Health Care Reaction


I didn’t hear the news until about 11:00.  I had just come out out of a meeting…got my car from the garage and was headed back into New Jersey from Manhattan.  I had an hour drive in front of me.  Here are the thoughts that went through my mind…

How could John Roberts side with the liberals?  The individual mandate is so clearly unconstitutional – even to a layperson – how could it be?

Kind of like a Vince Flynn book.  Someone got to Roberts.  I bet they got to him and told him he has to vote this way or members of his family – kids, wife, parents, whoever – were going to be killed.

Later this afternoon, it’s going to come out that Roberts was coerced.  A Secret Service agent overheard Obama and Axelrod discussing the Roberts blackmail.  He managed to get them on tape discussing it.  Later this afternoon, the whole story will come out, Roberts will issue his REAL opinion, and Obama and Axelrod will be taken away in handcuffs.

When my son is my age, will he be able to call the doctor and go see him?

How can I protect myself from the government?  Isn’t there some way I can hide from them?


I remember when I was in sales.  Most months, management would offer spiffs for the sale of certain products.  So I, and all the rest of he sales team, would immediately set about scheming on how to sell the stuff that would make us the most money.  Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do?

There was a story a couple years ago about a school system that took away hamburgers, pizza, chicken nuggets and all the good stuff.  A bunch of liberal nuts created a menu of quinoa, bean salad, and a bunch of other crap that nobody wants to eat.  It took about 3 weeks for a thriving black market food exchange to develop.  The kids were buying and selling smuggled cheeseburgers and pizza.  Are wonder if there are doctors who will just treat us for cash under the table?

Is it really gone?  Is the country gone?  If the government can make us buy health insurance, what else can they make us buy?

How come so many people think this is about health care?  To me it’s not about health care at all.  How can two people see things so completely differently?

Conundrum:  Obama says that people shouldn’t have to pay the medical bills for those who don’t have coverage, therefore everyone must have it.  But the people who are forced to buy it are being forced to pay for health care for others, since the new insurance purchasers are need to fund Obamacare.

What the hell is wrong with John Roberts?

They could tell us what to buy.  When to buy it.  What type to buy.  How many to buy.  How often to buy.  And if we don’t cooperate, they can take our property.  How is that not tyranny?

Can’t we do something?

How can one person – ONE person – someone who is unelected and unaccountable, decide the fate of the Republic?

Buy this or pay a fine!  That is now a tax.  Huh?

I think the only way to beat this is to make so much money, none of this matters.  Maybe this is good for some people?  If I can make say, $1 Million a year, will I really give a damn?  I suppose if I make that much, the government will confiscate the majority of it, but I’ll still do okay right?

I don’t think I have any faith in so-called conservatives in Congress.  Even if we get Romney, and filibuster-proof House and Senate, will they repeal this thing?  Will they really?

What CAN”T the government make you do?  I mean, if they can make you buy health insurance, why stop there?  How is it different than anything else?

Maybe this will be the straw that broke the camel’s back.  I bet this is going to fire up the Tea Party in a way that nobody could anticipate.  I wonder if Obama just sealed his fate for November, by inflaming us like this?

I wish Obama would put his god damned chin down.  I mean, who does that?  All kidding about God complexes aside, who holds poses like that?

I was worried before, now more than ever.  I really think the country as we know it is over.  We’re no longer the land of the free.

My emotions are strange.  I don’t feel anger or anything like that.  I’m genuinely sad.  I think the USA has been changed in a way that can’t be undone.

Will my kids be okay?

What can I do to protect my kids from the government?

All we can do is try to fix this with Congress.  It’s all we can even hope for.  So, I guess I’ll do my part.  I’m going to Tweet, Facebook, write letters, make phone calls, blog, heckle politicians, recruit friends, organize Tea Parties.  I am going to do everything in my legal power to vote every leftist out of office this November.  I will work tirelessly to this end.

I think this is the day America died.  So first, I’ll be sad for a day.

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Comments

  1. This is either very deft satire or Paul Krassner is right and it no longer possible to satirize the right wing, they do it for us.

  2. “Aren’t our rights endowed by god?”

    No. There is no god. And even if there were your rights come from the compact made between you and the government you live within, nowhere else.

  3. No one is stopping you from paying cash. You are welcome to pay cash now, though good luck finding a hospital that will tell you how much it costs ahead of time.
    Now you no longer are forced to pay for the health care of people who aren’t contributing.

