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        Did you see the Governor Patrick Speech he explained eveything if not you don’t know what you are talking about. Health Insurance is not an easy job

        For example learn ICD-9 to ICD-10.
        learn FISS/DDE medicare system
        RAC Audit, 51MUE Audit etc etc. I handle these everyday of my life. it is like being a doctor memorizing all the medicare billing procedure. it took me 20 years to learn and still learning

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        If your paying out pocket I feel you.  i recommend to cancel your health insurance and apply for free care and pay $250.00 for penalty.

        pay $250.00 a month for insurance or pay $250.00 each year. take a pick and good luck

        • aj

          your joking right?

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            i am telling you the loop hole as long you are unemployed but if not sorry.

          • aj

            like I said. you know your stuff when it comes to this mind-numbing crap. I’d rather die from a treatable illness.

          • Wbsurfver

             if you are unemployed in MA with no insurance and you get sick then what ?

      • Hidan

         The Ma Health Care bill is a joke and thanks to Romney we have it for the U.S. in a whole. Supporters of the Ma Health Care Bill often and still omit that many who now have health insurance can’t use it. That Ma Hospital’s and Insurance lobby is making a killing from it and prices are still rising.

        Romney messed up and is trying to spin his part.

    • Anonymous

      What happens to the mandate in Massachusetts if the court rules against the federal mandate? Isn’t Romney just as implicated in signing off on a policy that may be determined unconstitutional? If the mandate is invalid on the federal level, isn’t it just as invalid on the state level?

      • Anonymous

        States have different powers than the federal government – as a matter of fact, they have all the powers that are not restricted to the government, to the people, or violate peoples’ rights.

        • Anonymous

          Are you sure that this logic applies here? States can use powers not delegated to the federal government by the constitution, yes, but can they use those powers in a way that violates a supreme court ruling on what is constitutionally acceptable to require of individuals? Can you give me a specific comparable example? Doesn’t federal law generally trump state law when there is this sort of a conflict? 

          • Anonymous

            The government is saying that they have the power to mandate health insurance purchases under their Commerce Clause powers (they probably wouldn’t have gotten to this point if they used their tax authority – although that might have had electoral consequences).

            The most the courts will say is that the Commerce Clause does not give the federal government the authority to require purchase of health care.  They will not find that the people have a right not to have to buy health care.  That means the power to mandate health insurance may still be applied to the state.

          • Anonymous

            I understand what you’re saying, but what do you make of this story about how California will likely respond in the state level ACA act current in legislation: 
            http://www.npr.org/local/stories/KQED/149492387

            It seems to me that if the federal government is determined unauthorized to regulate “economic inactivity” as this is being defined, the implication would be that someone could go ahead and bring a suit against the state mandate for likewise attempting to regulate economic inactivity. If such a suit were filed against a state and passed up the line, are you suggesting that this same supreme court would decide to protect the power of a state to force someone to buy something, but not the federal government’s power to do likewise? Or that a lower state court wouldn’t just apply this legal precedent?

          • Anonymous

            That article is all about how California is implementing ‘Obamacare’, as there are aspects of the federal legislation that is managed by the states.  They are worried that if the federal mandate fails, other aspects of Obamacare they are implementing won’t be sustainable.  CA doesn’t have a mandate of their own.

            Massachusetts, where I live, does have a mandate, and no one seems worried that the failure of Obamacare will effect our mandate.

    • Hidan

       try 1000-1500 not 250.

      People from Ma complain all the time about it but the media chooses to ignore them. I recall on TOTN when Neil C. had on some Ma. Doctors promoting this Health Care bill. I women called in to say that she has health care but each year has to keep downgrading it and that now she can’t even use it and the Guest on TOTN dismissed her.

  • Dan

    Isnt the example of the man choosing to sit in his living room and not get healthcare (thereby keeping him out of the stream of commerce) really unreal?  We aren’t talking about a moment in time.  When he gets sick, he will go to an emergency room.  And what about his kids. What happens when they get sick. Do they live by their father’s poor decision.

  • aj

    Cuba’s infant mortality rate is better than the U.S. The righteous doctor Ernesto Che Guevara would be so proud. 
     

    • aj

      I used the past tense “would be” because in 1968, your CIA murdered him in cold blood. 

      Chalk another one up for good old Uncle Sam.

      Faak Obama, Ron Paul 2012.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        Ron Paul is Passe

        • aj

          I need a phillipino-english dictionary.  what does passe mean?

          You mean he’s not gonna have enough delegates to win repub nomination?

          Your right.  Because affluent Americans dems and repubs  alike are the most hideous people on the face of the earth.

    • aj

      Though most infant deaths in the US are black and Brown newborns so from the Mainstream Corporate Elitist Zionist Beltway Media perspective, those deaths not important. 

