The political, social networking site that integrates politics with popular culture.
The political, social networking site that integrates politics with popular culture.

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Kathy @kdavinci60

First and foremost, it’s not affordable!

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Isabelle Granter @issabell


okay, any specifics?

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com

Funding is a huge problem with obamacare he has already set in place a plan that will wipe out medicare and it doesn’t even touch what is needed to even begin to finance this fiasco.

Socialized medicine has been tried in countless countries and has failed miserably. England has what is a mixed form of it, but it is basically private insurance backed up with some Socialized medicine mixed in and it is still bankrupting them. England has a huge income tax just to keep the socialized medicine going. It is basically an economic money pit that more and more money is dumped into by continually increasing income taxes.

They are already feeling the effects of Romneycare in Massachusetts.

The problem is funding….funding….funding.

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com

Maybe this will shed some light in a different direction. obamacare is a destructive octopus with a million arms.

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Two Cents @twocents

I will give you 10 reasons off the top of my head:

1. Preexisting condition coverage will be limited.
2. Rising premiums for healthy, young, non smoking individuals.
3. At least 20 new taxes on American people
4. Limiting of treatment options from doctors, including prescriptions
5. The IRS is involved
6. Paperwork burdens on all health care related businesses
7. Crushing small businesses by forcing them to provide health care for all their employees or face penalties
8. Giving millions more health care will only worsen our doctor shortage.
9. Over 1 trillion dollars in government spending
10. Oh and of course, the government overhaul of an entire industry. Can’t wait for our health care to be run like our DMV’S, Post office, social security, The government has proven to be inefficient, why let them seize our health care industry??

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Dom Ouano @domouano

My biggest problem with ObamaCare is that it doesn’t do anything for doctors & actual healthcare providers. Imagine a hundred new patients suddenly showing up at a hospital but there aren’t any new doctors or nurses. Suddenly the hospital is severely understaffed. Now multiply that to cover the entire nation. The worst part about this: it’s not fair to the hundred new patients.

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Spencer Schredder @schredder08

My problem is this….. why would we want to expand the power of the Govt. and the IRS, when they are already out of control? The IRS is targeting the tea part, and other liberty based groups, so why would you want to extend their overreach into your life? I know I don’t.

And what I also don’t want to do is pay for it. It is not my responsibility to pay for anyone’s health care but my own.

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mamajay @mamajay

I agree with almost every comment. I know a guy who is chief of staff of a hospital system. He suspects 1/3 of hospitals will close down because of Obamacare. But my FIRST complaint goes way back to Nancy Pelosi saying to Congress, Let’s pass it and then you can read it! Insane comment; even more insane reality.

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John PharmD @epharmd

Specifics people!

Like @domouano Good point. Just wondering if it is better that those hundred people get some health care instead of no health care and end up in the hospital, costing a lot more.

@mamajay Your friend the chief of staff at a hospital may be correct. Any hospital that goes out of business because we are transitioning from a sickness management system to a health care system (to keep people out of the hospital) is a good thing.

@jlriggs57aol-com The reason Medicare solvency is increasing is that we are saving money though Obamacare.

I’ll get to @twocents later….

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Kenneth @kenneth

I think getting to specifics on the ACA is a good idea. When I read the wikipedia entry I was amazed at how much of the detail is glossed over. The cost of insuring “all” Americans (“all” is not quite accurate, as there will be some fall through) is covered by a complicated set of mechanisms including new taxes and offsets based on cost savings. Conservatives generally agree with the main goal of the ACA (expanded insurance coverage), but disagree with how ACA achieves this goal. Specifically conservatives don’t like the new taxes and they don’t like the use of federal legislation (i.e., would prefer states to act on their own).

These are well principled objections that arise from the core of the conservative philosophy. They are not really anti-Obama, or anti-democrat objections. I respect these objections. However, I still believe that ACA (or something like it) is required.

Insurance is by definition a re-distribution of cost and risk. Prior to ACA (and perhaps despite it) the rules of coverage and the requirements to be in/out of healthcare insurance were arbitrary and impractical, both the risk and the costs ultimately flowed into the same Medicare bucket. What if your auto-insurance provider told you that driving on I5 was not covered? What if your auto-insurance, or home owners insurance was tied to your work? If you lost your job, then maybe you can’t drive? The insurance industry knows how to re-distribute the cost & risk for these examples. But health care insurance is not so simple and the country needs new infrastructure for this industry.

Finally, it’s important to remember that the ACA does not make the federal government a heath care insurance provider, or a heath care service provider. The legislation is about the rules (and infrastructure) of health care insurance.