    The most likely explanation is that the insurance companies called up Roberts and said, “without this, we’ll have Medicare for all. You have to find a way to make it happen, or we are bankrupt.” He’s always been pro-current-businesses.

  4. Xenos the Mutant says:

    We are doomed… dooooooomed! America is dead because “they” are making me pay for something I don’t want/need/think sucks!

    Well, I would also rather not pay for CIA spy drones, billion-dollar-a-pop stealth bombers or congressional fact-finding trips to Thailand; but I do understand that a majority of my fellow citizens think these are valid expenditures, so I pays my taxes and I keeps my mouth (mostly) shut.

    So when a duly elected president proposes legislation that a duly elected congress enacts, and when the legality of said law is questioned a duly appointed court upholds it… I pays my taxes and keeps my mouth (mostly) shut!

    My father had a heart attack, and lost his insurance while still in the hospital because they suddenly (after four years of diligent payment!) found “preexisting conditions”. He later died from inadequate health care.

    So I say suck it up and enjoy the country where everybody has the right to bitch and moan about how terrible it is – all while living in one of the most awesome countries on earth.

    ¿x?

  5. Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Please tell me this was spoof.

    There can’t really be people this stupid walking around. How do they remember to breathe?

  6. Land of the liberals! I’m flattered that so many liberals are reading ToBeRIGHT. Of course, you all come by and mostly do nothing but call names, but that’s alright… some of these are quite funny.

    The best part is that there is a clear distinction between you commies who are smart enough to see what is satire and those who are not.

    Regardless, thank you for coming by and commenting! It’s going to be a fun election season…

    Best,

    Harry

  7. Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Roll the closing credits on “When Harry Met Sadly.”

  8. Thornton Thistlewick IV says:

    The most important thing is that the Death Panels have been preserved. Bully!

  9. Joe Gundlach says:

    The funny thing is that none of the liberals posting here even seem to understand how Obamacare even works. Those that do don’t understand how it is/will impact the economy, and worse the middle class. Once again, left leaning politicians proclaim they will not raise taxes on the middle class — the hold the shiney object high in the air to keep their constituants from paying attention to the substance — then use their other hand to shove more of the middle class into poverty — where they can get more gov’t assistance.

    In the end you have more in the cart than pulling the cart, because its so much easier to be simpleton drones than it is to try to climb out of the liberal self dug hole and stand on your own two feet. The American dream is dying and they are watching Obama’s disco ball while he reloads and take aim once again at the American Dream!

  10. Thanks, Joe. Of course, you’re right. Unfortunately, a well reasoned and thoughtful debate isn’t going to be had in these comments. A lefty blogger wrote post that highlighted my article – all these comments are spill over from her blog. I take it as a kind of honor, I suppose.

    I’m just having fun with this one…

  11. Gentlemen Rouge says:

    Hell Harry, I’m ready to reason with you. But suggesting our country is gone is hyperbolic.

  12. Joe Gundlach says:

    well where can a thoughtful debate be had?

  13. Tribeca Mike says:

    “Later this afternoon, the whole story will come out”? Ahem, still waiting…

  14. Diana Powe says:

    So, Mr. Brooks, you state that Mr. Gundlach is right (correct). Let’s see the economic data (as opposed to conclusory ideological statements) that supports the idea that government policies, solely enacted by Democrats, have “shove[d] more of the middle class into poverty”. Since it’s so obviously correct, the data must be just as obviously produced. Here’s a link to data about poverty from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy which doesn’t seem to support Mr. Gundlach’s statement:

    “In the late 1950s, the poverty rate for all Americans was 22.4 percent, or 39.5 million individuals. These numbers declined steadily throughout the 1960s, reaching a low of 11.1 percent, or 22.9 million individuals, in 1973. Over the next decade, the poverty rate fluctuated between 11.1 and 12.6 percent, but it began to rise steadily again in 1980. By 1983, the number of poor individuals had risen to 35.3 million individuals, or 15.2 percent.

    For the next ten years, the poverty rate remained above 12.8 percent, increasing to 15.1 percent, or 39.3 million individuals, by 1993. The rate declined for the remainder of the decade, to 11.3 percent by 2000. From 2000 to 2004 it rose each year to 12.7 in 2004.”

    SOURCE: http://www.npc.umich.edu/poverty/#3

  15. Quick quiz, Harry. Name a first-world democracy WITHOUT universal healthcare.

    Go.