  • Newton395

    Unsettling?  Call me naive, but the idea that the court’s view of the health care law will be swayed by polls and the “united front” of GOP opinion is a breach of the compact that holds us together as a nation.  Just think of the consequences if this was a prevailing notion during the Brown v Board decision!  It seems as if Bush v Gore was the beginning of the end…

  • http://society6.com/insepiaveritas In Sepia Veritas

    This issue is precisely the problem with government that underpins increasing voter apathy and decreasing voter turnout. President Obama’s term in office thus far has been characterized by bitter battles of attrition that make the trench warfare of WWI look like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride at Disneyland. Not only must decrepit career politicians argue in detached hyperbole over every inch of progress, but now they are arguing over how to re-step backward over that progress.

    It is no wonder to me that citizens care less and less about government. It’s a badly-written reality show that has gone on about 12 seasons too long. Someone change the channel please.

    • aj

      lol

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    Obama’s position on health care mandates.  He was right on mandates before he was wrong.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/03/26/american_crossroads_individual_mandate_obama_v_obama.html

    Obama is the real etch-a-sketch candidate.
     

    • Still Here

      Elections provide flexibility …. watch out!

    • TFRX

      Every link to Real Clear Politics makes something real clear. About you, rather than President Obama.

  • lodger

    The majority of citizens want public health care. FDR tried to pass it. So did Truman. Clinton’s efforts in 1992 never made it past Harry and Louise.

    So the question is: why is Congress so incapable of passing what polls indicate a majority of the public clearly wants?

    There’s a solution: HR 676: Medicare for All

    It’s the best deal for taxpayers, and the best for the country overall. 

    • http://society6.com/insepiaveritas In Sepia Veritas

      While we and the majority of America (along with the rest of the developed world) agree, the loudest and most polarizing voices are the ones that vote. Ergo, public officials must pander to those voices in order to stay in public office. It’s a shame. It seems almost laughable that single-payer healthcare is not a reality here. I think anyone who has dealt personally with a chronic illness or in such an illness with a loved one would agree. Healthcare in America is a tangled morass of red tape.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        it is Take On Me by Aha.

      • lodger

        I disagree. I think it’s even worse: public officials must pander to the corporate interests that pay for their campaigns.  The same interests that make damn sure that elected officials better not carry out the will of the electorate if it threatens their profit margins.

        They are the reason why the much-wanted public option was silently and summarily dropped with zero fanfare in the corporate media.

        They are the reason why single payer was never ‘on the table’.

        I say bring on the loudest voices. It’s the silent behind-the-scenes manipulation that’s destroying us.

        • Robert Riversong

          It’s worse even than that. Not only do the corporations and lobbyists purchase the best government money can buy, but they also provide the revolving door for lucrative jobs post-politics to make sure they know who butters their bread.

          • notafeminista

            35 million from the AFL-CIO to the Candidate Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008.    Rumor has it that President Obama will spend $1 billion on his re-election campaign. 

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      It will be Medicare just don’t let other people know that I told you. “wink”

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        It will be Medicare I will promise you that but We will all have to agree first about AHA this year not next year or ten years from now.

      • aj

        lol

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

          What so funny. you think I am joking.

          • aj

            If we get medicare for all, you will work for medicare and get Federal Government Benefit pensions etc. like all those stiffs in the congress, but you will deserve it and  they should Dems and Repubs should eat dirt and die :)

    • Anonymous

      American people want something for nothing- film at 11.

      • lodger

        Do you pay for your police force? Do you pay for your fire department?  Do you pay for your roads?

        • Wbsurfver

           Doctors and health care CEO’s make alot more money than the police do and the police don’t lobby the govt.

          • Still Here

            But their union does and it contributes to candidates campaigns, the campaign of the same people their union is going to be negotiating with.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fernando-Martinez/1940560 Fernando Martinez

    Why is this law such and issue? Currently everyone in the country who owns a car is required by law to have car insurance. Not everyone will have an accident and if they do their rates will be higher. Either because they are reckless drivers or they have had multiple accidents. This should be the case for people who do not take care of themselves. They are reckless with their health and should pay higher premiums. Not only should we hold people accountable for being unhealthy. We should hold Insurance companies accountable unfair policies and denying people coverage. Hospitals for performing unneeded exams and procedures that drive up people’s bills. Finally hold pharmaceutical companies for over pricing medications that you can get for pennies on the dollar in other countries.The medical community in the U.S. needs to focus on prevention of disease and not treatment.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      Here we go again. please if you’re comparing cars with human lives the arguement is pathetic.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fernando-Martinez/1940560 Fernando Martinez

        My point exactly. People are more important than cars and for that reason everyone should have health care not only the people that can afford it. This is conservatives playing with peoples health care. They keep contradicting themselves wanting the government having less control of America’s lives yet they are trying to pass laws that requires vaginal proving. T

        • Wbsurfver

           The problem is it costs too much. There may be problems with car insurance, but health insurance is potentially 10 times more expensive and could grow even more. You want to require everyone to have insurance, but not cut the costs anywhere. In Canada, most drugs are not covered and the govt controls the costs of drugs. The USA has twice the obesity rate as Canada. Some advanced procedures are not covered in Canada. You say that everyone must be covered because people are important. What if you couldn’t send your kid to college, couldn’t really afford to eat a healthy diet, or had to live in a bad neighborhood because of the cost of health insurance foisted on you by the govt meant you had to make some kind of choice like that ? What if you had to work 2 jobs in order to afford health insurance and you eventually became ill from the extra stress ?