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The bottom line is the un-insured, the obese and other sicklies are costing us too much money already. Health care cost are ridiculous! I do not have all the answers and I am not certain Obamacare is, but it needs to be fixed.

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Stacy Rush @therightrush

Please share where you get the medicare is more solvent bc of Obamacare and the CA program costs less?

People 40s and under do not recall a time when our healthcare was not provided by our employer, but this was the case before the government placed wage freezes on employers so they moved to employee benefits to attract employees to their company. But as is with every government program, once you give taking away becomes impossible.

When we paid for care ourselves we had no middle men making decisions about our health. Doctors charged a fee for their service, not to administrative employees to bill the appropriate code in order to get the most reimbursement.
When we paid for service, we as consumers had skin in the game and considered whether it was really a necessity to run to the emergency room for a sniffle

Add to this a physicians concern of being sued for missing something and you have a doctor not listening and ordering tests that are unnecessary preventing nothing except a possible lawsuit.

Physicians are retiring early, and less and less see the benefit of spending their youth in school to make the same amount as someone who sells insurance.

So we have a doctor shortage already, and are adding more consumers in the market. What does this equal? Longer and longer wait times, and rationing of services.

Medicare: I was recently introduced to medicare through clients I manage.
I began reviewing and tracking their medical bills/reimbursements and was astounded at how little a physician is reimbursed from medicare. Here is a real example
Upper GI billed: $575
Medicare approved: $173 (30%)
When a physician agrees to accept a medicare patient, they agree to accept the approved amount, once a patient meets their $162 deductible, the Dr eats the rest.

With Obamacare, the medicare reimbursement is decreasing.
Less and less physicians who will agree to accept medicare patients putting at risk those who need care most.

The bill will not increase the % of people insured to the population. Yes more people will be insured but at the population growth rate, the % of people insured does not change.

The penalty tax for not carrying coverage is so low for employers and individuals it incents each to decline to purchase leaving us with the same issue, we the people pick up the slack.

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Gary @grand-vizier

Overwhelming public support?Saving money through Obamacare?
Are you in the twilight zone? An alternate dimension.
This basic premise is about as valid as thinking since we eat dinner after lunch,obviously lunch causes dinner.
Saying Obama care is going to be a train wreck diminishes train wrecks, but since it is all timed to collapse after the 2014 elections who cares?
John PharmD,in the theoretical world you are probably right,clearly keeping people healthy is obviously better than letting them get sick and treating them.
In the real world people continue to get sick and need treatment.
Closed hospitals don’t help much do they?
What about accidents?What about disasters?Try thinking things a few steps further than the stock Liberal nonsense.
Shall we have a security guard at the closed hospital saying”move along,you should have taken better care of yourself”?
To paraphrase N.Pelosi “We need to live with the aftereffects of Obamacare to find out how it works”.

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Zakery Daniel @conservativezak

Let me put two different views on this to try and be specific. The first is simple economics. When supply and demand are not in equilibrium there will be adverse side affects. First whichever of the two are out of equilibrium will then either make a quick jolt back to the other or the other will then make a quick jolt. So adding 10 million new people to an industry will cause the premiums of those who are paying to increase. At last look the projection for a family of 4 is $20,000 for insurance. Secondly the 10th amendment was put in place to allow states to do things like this. The Federal government is so large where they are now taxing and allocating the money. Instead of the middle man the Fed. why don’t we just let our states tax us?

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John PharmD @epharmd

I live in a dimension where facts and specifics matter. Here are the specific facts that have been asked for:

“The greater expected Medicare Advantage savings stemmed from provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” “This confirms that the Affordable Care Act continues to strengthen Medicare,”

“While critics of Obamacare predicted premiums would skyrocket, that isn’t happening in California. Health plans submitted rates that were 29 percent below to just 2 percent above what equivalent policies cost in 2013.”

Jobs and innovation happening with Obama’s other surprise

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John Grant @johng405

None of your bullet points are factual.

Obamacare is a scam. Your health care will only be as good as your politics or Kathleen Sebelius’ good old boys network. Even Nancy Pelosi is backing off earlier claims that Obamacare will be cheaper and better. Obama would not have to burn jet fuel and his slush fund to keep selling this if it was working. The only parts that are working are those that have been waived. Unions want out. Employers won’t hire. It’s collapsing on itself. Nothing overreaching to point out policy price increases of 146% or record numbers of Americans who are forced into part time jobs.