  16. Assuming you weren’t kidding…

    We’ve got the worst healthcare system in the industrialized world. We pay more than everybody else and get worse results. Granted the evidence that universal health care systems deliver better care and save money, isn’t objecting to such systems rather like ranting against infernal modern ideas like indoor plumbing?

    I appreciate that you have a narrative in which people like Obama have evil intentions, but can you really come up with a coherent explanation of why anybody would have an interest in keeping you from seeing a doctor, especially since the current system does a mighty good job of keeping lots of people from seeing doctors? For that matter, do you really think that a conservative democrat like Obama is some sort of Stalin figure? I really don’t want to get snarky, but you’re take on the guy sounds positively certifiable.

  17. I have a hunch that the right wingers who have the time to read this blog are neither very rich nor very powerful. The right winger readers here and/or their children are statistically and unavoidably destined to suffer a serious or even catastrophic illness at a time when they have been laid off, or are low on funds since illness does not discriminate on the basis of class or political persuasion. In such circumstances, I assume the right wingers will voluntarily suffer and allow their children to suffer – and even die rather than ask the government to help. Let the right wingers now take an oath to allow their children to die of disease in the event that they lose their heath insurance and lack the funds for needed treatment. For example, treatment for leukemia costs about $20,000 per month for medicine. I want to see the right wingers openly swear to refuse help from the government if they happen to find themselves unemployed, and without health insurance. Or assume this hypothetical: The right wing reader here was laid off from his job and when he was uninsured, had a freak auto accident causing the right winger to become crippled while his children became disfigured. If he had a spare $500,000 he might be able to have the treatment and surgery to avoid ending up a permanent quadriplegic and to save his daughter from growing up to look like a freak. Let us hear your pledge to not beg for your government to save you and your daughter because in your mind, it is more important to save money for the so called “job creators” (who are in fact rich, and will never need government’s help).

    Yes, the very rich have brainwashed the middle class right winger and turned them into sucker’s carrying water for them; and we see the suckers bellowing that it was a horrible sin against their God given liberty when the democratically elected officials of the United States government reached the conclusion that the right to life and health should not be apportioned based on inherited wealth (e.g., Romney) or good fortune in business, or great athletic gifts, etc.; and that since all of the ordinary (i.e., not rich) citizens (and their children) are equally likely (from a statistical point of view) to get cancer, heart disease, spinal injuries, arthritis, diabetes, crohn’s disease, etc. at a time when they are financially vulnerable, provisions should be made to cover the costs of essential health care for all of the citizens-even those who are too stupid to recognize the need for insurance or that the health, job and wealth they have today are ethereal.
    I can see why you hate the liberals. Unlike you right wingers, to us liberals, our children are dear to us, and we prefer their well being to helping the “job creators” getting more money, and we believe there is a God given right to live and be healthy, while obviously, you believe your God deprived you of those benefits. I think your God sucks.

    Moreover, while you right wingers think it is just dandy for your children and grandchildren to pay the debt for fake wars in Iraq and other foolishness we saw in the time of Bush II, we think it is ok to give our children life and good health today, even if there is a debt to pay later since the alternative for them may be that there never would be a later. Right wingers-do you see the difference?

  18. Cloudtreker says:

    So… there seems to be a lot of uninformed people, that THINK they know what’s included in the ACA, and they are convinced that it will ruin the country. There has been a lot of chatter from the conservative side, telling everyone just what’s in the new law. Wouldn’t it be great to actually know what’s there? How about checking out this link… and finding out for yourself? I know it’s a strange idea… reading and making your own decision, but give it a try. You might actually like making decisions on your own, and not accepting what’s being told to you as fact. http://justinandrewjohnson.com/blog/Obamacare-Cognitive-Dissonance-and-What-the-Law-Really-Does

  19. Bastian says:

    “Conundrum: Obama says that people shouldn’t have to pay the medical bills for those who don’t have coverage, therefore everyone must have it. But the people who are forced to buy it are being forced to pay for health care for others, since the new insurance purchasers are need to fund Obamacare.”
    I think you missed some of what Obama said in his reaction to the ruling:
    Obama says that people shouldn’t have to pay the medical bills for those who don’t have coverage, EVEN THOUGH THEY COULD AFFORD IT, therefore everyone must have it. The people who are forced to buy it are being forced to pay for health care for others WHO THEMSELVES CONTRIBUTE THEIR PART , since the new MOSTLY YOUNGER AND HEALTHIER insurance purchasers (WHO WHEN GROWN OLDER WILL THEMSELVES BENEFIT FROM PAYING COMPARATIVELY LOW PREMIUMS) are needED to fund Obamacare .”
    No conundrum, no riddle, no enigma – if one does not resort to reductio ad absurdum…

  20. AlanDownunder says:

    Americans. Paying about twice the developed country average per person for health care and behind most of them for longevity. And to keep it that way is To Be Right. Beyond laughable. Pitiable. At least US liberals have some kind of clue.