      • Roy Mac

        Agree.  This thing about “car insurance” is a klinker.  What states require is that you provide evidence of the ability to pay for the havoc you wreak while driving.  If you don’t drive, you don’t insure.

        Better similes involve paying taxes to support schools–especially if you’ve been sterilized, don’t have, and will never have kids–or, as long as cars came up, roads and bridges if you never drive or go anywhere.  Or taxes to support wars, if you abhor all war and refuse to serve.  And never do anything that would cause you to be incarcerated–at public expense, naturally.

        This whole thing has been turned into a dog-fight about “what I think is right” vs. “what is the moral thing to do.”  Hello, Santorum; take a bow, then disappear.

    • twenty-niner

      “Currently everyone in the country who owns a car is required by law to have car insurance.”

      These are state laws. The entire point of the Constitution is to limit Federal powers. No one argues that the states don’t have the power to enact such mandates. The theory is that when one state oversteps its bounds, citizens are free to move to another state. This isn’t so easy when the Federal government oversteps its bounds.

      • lodger

        You forgot the part of the Constitution where it says “provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare …”

        Are you really going to make the argument that ‘provide for the general welfare’ doesn’t include  medical care?  Most civilized nations would disagree.

        • Anonymous

          If the founders felt ‘promote the general welfare’ included national health care, why did they not set up a system at the outset?

          • Robert Riversong

            Thomas Paine argued forcefully for a social security system paid for by an inheritance tax on the wealthy. Such ideas were not foreign to the Founders.

          • notafeminista

            And he lost.  With good reason.

          • Anonymous

            Someday you will need care. I hope you get it.
            I hope you can afford it. If you can’t good luck with that.

        • twenty-niner

          That language is in the preamble to the Constitution, which outlines the guiding principles thereof. Remember that the Constitution was signed right on the heels of War for Independence, and at the time, “promoting general welfare” essentially meant letting a free people live free from oppression by a despotic central government, trying to extract ever more treasure from its subjects.

          The history of the ratification of the constitution is very interesting, and many states were very reluctant to sign the document because they felt it gave the federal government too much power. Hamilton had to actually go out and campaign for its ratification (via the Federalist Papers) in states like New York. Eventually, the framers had to append the Bill of Rights to get all 13 colonies on board.

          Again, the individual states have much more power to set up health care any way they want, which no one denies.

          • lodger

            That’s your interpretation. ‘Promote’ and ‘protect’ are two different concepts. That’s my interpretation.

            Building an interstate highway system promotes the general welfare. Eisenhower, the Republican, agreed.

            Building a public healthcare delivery system would also promote the general welfare.

            It already does, but only for the most expensive patients, the ones the insurance companies can’t profit from.

          • twenty-niner

            You’re referring to the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956. Essentially, this was an aid package to the states to build interstates, to be funded by transportation taxes, which eventually boiled down to gasoline taxes.

            No one questions the Federal Government’s ability to levy taxes, which is an enumerated power.

            In fact, if Congress had simply enacted a single-payer system to be payed for by taxes, there would be no Supreme Court case. The problem is Congress and White House have proven to be metaphysically incapable of raising taxes or levying new ones.

          • Anonymous

            New York did not want to sign because they were mostly Tories.
            The Bill of Rights had to to also fit the Southern States into the original federation of 13 states.

            Yeah states do have more rights in some areas and not others. Brown v. Board of Education is an example of the Federal government using it’s power to override bad state laws.

            Texas has one of the worst health insurance coverage problems in the nation with about 6 million people who are not covered. Think about that, 6 million people is about the entire population of Manhattan.

      • Robert Riversong

        I argue that the states don’t have a right to mandate that its citizens purchase a product on the private market. If it’s a public good, then government should provide it.

        • twenty-niner

          Check your state constitution, which allow much broader powers than the Federal Constitution. I don’t live in Mass, and I didn’t follow the evolution of Romney-Care, but my guess is legal challenges were quickly shot down.

  • Anonymous

    A different conclusion from the conservative argument:  ‘You’re sitting at home in your living room. You’re not buying insurance. You’re not engaging in interstate commerce. You have a heart attack.’

    Due to your unwillingness (or financial inability) to buy health insurance, the rest of us now have to bail you out by paying for your uninsured health care via Medicare or Medicaid.  Why are you forcing the rest of us to engage in interstate taxation to bail out your irresponsibility/ inability?

    • twenty-niner

      Under the current rules, there’s no way I would qualify for a penny of Medicare/aid. You or no other citizen would be forced to pay for my healthcare.