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John PharmD @epharmd

@johng405 Oh, let me quess: Facts from the liberal media are not facts? Thanks for your terrific made up opinions.

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John Grant @johng405

Actually, yes. Right now, for the first time, you are seeing how Obama looks without his lying machine in the press functioning as palace guards around him.

And as far as Obamacare is concerned, I stand by my comments. All your bullet points are false and this scam is in a free fall. Nobody wants to be forced to live under it.

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Brian @irie-brian

I am an American. I do not want my friends, family, neighbors, and most of all myself to be property of any government. My health is my responsibility and as soon as I turn that responsibility over to a government or corporate entity I won’t have a say in how I am cared for. I know there are poor and sick, but they will be able to start improving their life situation as soon as they stop feeling entitled by a government. If no one put any money in the pot, no one would expect anything out of it. The issue is that there are a lot of people who put money into our Government, now they expect some sort of benefit from the government. Those expecting something from the government are only putting themselves in a position to be ruled by its policy.

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Here’s a nice little article from Forbes on how this affects me (and other bros like myself) personally and why the system will fail.

So basically I have to subsidize the old, the sick and the unemployed if I am participating in this system at about double the normal healthcare premium rate.

Rates will spike if 20something young men don’t participate. And we won’t. We’ll go private, because it’s much cheaper.

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John PharmD @epharmd

Good Forbes article.

Complaining about pooling risk for insurance makes no sense. Isn’t that what insurance is all about? It is the only thing that will keep any insurance system afloat.

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Gary @grand-vizier

John PharmD
The California cost comparison has been shown to be phoney.
They were not comparing apples to apples.
They were comparing very expensive plans that very few if any were currently buying to Obama care packages.
Comparing existing coverage to the Obama care offerings result in cost increases ofter over 150%
Your comment above is just trying to change the subject.
Of course pooling risk is what its about but that wasn’t how the program was represented or sold to the public. Opponents ALWAYS agreed with that concept.
Obama care was sold as a free lunch,cheaper costs and healthcare for all with no additional costs.
Now it is clear that more care for more people will cost MORE!
So the people expecting free stuff now expect us people who PAY for stuff to quietly cough up.
Every single thing the opponents of Obamacare foretold is happening and the Liberal Democrats are saying its not their fault,of course pooling risks is costly ,we knew that suckers, it’s the only thing that will keep any insurance system afloat.
The public keeps re-electing these crooks and they deserve what they get.

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John PharmD @epharmd

Ok. Fair enough. Still better than what we had. Here is a really good article on how to make things better. Hot off the press from New England Journal of Medicine.

Reevaluating “Made in America” — Two Cost-Containment Ideas from Abroad

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Gary @grand-vizier

I totally disagree that is “better than what we had”
First there is no evidence of any actual improvement,only hype.
Second because of disruptions and termination of many existing healthcare policies healthcare will be much worse and or expensive for a number of people. Many are already losing the plans they had before this folly was implimented.
The enormous amounts of mostly wasted money could have been used to help people instead of being flushed through the Washington cesspool. That in and of itself is a tragedy for healthcare.Whenever anything flows through Washington a minimum of 35% is skimmed off the top before a cent leaves Washington.
Basic common sense should tell you the more hands money passes through the less benefit the ultimate user derives.
Why do you think people want to “get it wholesale” DUH! The closer the money stays between the Patient and the Doctor the better for each.Obama care is just another scam to bleed (literally)money out of the medical system. They must have forgotten to teach basic addition and subtraction in the school system these days.
Trading something that really needed improvement for something else that doesn’t work and paying an unimaginable amount of time and money to do so doesn’t add up to “better than what we had” to this writer.

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Julia Wotten @juliaw

I agree with @epharmd. All the studies I’ve seen indicate that premiums are dropping, more people will have access to BETTER coverage. Everyone that has insurance doesn’t see a single change to their plan. People need to understand that no matter what, we pay for people that get sick when they go to the emergency room. Do you want to pay for it responsibly or irresponsibly? Right now, emergency rooms are filled with people that do not have insurance, by law the ER has to treat them, and cover the costs, which is then passed on to the insurance companies, which in turn raise EVERYONE’s rates. So should we pay for it before or after the people get sick or hurt. You decide! Hear the facts straight from the source:

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John Grant @johng405

There is a story today about members of Congress and their aides retiring so they can keep their health care and skip out on being forced into Obamacare. Obamacare for thee, but not for me.

There is also another story about 10% of your income being taken by Obamacare will be the new normal.

How much longer can anyone carry water for this trash?