  21. jswiller says:

    Dear Harry,

    I am sorry that your emotions are strange. I hope they get better.

    I was forced to buy car insurance. That made me sad. Being sad makes me sad, so I hope that tomorrow you’ll stop being sad. Also that your emotions get less strange.

    Best of luck in New Jersey.

    Your pal,
    Jswiller

  22. More facts please says:

    “Later this afternoon,* it’s going to come out that Roberts was coerced. A Secret Service agent overheard Obama and Axelrod discussing the Roberts blackmail. He managed to get them on tape discussing it. Later this afternoon, the whole story will come out…”

    * That would have been yesterday afternoon. You may want to pay less attention to your source on this in the future, and to sources that use that same source. Could be that the evil you’re fighting has been just a bit overstated, and probably more than once.

  23. What is currently affecting the middle class with regards to health care is the fact that premiums are shooting out of control, deductibles are ridiculously high and you can go bankrupt and possibly lose everything because something you had zero control over could wipe you out.

    I love how conservatives time and time again just throw stuff out there that blatantly contradicts the facts. No, this will absolutely make life better for the lower and middle class and with the exchanges, will not put the pressure on small business owners.

    I don’t understand how people can be so blatantly against the facts that wrong isn’t even the right adjective used to describe what they’re saying. We need some sort of new Super Wrong, or maybe a German compound word that means, “Wrong to an embarrassing degree.”

  24. @Jim Harrison – There is no narrative that Obama is some sort of evil, rather that is a possibility out of several. I think in every post I have made with that notion represented it has been in the context of “why would anyone do this” type questions. Since there has been no discernible improvement from his policies, we can only conclude….he doesn’t know what he’s doing, or he does know that the policies are bad, but doesn’t care.

    Anyway….. that’s not really the topic here. This post was just a collection of random fun ideas – some true, some satire, some tongue-in-cheek, but all with a theme – as a conservative, I don’t think the government should be able to tell you to buy something and tax you if you do not.

    That represents another problem, which I think gets lost in my list of ruminations… I don’t think this is about health care. Most liberals do. So we’re kind of arguing with one another about two different things.

    Last – I don’t think anybody believes policy would be created with the intent of rationing health care. But shortages of care must be a consideration if we continue to reduce the amount of government reimbursements and add millions of people to the insurance roles at the same time, all without increasing the number of doctors.

    Thanks for at least the semblance of a rational dialogue. So many haters!

  25. @Gentlemen Rouge – yes, the “end of the country” is hyperbolic, for sure. I think that is a great indication about how I feel about this.

    So….all emotion and hyperbole aside – I think if you read through some of ToBeRIGHT you’ll find that when a liberal comes on and makes a calm and reasonable argument, we have a good time batting it around. I’ve always found it strange that there are more liberals than conservatives lurking these pages, but I digress…

    As I commented to @Joe, I don’t think this post is the place to have a good debate. Based on the tone of most comments, the folks are unflappable, much less interested in the debate exercise.

    So…. Have a look at some of the other posts, if you like. There are many that present honest conservative opinions where we can engage thoughtfully. This post isn’t one of em!

    Best,
    Harry

  26. mellowjohn says:

    i absolutely LUUUUVS me the sounds of teabaggers whining. it almost makes up for bush v. gore.
    don’t worry, dude. to quote dan savage, “it gets better.”

  27. deathpaneldoggy says:

    So you have a problem with a healthcare system proposed by a right wing think tank that has been enacted into law…
    Pearl clutching!!

  28. Hey @mellowjohn – no whining! Took a day and a breath – we got beat bad yesterday. Now it’s back to enjoying Tea! Speaking of Tea – your use of Teabaggers – why do you guys all have to call names? Almost every comment includes name calling. I don’t mind so much, but it’s an interesting observation…

    It does get better…. the election season is upon us…. nothing but good times ahead!

  29. @deathpaneldoggy – do you really think Obamacare was crafted by a right wing think tank? Really?