      • Anonymous

        Since you will most certainly receive care in those circumstances, which would likely be very expensive, who do you think will get stuck with the bill if you can’t pay?  Do you deny that such unpaid-for care is factored into the rates every responsible person pays, whether through insurance premiums or taxes?

        Personally, I would let those who have the resources to yet refuse to make arrangements for their care suffer the consequences, but there is apparently a law precluding doctors and hospitals from refusing care in that event.

        Why is a law mandating doctors provide care constitutional but one mandating capable individuals take steps necessary to make realistic payment arrangements for such care unconstitutional?

        • twenty-niner

          Please refer to my reply above.

      • lodger

        You can’t isolate the cost-shifting like that.  Depending on the hospital you went to I’m sure there would be either direct or indirect taxpayer subsidies involved.  

        You might not qualify as an individual for medicare/aid, but the expense of your off-the-balance-sheet care gets picked up by someone, in many cases the taxpayer, through grants, tax writeoffs, etc.

        • twenty-niner

           I recently had two kids and my insurance covered only a small portion of the delivery charges. I was sent a big fat bill by the hospital for each delivery. If I didn’t pay, the bills would’ve been sent to collections. At a certain point, if I refused to pay, the hospital could either sue me or eat the costs.

          Given the mandate to provide at least some minimal care, the state could reimburse a portion of non-paid claims, leaving the Federal government out of it entirely.

          • lodger

            You should redirect your outrage toward the companies who take your money for ‘insurance’ and STILL send ‘big fat bills’ for health care. 

            Healthcare financing can only be done in groups.  The issues are: who decides who’s in the group and who controls the money outlays.

            You really think an equation where insurance companies get to keep your/our $$$ instead of spending it where the need arises is a better system? This bill still lets them keep 15%! 

            And on top of that you have to pay taxes to cover the most expensive patients!  I assure you people in the VA system aren’t getting ‘big fat bills’ for anything.  

          • twenty-niner

            On the contrary, my insurance company didn’t send me a “big fat” bill, my hospital did – much bigger than the one my insurance company sent. But given the level of care my wife received, I felt the price was fair.

            Are there inefficiencies in the health care system that lead to higher costs than would otherwise be necessary? Sure. We can point blame at insurance companies, trial lawyers, the cost of medical education, drug companies, the list goes on. Do I believe Obamacare will address any of these fundamental drivers? The answer is no.

          • lodger

            The hospital sent you a bill for what the insurance co didn’t pay for.

            I’m in agreement: the reform law will not address the fundamental issues you list. It is a gift to the insurance companies. 

            Single-payer financing that covers everyone is the best deal for taxpayers, and the best way to promote the general welfare, in accordance with our Constitution. 

          • twenty-niner

             The other alternative is the Japanese system, which sets a strict pricing schedule for every possible procedure, like when you take your car to a body shop. The outcome is doctors in Japan don’t drive Porsches because they are paid middle-class wages.

            This would necessitate a refactoring of expectations of medical students in the country, which may not be practical.

          • Anonymous

            Unless their education was free.
            By the way doctors in Japan make pretty decent livings.
            In GB where they work for the government they earn about 120K a year.

            No system is perfect. Ours is a disaster. You were over charged by both the hospital, your doctors and the insurance company took their cut. Our system stinks and it’s going to bankrupt the nation if we keep it like this.

             

          • notafeminista

            Money has to come from somewhere.

      • Rory

        Yes, but if you got some long term debilitating illness and couldnt work you would run out of money, and eventually Medicare would take over.  It happens to people every day.

        Even well off people with out long term care insurance can run through their life savings very quickly in a nursing home (average=100K a year).  Then Medicaid/Medicare kicks in.

        • twenty-niner

          I wouldn’t qualify for Medicare because I’m under 65, and I wouldn’t qualify for Medicaid, which limits coverage to the following:

          Limited income families with children, as described in Section 1931 of the Social Security Act

          Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients

          Infants born to Medicaid-eligible pregnant women

          Children under age 6 and pregnant women whose family income is at or below 133% of the Federal poverty level.

          Recipients of adoption assistance and foster care under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act;

          Certain people with Medicare

          Special protected groups who may keep Medicaid for a period of time

          https://www.cms.gov/MedicaidEligibility/03_MandatoryEligibilityGroups.asp#TopOfPage

    • Anonymous

      Don’t blame the customer, when it’s the system that’s at fault. We pay for government to govern and manage the economy so that it benefits the people. That is not happening in health care nor in other areas like immigration, energy, you name it. And health insurers have had ample time to get it right but they have chosen to simply make premiums more unaffordable.

    • Robert Riversong

      The more pertinent question is why would you complain about helping your neighbor in a time of need? It’s because of selfish attitudes like yours that government is required to step in and fill the compassion void.

      • notafeminista

        Forced compassion is not compassion and only breeds resentment.

        • Gregg

          I agree and would add the obvious: There is no void of compassion.

        • Anonymous

          Funny how up in Canada they don’t have a problem with the idea of everyone paying something so all people are covered.