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John PharmD @epharmd

@johng405 @grand-vizier Nice opinions, but please base them on facts not generalization and conjecture. I too fell into that mode as well on a couple of postings.

Backing up statements around specific provisions and facts as it relates to Obamacare/ACA and health care would elevate the conversation. We can get the hyperbole from talk radio and FoxNews.

The original request was not to speculate with generalizations, but comment on the SPECIFIC provisions that are not working or have problems. Facts would be nice.

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John PharmD @epharmd

Your links point to how good congressional health plans are versus ones mere morals have. Connecting it to the ACA is pure link bait and speculation.

My previous bullet points? Not sure to what you are referring. Please be specific.

*The one about decreasing cost of plans in CA has partial truth based on apple and orange comparison.
* It is factual and real that Medicare solvency has increase by two years b/c of ACA.
* It is factual than there is a huge about of innovation and new economy around the emerging health care system (versus the current disease intervention system)

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John Grant @johng405

Can’t live in this fantasyland that the documented mass disruption, spiking costs, and government imposed shortages is hear-no-evil-see-no-evil for unicorn jockeys.

All cults end badly. Get out while you can.

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Gary @grand-vizier

2% of the people think,8% think they think,90% never think.
This liberal drivel about more free or less expensive stuff with no real cost to anyone is utter fantasy inspired by the same people who believe in perpetual motion machines.
Confronted with facts they repeat statistics that have been completly discredited based on theories that never worked.

It is all based on the hope that “someone will pay” Mommie,Daddy,the government,anyone but them. It is justfied by the idiotic thought that if “everyone”just pitches in there will be enough for all ,and oh,buy the way,if they miss work or can’t pay now they will “someday.

Meanwhile those of us who do pay owe it to keep carrying them.I don’t think I “owe” anyone a Damn thing. I pay plenty!
You want health insurance,pay for it like the rest of us and stop thinking what’s mine is yours.

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John Grant @johng405

Full time jobs disappearing. Obamacare cost cutting accomplished by wave of part time hiring.

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Gary @grand-vizier

PharmD,when you’re right you’re right.
I confess ,I editorialized too much,so here are some facts from the Fiscal times.
A University of Chicago study shows that half of the existing individual plans will not qualify under Obamacare mandates. In order to meet those requirements premiums must increase from 25% to 53%.
There will be fewer Medicare providers.The programs own actuary warns 15% of current providers are expected to stop taking Medicare. This together with the expected 30 million additional patients will drive up waiting time and cause a deterioration in the level of service.
Employers are adjusting working hours to change the status of more employees to part time.This will save the companies money but drive the cost up for Obamacare.
The complexity of enrolling in Obamacare is so great the goverment is tring to hire Navigators to help fill out the paperwork.Sound like the IRS yet?
We will still have at least thirty million uninsured ,even under Obamacare.What has been accomplished?
The states have not set up the insurance exchanges in many (most) cases due to cost and complexity and the federal government has neither the resources or ability to do so either.
The number of exemtions to the law are numerious,so much so that already the income projections are badly out of balance.
The IRS blamed the discrimination on conservatve groups on a “surge of nearly 60,000 aplications (which is likely exagerated).
What are they going to do with 30,000,000 new healthcare applications,not to mention 250,000,000 existing people with health coverage?
I think I just touched on the most obvioius issues, There are likely 50 more problems for each of the things I mentioned,after all ,the basic bill is 2300 pages and is expected to generate 20,000 pages of rules and regulations.
Do you believe there is a human alive that can compehend this volume of information?
I don’t.

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Loren Heal @lheal

There is literally nothing about Obamacare that I like.

Obamacare doesn’t address the real problem with our health care system, which is third-party payer. In fact, it makes the problem worse by requiring everyone to have a third party payer, either their insurance company or the government.

That’s bad, because when you have a third party payer, only the third party (and not the seller or the buyer) care about pricing. They only care what the third party will pay.

It forces people to buy birth control, for example, with an insurance policy. Since most people know that they will have to buy birth control, or know that they won’t, using insurance in this way is nonsensical.

I have no problem with birth control. I just think it’s stupid to buy through an insurance company.

It also forces people to insure themselves for things that they will never be at risk for. I will never be an alcoholic,will never get emphysema, will never be pregnant, and so on, but Obamacare forces me to insure against those things. The reason it does so is to socialize the risk, making those things cheaper to insure for the people who are at risk for them. And then, others will never get prostate cancer, but are forced to insure against that. That socialization of risk may make you feel good, but it gives me the creeps.