    Whatever the case, I don’t much care what any think tank puts out there. I do, however, care what has become law. Bottom line is that the government now has the power to tell you to buy something and tax you if you do not comply. Before yesterday, that power did not exist.

  30. Henry,

    Mandatory health insurance is not so different from mandatory car insurance. We insist that drivers have insurance, not only for their own sake, but because uninsured drivers costs other drivers money when they have accidents. Similarly, people without health insurance inflict costs on us all because when they get sick, we end up paying for their care. Which is why Romney’s Massachusetts scheme, the model for Obama’s health care system, insisted on a mandate and had to. (Note that the dissenting justices correctly pointed out that without the mandate, the entire system cannot work. That’s why they argued that the whole act should be thrown out.)

    I guess if I were enough of a libertarian, I would find it outrageous in the extreme that I be obliged to do something by the government, no matter how reasonable. Thing is, though, I don’t really feel that the government is always and necessarily an imposition on me, especially when it addresses an existential problem that can only be effectively addressed by cooperative action.

    You write that this [post] isn’t really about health care. The funny thing about that is how this remark corroborates the suspicions of liberals and moderates that Conservative arguments are seldom about specific, real-world problems but always about attitudes and feelings untouchable by facts or arguments.

    By the way, you also write that there has been “no discernible improvement from his [Obama’s] policies. In fact, the U.S. has been doing better than most industrial countries in the current depression; and the economic calculations I’ve seen indicate that a good part of the reason is that the stimulus, though inadequately large, probably saved a point or two of unemployment. Meanwhile, countries like the United Kingdom and France, which have followed Republican policies, are back in recession because austerity is simply counterproductive under current conditions.

  31. Halloween Jack says:

    As long as you’re fantasizing about things that will never happen, dream of building a time machine and going back in time to convince Governor Mitt Romney to not pass his own version of healthcare, since he’ll be so dead-set against anything like it when he’s running for a different office in the future. Good luck with that, both with the time machine and the convincing.

  32. Let’s me point out a few things you might want to know before “demonizing OBAMACARE:
    1) Mitt Romey had the exact same program in 2004 for his state as Governor, they live more health and productive lives across the board. A side effect is lower crime and other issues, that come with this including treating drug addicts as medical issue: which a good rehab psychologist tells people, rather than a moral problem as most “religious twits think.

    2) It’s just like the DoD’s TRICARE Health System and that it’s worked pretty well in the past for me most of the time (as a 20 year Navy Veteran). If you’re so against it, then why didn’t you speak up for VETERANS who’ve been on TRICARE and taken care of by the “socialist” system you hate so much.

    2) Most of the EU -Socialists Countries: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, England, etc. who have socialized medicine have higher life spans and health citizens. Healthy citizens means productivity and consumerism. If your a worker who’s medical needs are taken care of, then you’ve got nothing to take away focus from your work or being away from work by being sick. Instead you can be a productive person, who’s being a consumer and producing a product of some kind. That when people who have no health care are forced to do illegal and immoral things to get treatment. When there’s health care, they instead concentrate on being productive to society and make it work. Notice that the homeless and crime rates are lower in these countries than the USA. Statistics don’t lie about information it’s basic numbers that should be seen as such.

    4) The fact that the game of Gov’t super medical care just ended and everyone is on an equal playing field. That you can now be seen at any public or private hospital for your health and they have to allow you in. The only exception is military which is why the politicians go there to the best specialized deal treatment. But if you’ve got a military relative, guess what you can go if they put you on their TRICARE plan and be seen for cancer, etc.

    5) CJ Roberts did his job, that the fact bribery has been used to brake federal laws shows no shame on the part of those corporations who did it. Honor and integrity mean nothing to these people. In fact, they’d let you die. Now you have a chance to be able to be productive in your life.

    Let me ask, if you had cancer wouldn’t you want to be able to be treated for it? Or would you just simply pray it away. How about your spouse or children? Do you deserve to loose your job, home and livelihood to a disease that can be treated and that the hospital says no because it’s a “pre-existing” condition. You’d do everything in your power to keep your loved ones alive. With the passage of Obamacare, its protect you from being turned away and being bankrupted by some jackass who’d pinching pennies to save the hospital money. Or even worse they decide to let you in and then take your money and you loose your job because of your family’s illness. Now you’re protected from being screwed over by the HMOs and other medical corporations.