          The reality is that one day you, yes you, will need some form of health care. If you can not afford it and do not have insurance you have to pay the full freight. Which by the way is more than one with insurance pays.
          Lets say your stay in the hospital is about three days for some surgery. Something like a broken leg. Your bill for this could be over 20K or more. Lets say you get a serious illness such as cancer. ( I hope you don’t)
          That can go into six figures. End game for that will be bankruptcy unless you have some deep pockets. Even with health insurance you still might go bankrupt from a major illness or injuries from a car accident.
          The thing is getting ill is more likely to happen than not. Unless you are very, very wealthy, you are not going to be able to afford the care.  This is what we have now as health care funding in this nation. You like it this way, well good for you. But if this bill goes down, which it might, it’s only going to get worse. We spend almost twice what every other industrial nation does on health care and yet over 40 million people receive no care at all and or rely on going to the emergency rooms for care.
          It’s not going to get better, but worse.

    • Anonymous

      So let me get this right. Are you saying that if a person does not have the ability to pay for health insurance, which by the way is through the roof if you are self employed, that you think they are being irresponsible?
      Even in Massachusetts which has a law similar to one being debated now a lot of people cannot afford it or are paying absurd premiums and deductibles due to our for profit health insurance system. Despite selfish tone of your comment, you seem woefully unaware of the realities of health care in this country. 

      Even if you have health insurance, if you have a major illness you are very likely to go bankrupt from the medical bills. We are the only industrial nation in the world that has this outcome from people getting sick or from an accident. The system is broken, period.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    I have health insurance but I have not use it for almost 5 years now.

    • aj

      Poor people need dental insurance.  All you affluent white Obama-ites go to hell with your perfect teeth.

    • Ray in VT

      I only carried it off and on when I was single, but once I got married, and especially when we started thinking about having kids, it became something that my wife and I knew that we needed to have, even if only just in case.

  • Gregg

    Thank you On Point for posting the transcript. 

  • Roy Mac

    Someday, after most of us are gone, a historian will revisit this episode.  Major questions will be:  Why on earth did people think that people with law degrees understood economics, especially insurance ecnomics?  And, Why on earth were Scalia and Thomas not impeached?  How did Alito and Roberts get confirmed, in the first place?

    These severely constrained people–and I include all 9–are uniformly unqualified to judge questions such as those presented in this instance.  We have been presented with a phalanx of bureaucrats quibbling with another phalanx of bureaucrats–this is not how the “founding fathers” envisioned our republic.

  • Mendel Hecht

    What is the difference between healthcare plan and house ownership?  If I have a home and mortgage I get a major right-off on my taxes, if I didn’t I would not get the right-off and would be renting.  Wouldn’t owning a healthcare plan be very similar – own the plan, save on taxes.

  • Robyn Cornwell

    Does the healthcare plan include naturopaths and homeopaths? I have declined past coverage through work because they typically do NOT cover these two extremely valuable practices. If I am forced to pay for alopathic doctors – most who know NOTHING about how to STAY HEALTHY and PREVENT disease – that would be forcing me to pay for something I will NEVER use, despite what the proponents say. AND it would force me to pay out-of-pocket (as I do now) for the health care I truly value – and which is proven to be much more effective!

    • Brettearle

      Do you have any statisitcs that back up longevity, less sick time, or less severe illness–when naturopathy and homeopathy are used, as chief medical approaches for an individual?

      If they’re more effective than alopathic, we would have seen the numbers.

      The hackneyed excuse that the AMA, Pharma, and the Big Insurers conspire to suppress the evidence, doesn’t cut it.

      Some in federal Government crave effective preventive medicine for obvious reasons.

      Many, many health agencies, health services and health researchers are committed to better healing methods through integrative medicine–rather than for-profit treatment strategies, only.

      We would have seen the epidemeological numbers by now.

      • Wbsurfver

         a bunch of nonsense they dam well do suppress it. Why is it that there is hardly a single herb that quackwatch doesn’t attack ? So many people die of prescription drugs in this country.

        • Brettearle

          You jumped to the conclusion that I fully support alipathic medicine.  I am just as skeptical of traditional medicine, for many reasons.

          My point is that there many, many legitimate opportunties to document evidence-based outcomes.

          It is NOT nonsense, as you suggest.

          Information proliferation encourages both hordes of opportunity for chicanery and scores of methods and approaches for legitimate research.

          You simply wish to be Alternative and Holisitc without proof. 

          Without being objective, you want to confirm what you believe in–because you’ll feel hoodwinked, if you’re wrong.

          And you, very well,  may be wrong.

          Of course, there’s always the Placebo Effect.

        • Hidan

           Ever see those drug ads on TV? The side effects are worst than what the drug is supposed to cure.