It’s still unconstitutional, no matter what Justice Roberts said. He was wrong. If something is unconstitutional, Congress should not have the power to do it by calling it a tax.

The things people usually say they like — coverage for preexisting conditions, guaranteed eligibility for your parents’ policy, and subsidies — I really don’t like at all.

People who have some illness or condition have a problem, but paying for their health care with insurance just makes it worse.

The best insurance companies charge a 15% overhead+profit penalty. That is, 85% of what you pay them goes to your health care.

People should pay for their health care with cash, and use the 15% savings (and the leftover 85% in savings that they don’t ever use) to buy actual health insurance that covers them if they get cancer or become paralyzed. Most people will never have an event like that, and their savings will build.

Obamacare actually disfavors that scheme.

The way Obamacare is structured, companies will be forced (if they want to stay in business) to move to contract labor (temp services), part-time workforce, and into offering insurance that only covers the stuff Obamacare calls “essential”.

Companies won’t cover hospitalization or other stuff people would like to have, since doing so will break them financially. Since they can offer a plan like that and have it be “affordable” (9% of your income), people will not be eligible for the exchanges. You’re only eligible for the exchange and its subsidies if you aren’t offered “affordable” “essential” coverage.

Since the crappy coverage is not going to be attractive and the exchanges won’t be available, many people will pay the individual mandate penalty and either forego health insurance until they get sick or buy a plan that doesn’t meet Obamacare’s stupid standards for essential benefits, but does give people what they want.

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Loren Heal @lheal

Also, see here for 20 reasons I opposed Obamacare last year. They still hold up:

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Two Cents @twocents

Here is an update for all of you: Apparently there is a new bill calling for a full audit of the IRS! The bill prohibits the implementation of Obamacare until the results of the audit are MADE PUBLIC!

Read more about his here:

Do you think this is a good idea?

I say its a great idea!! We deserve transparency, real transparency and this legislation demands it!

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sean cassidy @smc635

The best thing about Obamacare is that it will accelerate the implosion of the most corrupt healthcare system the world has ever seen.

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Tony Bertot @tbertot

My opinion is simply that

1. Why should out taxes pay for people who can afford to have healthcare and don’t.
2. Companies who employ many, make huge profits on the backs of their workers but choose not to help pay for their healthcare.
3. This country seems to have enough money to pay for special privileges for Government representatives but not for their citizens. But always find enough money to pay for war and help out the corporations. It’s about time it stepped up and help the less fortunate.
5. The only reason healthcare cost continues to rise is not because of Obamacare but because of the greed that governs these healthcare companies. If that is not the reason then explain why the continue to make record profits?

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Lisztman @lisztman

Most of the “downsides” of the ACA, as noted in the above comments, are parrots of the political critics. In many cases the information is false — and — there are VERY few specifics, or quotes. The anti-ACA drumbeats are advanced by a group comprised of Insurance Companies, for-profit health providers, and, for lack of a better term, libertarians, i.e., those who have decided that socialized behavior of virtually any kind is not a good idea.

A list of benefits.

1) Insurance companies have been told that, in addition to collecting premiums, they have to pay benefits. They are allowed to fund a corporate structure, pay their employees, and market themselves — but there are now caps in place that state that if they’re promoting themselves as Insurance Companies, they have to pay claims.

2) People are now told that they must have insurance. In general, this is good. Why? In the last election cycle we heard a lot about the 47%, the “moochers”. Well — those who don’t have insurance are societal moochers. “I’m only 28, and I work out, and I’m in perfect health.” Until, of course, said individual falls off a ladder and ends up in the ER of the local hospital, with a bill for $1900 worth of care — and no way to pay for it (himself). The costs of that care are passed to the rest of us — in our own hospital bills and insurance costs. “But I can’t afford insurance.” You can’t? Legitimately? The Medicaid system will help you out. You can’t? But — you have a fancy car, an X-Box, and you took a vacation in the Caribbean last winter — Sorry. You CAN afford insurance. Whether or not you CHOOSE to not purchase it is another story. Cut down on restaurant dinners.

3) Those individuals previously considered “uninsurable” can now find insurance. One could, previously, be denied insurance coverage because of a heart murmur, for instance (no, I made up the example. Don’t tell me that heart murmur patients are covered). How does this increase one’s susceptibility to a broken leg, or appendicitis?

4) We routinely hear that “premiums are rising dramatically.” That’s true. But only if one wishes to “hate Obamacare.” If you presently have an individual policy, and CHOOSE to retain the individual policy with your present carrier, your premiums will probably rise. That’s why they have all those “exchanges” you’ve heard about. The exchanges provide the means for an individual to become a member of a group — and group coverage is significantly cheaper than individual coverage. So if one changes one’s approach — and goes to the exchanges — he will NOT see those “dramatic increases in premiums.”