    So instead you should say THANK YOU! to a man who made a morally right decision in face of corruption and bribery charges of his peers. Who knows that the best thing for the future of the USA is a strong work force and productive one. That they don’t have to worry about raped by their HMOs because of medical issues. That the your children and their children will be able to grow up without the fear of being terminated by some corporate peon who’s sees them as a waste of money. Who’s life could change the world. What if your grand son invents the first Faster than Light engine to allow us to travel. If he has cancer and dies then it never happens. Now he has the chance to make a better future. Instead of looking at this as a negative think about all the good it will do in you can live a long life.

  33. Hi @Jim Harrison – thank you for being civil!

    I think you’re right – both sides do this. I would add that I consider myself a conservative long before the word Republican comes up. I disdain much of what the GOP does, mostly that which is not conservative enough.

    Anyway… For me it’s a Constitutional issue. I think many (most?) federal legislative endeavors are un-Constitutional and should never have been passed. That said, I have no problem with a State doing some (again, most?) of this stuff.

    Take abortion for example. Although I am pro-life, I have no problem whatsoever if a State wants to pass a law allowing for unfettered abortion. I feel the same way about same-sex marriage. I have no problem with it, as long as it does not become the domain of the Federal Government; it’s none of their business.

    If a State passes some law I don’t like, I can move.

    Federal Government powers were supposed to be “few and defined” and the States left to handle all these specific nuances. And that is the crux of the matter for me.

    The car insurance issue is a State issue, not a Federal one. And of course, I can choose not to drive. Markedly different from a Federal mandate.

  34. Hi @Mac – Thanks for the thoughtful comment…

    1) Romneycare is a State program, perfectly acceptable under the 10th Amendment. While I never agree with State coercion, it is not comparable to a Federal mandate.

    2) My Uncle flew F4’s in the Pacific theater – you guys are the best. Thank you! Regarding DoD Tricare – it has no bearing on a new Federal power to force you to buy something or pay a tax, which is essentially my problem with Obamacare (I have many other lesser problems, but that’s the biggest).

    3) The Scandinavian countries you cite are tiny. Their system is unlikely to scale to 310 Million people. England is wrought with problems…waiting times, rationing, technology, etc. But all that is a moot point – we are not a socialist country (yet). One of the things that makes the USA exceptional is that we are free to make individual choices in a way not found in any other country in the world, or in history.

    4) This is a fine point, but suffers from a fatal flaw: Our Constitution does not provide for everyone being equal.

    5) I don’t follow the comment… But I have no ill will toward Roberts. I am, however, stunned by his decision because it is uncharacteristic.

    6) My family is filled with examples of terrible disease. My sister and father are both survivors. Brain cancer took my Mom. At every step of the way, we had the best care possible. I recently had a health scare and I was able to get right into to a GI doc, get the tests and treatment I needed – right away. When a bureaucrat check actuarial tables before approving a treatment, there would likely have been – ay a minimum – a wait for me, if not an outright denial.

    This comes down to a constitutional issue to me. The Federal Government has no authority to force me to buy something and tax me if I don’t. Well, it didn’t until yesterday.

  35. Keep up the good work, hilarious satire site! (Poe’s law!)

    But for those who believe it’s real and (gasp!) agree, you can move to Somalia. There is no government there, you’ll love it.

  36. I don’t see this as a government take over of the insurance industry. Nor do I see this as the end of the free market. Many – if not most – of the provisions were gleened from the Heritage Foundation and had the support of many Republican’s back in the day however, it wasn’t until President Obama formed the ACA based on these provisions did the Republican’s balk. The vitriol (This is socialism! Tyranny! End of the free market as we know it! Our democratic republic is DEAD!) and hyperbole (Now the government will force us to eat broccoli!) does absolutely nothing in the way of fixing our health care system. The abundance of misinformation does a great disservice to those who struggle to meet their medical needs and obligations.

    Right now people who do not have insurance wait until they are severely ill to seek medical attention, usually in the form of and ER visit. When these same individuals skip on the bill, who pays for it? Hospitals and doctors increase their costs in order to make up for the short fall, meaning higher premiums for those of us who do pay for health care.