          X drug may Helps with depression

          than the side effects

          http://www.clinical-depression.co.uk/dlp/treating-depression/side-effects-of-antidepressants/

  • Todd Babcock

    Our current health care system in America is a lottery. If you have good luck, or if you are rich, you are covered. The state and or federal government must provide health care to all. This is a basic human right. Every single employee must have a small percentage deducted from their paycheck, and receive a health care card. Coverage for all, eliminate the insurance company monopoly. This will increase the number of insured, and likely decrease medical costs. In America people will not get medical treatment only because of the cost. Or they get treatment and they do not pay.  Even insurance is so expensive many cannot afford the insurance! The American health care system is a total farce. If the French, Spanish, Canadians, Australians and others can have national health care, so can we Americans. Why does it have to be so complicated? In Spain, everyone has the right to health coverage, even non-citizens. American’s health care system is a farce. 

    • Rory

      Our health system is a farce, but you are wrong about one thing.  Everyone here is entitled to health care.  A hospital can not turn down anyone who comes for care.   HIV drug addicts, for example, can go on living for 20 years on medicare costing taxpayers 500K a year for their medication and treatment to stay alive.  A long term care facility cannot kick someone out even if they refuse to turn over their social security check or anything else to partially pay for the extensive coverage they are receiving.  People who dont take care of themselves or comply with doctor’s orders cannot be turned out.

      Our system is terribly broken, which is why I think a total scrapping of it and adopting a single payer would be my solution.  But it would eliminate huge industry and would never happen.

  • Gregg

    What happens if the SCOTUS overturns Obamacare? Harry Reid suggested it would be a win for Obama. He may have been referring to this “Vanity Fair” article:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/03/27/supreme-court-health-care-why-losing-would-help-obama.html

    Rush posited the inverse, that the SCOTUS upholding the law will be bad for Obama. Clearly, it’s all posturing but interesting because the root of both arguments is the unpopularity of Obamacare. Most polls show a majority want it overturned. Some (CBS) as high as 67%. Given that, I suspect no matter the ruling, it’s not settled. The elections in November will do that.

    • Ray in VT

      I’m not even sure that the fall elections will settle it one way or the other.

  • Spectator

    I believe 1 out of every 4 Americans work for City, State or Federal governments. Military and military retirees have the Veteran’s Assoc, and this is a pretty huge number of taxpayer funded healthcare recipients. Would I be correct in thinking that any and all government funded healthcare providers are paid by taxes through taxpayers? In society I also believe that 1 of 6 are over the age of 62, and 1 of 6 are under 18. So if I do the math, 1/4 plus 2X1/6 = 7/12 of America already have government funded healthcare. If we throw in folks in the VA program, those in prison, and those working for NPR and NGO’s, I am sure we could hit 75%, are already living off healthcare funded through taxes. Throw in the US Congress, the Supreme Court and maybe the solution is to ship all us poor folks over to China…that’s where the US Congress shipped our jobs to.

    • Rory

      I used to work for DIA, and our health care was most definitely not paid for by taxes.  It came out our salaries with each paycheck, same as private employees. In fact, the job I have now with a consulting firm I actually get less taken out to pay for my health care than I did under the BlueCross/BlueShield Carefirst program I used to be under.

  • Harryval

    first whether is a state or federal mandate, it is still a mandate. Second minimal health and minimal education are nescessary for capitalism to exist. Third we already have medicare, veteran’s services etc and although not perfect they do the job to keep these americans healthy. fourth no one talsk about the real issue here; we are the fattest people in the world and there is no healthcare system that can sustain such aberration

    • Gregg

      The Constitution severely limits the powers of the Federal Government. It gives deference to the States. There is a huge difference.

      • Brett

        “Severely”? Actually, federal law trumps state law, e.g., look at the marijuana laws in California. 

        • TFRX

          Wasn’t there an interpretation that federal law also trumped the religious use of marijuana? This came out during the whole “religious liberty” flapdoodle.

          I think it was in Oregon. (The rest? Too many results for “pot” and “liberty” for me to comb thru.)

        • Gregg

           Article 1 Section 8 seems clear to me.

  • rosebud

    ALL OF US already pay a high price for a dysfunctional H.care system in a 1001 ways and anyone who has given any serious thought about it knows it. so the supreme court looking for some wording/justification in the constitution is beside the point. if the federal government, the only CENTRAL representative body mandated by the constitution, cannot formulate a SYSTEM that medical providers would say works the best, and require us to participate in and fund in that system, then we are only wasting time and money. money we are quickly running out of, and we won’t even be able to say that we can seek treatment and get it. and this is WITH having an insurance policy. 40 million CITIZENS aren’t “covered” at all.
    can you hate the president THAT MUCH? sometimes i think we are stuck in the year 1865 and will never let it go. NEVER.

  • silenced

    On Point–you and your guests ar enot being honest–I can’t believe you are–becuase if you actually believe the things you are saying–you all very dim.   i dont believe that.  i believe you are cowards–instruments of a fascist regime–corporations.