This is a sampling. As I noted, most of the objections are fostered by individuals with only a half-baked understanding of the provisions of the ACA — and parroted from right-wing media. A lot (e.g., “The IRS is involved”) are simply red herrings. (The IRS is involved only to the extent that there has to be a way for the government to collect the penalty, or “tax”, if you prefer, from those who elect to forego coverage.

Are there legitimate down sides to the ACA? Probably. I’m neither a health provider nor a lawyer. But I’m giving it a chance to work. And I believe that as problems surface they’ll be corrected. I’m sufficiently pragmatic to accept it as an improvement over the alternative — the status quo. And, frankly, the status quo is totally unacceptable for far too many Americans.

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Lisztman @lisztman

@Loren Heal: I could pick apart most of your arguments, but I won’t bother, except for one: “It’s still unconstitutional.”

It’s so nice to know that the Constitutional Scholars and the Supreme Court don’t know what they’re doing, or what the Constitution says, and that you do. Why are you not in Washington making policy? You must have a stack of fancy degrees and experience to make such a pronouncement…

That one statement of yours about sums up the probable worth of the rest of your statements…

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John Grant @johng405

“…The result is that part-time government workers — many of them low-income — face pay cuts that can top $3,000 a year, and yet will still be left without employer-provided benefits…”

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Gary @grand-vizier

About 15 years ago I was at the Natioal Business Aircraft Convention and wandered around looking at all the beautiful used aircraft offered for sale ( no I could’nt afford to buy one then)
There was a georgious two year old Gulfstream on display.when I
asked why it was for sale I found the owner was getting a new larger version.
I thought WOW who can afford such great planes ?
It was a healthcare company that “managed”doctors practices.
There are damn few doctors that can afford Gulfstreams!
Being the middleman is where the money is!
Now the government is going to be the middleman between the middlemen and the doctors are going to be even further removed from the patients.
We will pay more and the doctors will get less.Wonderful!
We read about people being put on hold at IRS for years and little girls being stonewalled about getting a lung transplant.
Everyone knows about waiting at DMV.
Will you live long enough to get to a doctor with government handling your needs or will you be co -operative and just die so the IRS person can close your file in time to get to the line dance or skit rehearsal.
The People voted for this government and deserve what they get!

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Gary @grand-vizier

All those degrees and yet,they are merely humans that voted 4 to 5 to uphold Obamacare by calling a penalty a tax when congress specifically said it was a penalty and the bill was originated in the Senate and the Constitution specifies that all taxes MUST originate in the house so having been originated in the Senate it would be illegal under the Constitution for it to be a tax,which it has to be in order for Obama care to be Constitutional.
Really sounds like a you’re right and Loren has no idea what she’s talking about to me.
Glad you set us straight!

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A. Scott @mustang

What constitutional authority does the government have to access my personal health information, for any reason whatsoever? We seem to have forgotten that our Constitution was never intended to provide overriding power to the government; it was designed to limit the power of the federal government. Beware of any government or political party that wants to strip you of the right of privacy.

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Erica Ancier @erica89

My health insurance has always been excellent because my parent is employed by a medical company. Now, the insurance company charges much higher copays and has limited our benefits and medications available considerably. Wasn’t Obamacare supposed to make health care more affordable and accessible?

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John PharmD @epharmd

The New York Obamacare Triumph and Why It Matters

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Mary @gopgirl1991

What Obama should have done was meet with health insurance companies and doctors to determine what would be the right course of action. Here’s the thing, there doesn’t need to be 20,000+ pages of regulations. I like the concept of preventing health insurance companies from denying patients with pre-existing conditions. I also support the concept of children staying on their parent’s insurance until 26.

However, the ACA slaughters businesses. Small businesses are cutting hours of all their employees so that they all work less than 30 hours a week. Then, they don’t have to provide health insurance to their employees anymore. The question then becomes, who is more important, the citizens or small business owners?

I guess the government just needs to focus on economic issues. The social ones aren’t important, and won’t be until we fix our economy. Obamacare is putting us deeper and deeper in debt and we aren’t getting anything good out of it.

PS, ladies, buy your own birth control pills if you want them so badly.

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John PharmD @epharmd

Nice post that is similar to some of those opposing Obamacare, while supporting the fundamentals of it.