    The ACA is VERY generous to the private insurance industry in that approximately 30 million people will be purchasing health care which in turn, will lower premiums for all. Additionally, there are no free rides with the ACA, which appears to be a major fallacy floating around. How is one a freeloader if they are required to purchase insurance? Further, it does not put government between a doctor and his or her patient nor does it take away policies that individuals currently have; they can continue to see the same doctors they’ve always have. Where does the industry get “hit?” By not being allowed to turn an individual with a preexisting condition away (currently in effect for children); Prohibits the insurance industry from imposing lifetime limits for healthcare; Prohibits the insurance industry from dropping an individual should one be diagnosed with a life-altering medical condition; Mandates that states form exchanges so individuals have “one stop shopping” when seeking to purchase health insurance; Parents are allowed to keep their college age children on their policies until the age of 26; Closes the Medicare Part D “donut hole” for seniors; Mandates that the insurance industry spend at least 85% of an individuals premiums on actual medical care. I can go on and on but I think this gives a pretty good gist … I just don’t see how there is anything coming close to a government take-over of insurance, tyranny, the end of freedom as we know it. Don’t worry free marketers! The insurance industry will thrive!

    As a bankruptcy paralegal, I can safely say that for every six clients we represent, an average of four out of the six become clients due to medical debt; a self-employed construction contractor who was already experiencing hardship due to the real estate bubble bursting found that his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, which she successfully battled breast cancer for six years. They had insurance but due to high deductibles, co-pays and services not covered, they came to us with over $250K in medical debt and couldn’t keep up with the decrease in income and the ever increasing medical bills. Or the single mother whose son had leukemia (thankfully he is now in remission) and found herself in the hole for over $65K that wasn’t covered by her insurance. Or the 32 year-old former architect with brain cancer who came to us with approximately $130K in uncovered medical costs. These are not unusual cases – to the contrary, it’s more common than people think.

    It’s time the US moves up from 37th place in the world in terms of healthcare for its citizens. And in my mind, the ACA is a win-win all around.

  37. Henry,

    I tend to think historically about political issues. In U.S. history state’s rights have generally been invoked for lousy causes. The authors of the Constitution made many dubious compromises to get the country off and running, and many of ‘em involved states rights. The protection of the right to have slaves is a famous example, but a continuing problem is the anti-democratic apportionment of Senators, a provision that makes states like Wyoming and Alaska the American version of rotten boroughs. And skipping the historical evidence that states rights are generally an excuse for somebody’s bad behavior, I note that state and local governments are far more likely to interfere in my life than the Feds. What’s with this notion that states can do what they like, even when it is bad, while the what the Federal government does is illegitimate, even when it is good and, indeed, increases my actual freedom as an individual?

    Bottom line: I’m not very impressed with abstract appeals to the Constitution, especially since everybody who treats that document as scripture manages to find in it exactly what they want to find. Indeed, I’d argue that Just as atheists make better bible interpreters, those of us who don’t make a fetish of the Constitution are more likely to be able to understand both its considerable virtues and obvious defects.

  38. Jason Landry says:

    Why do I never hear any of these conservatives nutcases railing against mandatory car insurance?

  39. Bill Hicks says:

    “I’m going to Tweet, Facebook, write letters, make phone calls, blog, heckle politicians, recruit friends, organize Tea Parties. I am going to do everything in my legal power to vote every leftist out of office this November. I will work tirelessly to this end.”

    Good luck there Mighty Mouse!!

  40. Job Creator says:

    This is awesome. Conservatives crying for a “well-reasoned debate”- under an article accusing the President of threatening the Chief Justice’s children.

    Stay derpy teabaggers.

  41. Sam Meyerson says:

    Om nom nom. The tears of conservative wingnuts – they are so sweet.

  42. It is perfectly fine for Congress to compel you to pay a tax, and then assign that money for any purpose they have specified. It is also fine for Congress to give tax breaks when income is used for specified purposes. We do this all the time. Everyday, Congress is compelling you to buy 70 dollar hammers and Medicare for the poor.

    Here, they simply have a tax and corresponding tax break if you purchase health care. The mandate is simply a tax break. It is not against the law to not purchase health care – they never said it was. You just owe a tax if you haven’t. Enforcement has always been assigned to the IRS.

    Somehow, you can be forced to buy things all the time through taxes, but when you are given a choice on how to get a tax break, that is usurping freedom??? Is this outrage for real?

  43. “3) The Scandinavian countries you cite are tiny. Their system is unlikely to scale to 310 Million people. England is wrought with problems…waiting times, rationing, technology, etc. But all that is a moot point – we are not a socialist country (yet). One of the things that makes the USA exceptional is that we are free to make individual choices in a way not found in any other country in the world, or in history.”