    There is nothing ironic about this–so much gibbereish–you guys ar emaking me sick!  Clinton, Romney, conservatives, Obama, Bush, Republicans, Democrata–all suggest a push mandate for private insurance (forced to pay thousnads into corporate coffers) because all these politicians–dem or repub ar ethe SAME-they are owned by corporations–they are meat puppets–MUPPETS!  Kermit has more self-reliance!  Everything they say is cow chips.  Obama reversed everything he said on campaign trail cuz it was cow chips–what he needed to say to win–ultimately he is a muppet called TOM. 

    To pretend like this all organic analysis and democracy is a ridiculous ruse.  By now–if you were real journalists–you would be questioning these facts–ask is dem and repugnant-thug the same–are we ruled by corporations–does that make us fascist?  And challenge forcibly without cowardice and reverence–these pseudo-aristocrats.  Ask hard questions.  Just **&7ing say it! I’m so disgusted by the cowards and liars in journalism.  Muppets!

    Its not about pragmatism–its about fascism!  All these parties–the same. and you insist on shoving down our throats that they are unique and natural and in opposition!  They ar enot.  All the facts tell us they are the same.  Do the research.  investigate.  Do your jOb!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

    NSA, mandated corporate health costs–NOT CARE!, permanent sate of war–imperial conquest–imperial massacre and infanticide.  Institution of racism.  A police state.  A prison state–half population incarcerated or disenfranchised–banished.  constitution revoked!  Americans assassinated at presidents will–excuse me–corporate will! 

    Fascist fascist fascist fascist—NEo-Nazis!

    Do your job muppets!!!!!!!  stop spewing your f888ing putrid boewl smelling vomit on me–you are a joke!  have a real conversation.  what are you afraid of–that the fascist will black list you–hmm-that proves it–we are in an un-free–fascist regime.–all spectrum dominance
    we are not children–American people are not this stupid.

    Do you know how dumb you sound asking these no questions, carrying a bull conversation–oh its not clear, its not clear—shut the —up–it is clear–you are nonsense, and we are being herded.  Disgusting! 
    ‘I think it is”difficult”…”–please–its FASCIST ILLEGAL CRAP.  its sick that we can even have this conversation–have we come so far–oh brave new world.  And you know what–to all you NSA inbred muppets recording me– go find Uncle (Sam) carnal knowledge yourself.   There is a word for you–female dogs.  Scum of the earth.  Evil.  Devil.  Losers.   

    • aj

      Not since Tecumsah rode the praries have I heard such a principled war cry.  Your a General, and a smart General. 

  • uppity

    i want to pay for your health care–i want to pay taxes to the people to help my fellow man, woman, and CHILD.  I want to help your daughter, your mother, my grnadmother.  i am an American!  i am an American!  We ar ein this together.  I want to help you.  Otherwise the flag is meaningless–accept to rally murder in far away lands on dark ignorant plains.

    I want to pay taxes to help my fellow man because i am compassionate, and MORAl–and geuss what–an ATHEIST!  I am willing to bet–that it is the “moral” Christians who are against universal single-payer healthcare–oh Christian of you.  how moral.  So moral.  im glad i hav eyou to teach me morals–watch your fellow man die and suffer and not feel one bit sorry for them–in fact you hope they die–according to republicans like santorium.  Hmm.  So so moral.  so Christian. 

    I am willing to bet that most atheists or secularists support universal healthcare because–they are moral, ethical–because they want to help fellow Americans. 

    You “moralists” talk of charity.  Well, you would pay less in taxes to help all Americans than you would a corporate insurance company who will NOT care for you, but will take your money and then tell you to go die.  We have no health care in America because so many people are so moral.

    is capitalism moral?  is fascism moral?  Is republicanism moral?  is this debate moral?  I wish i was as moral as you.  you people are so moral.  you might as 3ell burn your flags and spare me the war rhetoric and the freedom rhetoric.  War does not equal freedom smart people–it equals police sate–fascism.  Your “freedom” is immoral!  Your health-insurance is immoral.  Your Bible is Immoral!  Christianity is immoral!

    i feel sick.  but i have no health care.  I don’t even have the health care promised to me by my service to the nation of moralists because the hospitals are inundate with maimed children you so morally sent off to kill in the name of fascism.  how moral is that.

    I would never raise a child in America.  i wouldn’t want his mind so demented and deranged. 

  • Anonymous

    I’m furious!!  As a practicing orthopedic surgeon, and small business owner, I can’t believe any doctor, or anyone has been fooled into supporting this terrible health experiment from Obama-Romney.

    This chubby prop girl in a lab coat pretending to be a doctor should not fool you folks.We’re two years into this experiment, and the realities of the law —
    more regulations, more patients with low-paying insurance, higher costs
    but lower payments to doctors — are sinking in.It’s one thing to mandate insurance for all, but quite another to do so
    without incentivizing physicians or those considering the profession. In
    fact, the law does the opposite: For many doctors, there becomes a
    financial disincentive to practice medicine. The American Medical Association (AMA) has been trying to speak for the medical community claiming they support this healthcare plan, yet their membership only accounts for less than 17% of practicing physicians in America, and only a fraction of those doctors agree with the policies and position that come from the leadership of the AMA.The American Hospital Association (AHA),
    America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), and Big Pharma all received
    concessions in exchange for their support of the Affordable Care Act
    (ACA). 