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Kevlar @kevlar


The Supreme Court DID NOT declare Obamacare to be constitutional. In fact they did not rule either way on that, except that they did find it to be unconstitutional under the “Commerce” clause, the clause under which it was passed in Congress. They also found it unconstitutional under the “Necessary and Proper” clause.

The Supreme Court never said that Obamacare had any authority to exist under the United States Constitution. For those who missed civics class in high school, the constitution is the source authority for ALL laws and if a law cannot find authority within the constitution it will be unconstitutional and cannot exist as a law in the United States of America.

What the Supreme Court said is that Congress does have the authority to collect a tax. If you read the constitution you will see that Congress does indeed have the power to tax. It is amazing that this had to go all the way to the Supreme Court for that. Are they the only ones in the nation who can read?

Was it necessary for this to go to the Supreme Court just so they could read aloud to us the first sentence of the first paragraph of section 8 of Article I of the Constitution which states “THE CONGRESS SHALL HAVE POWER TO LAY AND COLLECT TAXES…?”

Apparently so because it seems that reading at a third-grade level is beyond many people. Some of the Constitution requires more than a third grade education but that one sentence is VERY basic. All the Supreme Court did was declare with certainty that Congress can tax you. I already knew that but there are some on this blog who apparently didn’t.

The Supreme Court made three relevant decisions:
1) They ruled Obamacare could not stand under the commerce clause
2) They ruled Obamacare could not stand under the necessary and proper clause
3) They ruled that Congress does have the authority to tax, just as always

The Supreme Court NEVER ruled that Obamacare was constitutional.

What can we learn from this? We can see that Congress can force us to do something if the constitution gives them that authority. Congress wants us to purchase Obamacare but they do not have the authority to force us to purchase anything. And finally we learned (many of us already knew this) that Congress can tax us any time they want, for any reason, and for any amount.

Think about this for a minute – can Congress force us to purchase a Ford F-150 truck? NO THEY CANNOT. Can they tax you if you don’t purchase that truck? Absolutely they can, but they can also tax you if you DO buy the truck. Please note that their taxing power has absolutely NOTHING to do with purchasing a Ford truck. That power is separate and the association is (legally) coincidental. This is important: Congress CANNOT force you to purchase a Ford truck. As a completely separate and unrelated story that has nothing to do with the Ford truck, congress can tax you. This is what happened when Obamacare met SCOTUS.

The Supreme Court understood this. It was apparent that the people did not understand this so they went out of their way to tell us what we should have learned in high school. Most liberals still didn’t understand this, or maybe they did and instead used it to falsely declare that Obamacare is constitutional when intelligent people know otherwise. If you don’t have the support of reality then make something up and hope nobody notices.

Hopefully this will go back to the Supreme Court before it becomes too ingrained in society to be removed. This time the Court will need to rule on the legislation (Obamacare) not on the idea of taxing authority. If they rule on that this will not stand and the reasons have been stated here by others.

Here is an interesting quote from the SCOTUS decision:

“Neither the Affordable Care Act nor any other law attaches negative legal consequences to not buying health insurance, beyond requiring a payment to the IRS. And Congress’s choice of language—stating that individuals “shall” obtain insurance or pay a “penalty”—does not require reading §5000A as punishing unlawful conduct. It may also be read as imposing a tax on those who go without insur-ance.”

It is interesting to note that the Supreme Court altered one tiny little word to make this work. They have some precedent to alter insignificant words but this one word, from “fine” to “tax” SIGNIFICANTLY altered the legislation AFTER Congress had passed it and the American public could no longer consult their legislators on the issue. This is a perfect example of legislation without representation, in this case “legislation from the bench” at the highest level and Obama knew it. This is why Obama stood ready with the “tax” idea immediately when the “fine” part failed under ALL parts of the Constitution.

If this was a valid law there would be legal consequences for not purchasing health insurance. If there are no legal consequences for violating this so-called law then there is no law requiring you to purchase health insurance and indeed there is not such a law. What purpose is there of a law if there is no consequence for violating it?

You do not have to purchase health insurance and that is final because Congress cannot compel you to purchase anything. As a totally SEPARATE issue (legally speaking of course because we all know about the “secret” link here) may I interest you in the latest of taxes that congress has conceived?

“We don’t tax everyone with this special tax, just some people and you are it. By the way, we do have that authority, thanks for getting SCOTUS to clarify that for us. Now just sit there quietly and do what the government tells you to do, and if we decide to increase your taxes for ANY reason please be aware that we have that authority and you helped us prove that.”

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com

@kevlar, good research. You brought out some interesting points that, to be honest, I hadn’t considered.