    I’m British, so not really my place to intervene in this debate. I do just want to ask Harry something, though: do you really believe that other people in other countries, even in the rest of the developed world (like the UK or the aforementioned Scandinavian countries), are not ‘free to make individual choices’? And do you believe we are ‘socialist’ countries, too?

    No malice intended; honestly curious as to how Western Europe is perceived.

  44. ProudGayConservative says:

    “Later this afternoon, it’s going to come out that Roberts was coerced. A Secret Service agent overheard Obama and Axelrod discussing the Roberts blackmail. He managed to get them on tape discussing it. Later this afternoon, the whole story will come out, Roberts will issue his REAL opinion, and Obama and Axelrod will be taken away in handcuffs.”

    Actually, I think he probably was coerced, but it will never come out. At least, not until Justice Roberts does.

  45. deathpaneldoggy says:
  46. El Ronbo says:

    Don’t worry, your butthurt will be covered under Obamacare.

    BTW, I’m grateful to the right for branding health care reform “Obamacare”. The whole battle is a replay of the battle to get Medicare passed – go back and read some of the things Reagan wrote and said in the 60s trying to stop it from being passed. Like Medicare, this will end up being an incredibly popular program with the American people, as they see it saving both lives and money. Forever associating it with a Democratic President will be a gift to the left for decades, and a cudgel to use against any Republican running for Congress or the White House.

  47. Michael says:

    Hello Harry,
    Nothing sarcastic or mean-spirited here, just a few additional facts to ponder regarding federal vs. state mandates and the founders:

    http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/102620/individual-mandate-history-affordable-care-act

    In 1790, the very first Congress—which incidentally included 20 framers—passed a law that included a mandate: namely, a requirement that ship owners buy medical insurance for their seamen. This law was then signed by another framer: President George Washington. That’s right, the father of our country had no difficulty imposing a health insurance mandate.

    That’s not all. In 1792, a Congress with 17 framers passed another statute that required all able-bodied men to buy firearms. Yes, we used to have not only a right to bear arms, but a federal duty to buy them. Four framers voted against this bill, but the others did not, and it was also signed by Washington. Some tried to repeal this gun purchase mandate on the grounds it was too onerous, but only one framer voted to repeal it.

    Six years later, in 1798, Congress addressed the problem that the employer mandate to buy medical insurance for seamen covered drugs and physician services but not hospital stays. And you know what this Congress, with five framers serving in it, did? It enacted a federal law requiring the seamen to buy hospital insurance for themselves. That’s right, Congress enacted an individual mandate requiring the purchase of health insurance. And this act was signed by another founder, President John Adams.

    Not only did most framers support these federal mandates to buy firearms and health insurance, but there is no evidence that any of the few framers who voted against these mandates ever objected on constitutional grounds. Presumably one would have done so if there was some unstated original understanding that such federal mandates were unconstitutional. Moreover, no one thought these past purchase mandates were problematic enough to challenge legally.

  48. DUDEBRO says:

    “What the hell is wrong with John Roberts?”

    John Roberts doesn’t care if the law is a good idea idea or not. That not his job to decide, and kudos to him for recognizing that. So you can throw all of that out when trying to discern his reasoning.

    The constitutionality of the law, as found by the SCOTUS, is pretty easy to follow. Don’t think of it as a mandate. Think of it as a new tax applied to everyone (as congress has the power to do), but if you have insurance you get a tax credit. It’s really no different than getting a tax rebate for making energy efficiency improvements to your house or something like that.

  49. >Will my kids be okay?

    Yep, because now they’ll get to stay on your health insurance until they are 26. Hooray!

  50. @Michael – Yours is an excellent argument, but is not comparable to Obamacare. Here’s why:

    Article I, Sec. 8, clause 17 of the U.S. Constitution, says:

    “The Congress shall have Power To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislatures of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; ”

    Regulating and “exercising Authority over all Places…” including dock yards (ports).

    Furthermore, In Federalist 43 Madison backed up the notion that these places are fully supported by Congress. He said, “The necessity of a like authority over forts, magazines, etc. , established by the general government, is not less evident. The public money expended on such places, and the public property deposited in them, requires that they should be exempt from the authority of the particular State. Nor would it be proper for the places on which the security of the entire Union may depend, to be in any degree dependent on a particular member of it. All objections and scruples are here also obviated, by requiring the concurrence of the States concerned, in every such establishment.”

    The regulation you refer to is specifically enumerated in the Constitution.