    This was not the case with the “true voice
    of doctors” — the AMA. They failed miserably when they had an
    opportunity to negotiate for issues important to doctors such as a
    permanent end to the Medicare SGR “doc fix” and tort reform.

    Instead, the AMA was a strong advocate for
    ObamaCare and got nothing in return for their constituents. In fact, a
    strong case can be made that the AMA was an accomplice to the successful
    passage of this law, because without their backing, the bill may have
    been in jeopardy. The question is: why did this happen?

    Many people think that the AMA miscalculated, while others believe that
    they were just inept and simply outfoxed by clever politicians. 

    • Brettearle

      If MDs must accept less money, that may be unfortunate–but it may be a `price’ they have to pay.

      No doctor ever went to bed hungry or homeless.

      Every MD has the right to earn as much as money, as they possibly can–but that doesn’t mean we should empathize, if you can’t buy that portable-seat- operated lawn mower, you had your sights on, for your seaside home, in the Hamptons.

      We assume you’ve worked very, very hard to get where you are and we assume that you have superior expertise.   But in times of crisis, for our country–and this may be one of them–you might need to accept–GULP!–sacrifice.

      Now maybe you don’t believe that the Affordable Health Care Act is the viable solution to our economic crisis in Health Care.

      But there are many, many medical professionals and economists who DISAGREE with you.

      How much time–to bring up just one example–have you spent, recognizing how enormous ER costs can be defrayed, under the Affordable Health Care Act?  

      • notafeminista

        Wow….just wow.   I’m pretty sure no autoworker ever went to bed hungry either, but you wouldn’t know it listening to the poor-mouthing from the UAW.   Can you imagine if the feds had told the hapless autoworker…you might lose your job because of bad business practices and greedy union manages, but that’s just the price you have to pay.

        It boggles the mind.

        • Brettearle

          MDs are almost never in danger of losing their jobs.

          MDs deal in a service that is MUCH more germane to life-death issues, than autoworkers are.

          Of course, there are similarities–but as a Supreme Court Justice said, yesterday, some people will never purchase, much less, buy cars.  But EVERYONE will become ill.

          Very few professionals–with jobs that may be more regulated, or less regulated, than the rules imposed, or about to be imposed, on MDs–are more vital to society than MDs.

          As such, MDs must be evaluated quite differently–when it comes to financial viability in the country and the promotion of the country’s welfare.

          • notafeminista

            So right, let’s tell the guy who performs a vital societal service that he’s going to lose money on the deal and there isn’t one blessed thing he can do about it.  The same guy who has at the very least a substantial school loan debt to pay off (although if he waits 20 years it’ll just be written off).    That guy is gonna quit and become an auto worker. 

          • Brettearle

            No way he’s gonna quit and become an auto worker–and you know it.

            You’re paying lip service to your own argument–and nothing else.

            For one thing, MDs have too much pride and elite ego to go from being MDs to being auto workers.

            What’s more, obviously, there’s too much status related to being an MD. 

            Your sarcasm is easily exposed for what it is:

            Sarcasm.

            Most MDs come out from under their student loans–and they eventually become solvent and live in affluent communities.

            You’re exaggerating the potential financial hardship that comes from the Affordable Health Care Bill.

            I guarantee you that firends of yours–if they are MDs–are still going to be able to go abroad for vacation.  

        • Anti-trust

           u dont make sense–its not the same.  ur point is illogical.  People who buy smaller cars or no cars are not dying or killing people, as are health insurance demons–in fACT A SMALL FUEL EFFICIENT CAR OR BICYCLE JUST MIGHT SAVE your HEALTH AND THE PLANET. 

          People bled, and died for safe working rights, and decent pay.  Why should a billionaire profit off cheap/slave labor to be more rich while the producers of his wealth struggle from pay check to pay check without health care, unable to put gas in the car he built, unable to send children to school, or travel–while these greedy robber barons travel in private planes killing the planet to go 4000 miles for breakfast?  Why?  Why?  Why? why do you think that is ok?  You are sick sick sick.

          it wouldn’t hurt to treat people like human beings.  To appreciate the work they do to produce your wealth.  It wouldn’t hurt you to be a multimillionaire rather than a billionaire capable of forming private armies.  Get real!

          If we want to fly a flag we ought to act like a community.  Co-operatives keep good jobs, and prosperity in local communities.  Do you want an “ownership” society or slave society.  In a cooperative we all own profit and prosperity and participation–this is democracy!

          Free trade is anti-democracy.  democracy CaN NOT–can not–function in  free trade system of private ownership and conglomerations.  Do not trust them!  Anti-trust now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          Freedom of speech is not democracy.  And money is freedom of speech.  A corporation is not a person–its an entity–a government.  With great power comes great responsibility–and it derives from the people, form community–so it must obey community–it must be regulated!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • uppity

             correction—that should ay money is NOT–freedom of speech

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