This is the same kind of blackmail that the federal government has been playing with states for decades, only in reverse. For example, when the government wanted the speed limit to be dropped back in the 70’s, they said to conserve gasoline or when they wanted seat belts to become mandatory nationwide, they simply said that they would take away any bridge and road funding that, that state was receiving. They couldn’t tell each state that they had to make it law but they could put a financial hurt on them it they didn’t, so to maintain their federal funding they did what they were told to do.

No we see it being played out in reverse on the individual. Instead of, we will withhold if you don’t do what we say, we have, we will take away if you don’t do what we say. Given the situations I cited above, this just doesn’t surprise me.

I would say that this is a clear case of taxation without representation, however, I have representation in the guise of senators and those in the house of representatives. So any claim I would make that I am not represented would be null and void. Even if those who are supposed to be representing me, are merely there to push their own agendas, even if they have to sell us all out in the process.

As to the governments misuse of the constitution to suit their needs, this has been going on for quite some time. but I will say that it has never been manipulated and ravaged as much as it has been during this administration.

Kevlar, again good information. Thank you for taking the time gather this information and bring it to us so that we can be better informed citizens.

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Lisztman @lisztman


GV — You’re obviously another Constitutional scholar who belongs in Washington. Your opinion trumps that of Congress, the Supreme Court, and everyone else?! WOW. When do you make an appearance on Fox News?

To gopgirl: All those businesses that Obamacare is hurting. Listen, please, to what you’re saying. They used to provide healthcare to their employees? Even when they didn’t have to provide it at all? And now they’re cutting back hours so they don’t have to provide it? What am I missing here?

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Kevlar @kevlar


Nobody’s opinion trumps that of Congress or the Supreme Court. In fact the personal opinions of the Supreme Court do not trump Congress either. The ONLY thing that trumps Congress (or the Supreme Court) is the Constitution. Please feel free to read it sometime as it will enlighten you.

If you read the Constitution you will see that Congress has limited powers and that the powers they do have come from the Constitution (a document written by the STATES). In plain English this means that Congress has the authority to act within the confines of the Constitution and NOT outside the constitution.

To put it even more bluntly because many people do not understand this, the very authority for the existence of Congress is the Constitution, so if congress is working outside the Constitution then congress does not exist. Same with the President. Same with the Supreme Court. Everyone loves Obama but wants to shred the Constitution, but they fail to realize that without the Constitution, Obama is not the President.

The purpose of the Supreme Court is to make sure that the laws passed by Congress fall within that Constitutional authority and if they don’t fall within that authority they MUST strike them down. It is Congress’ responsibility to act within the Constitution at all times but since we are all human and therefore make mistakes, it is the sole responsibility of the Supreme Court to catch those mistakes.

The people have no say on a law after it is passed and signed by the President except to encourage new legislation to either change an existing law or completely abolish an existing law. The only real place the folks have a say is when Congress is debating pending legislation. In the case of Obamacare, the re-writing of that law happened AFTER and WITHOUT the people being able to speak.

This illegal act is commonly referred to as “legislation from the bench” and in this particular case “taxation without representation.” The folks do have a final say, not on legislation but on who they trust to legislate and they get this chance every two and six years to vote the bums out. Four years in the case of a president. Unfortunately we aren’t very good at this. The reason we are not very good at this is because our laziness to become politically informed results in too many of us blindly accept the lies they tell us, and many are not smart enough to see through them.

Your last sentence where you asked gopgirl the question “What am I missing here” is absolutely astounding. I could write books on what you are “missing” here, lisztman. I searched for a way to answer that in as few words as reasonably possible. Here is the Reader’s Digest version (36 words) of what you are missing:

“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.” You probably think this is a punch-line to a joke but it is the concept upon which this country was founded and built.

You don’t have a “right” to healthcare or for that matter “health insurance.” Let’s face it, what we are being forced to buy is not health care but health “insurance.” Health “care” is an entirely different matter and books could be written on the destruction of that (by Obama) as well.

If health insurance was a “right” then they would have had it back in 1776 or at least by 1787. They did not because nobody had even heard of it at the time. Health “care” was available at the time but not health “insurance.” However, what you do have is the right to the pursuit of happiness.

If the pursuit of happiness means to you that you have health insurance then by all means you should seek that insurance. If it isn’t important to your happiness, perhaps you are young and healthy, then perhaps you might look for other ways to pursue your happiness. You don’t have a “right” to health insurance but you do have the right to pursue your happiness.

It may seem odd to you but the reality is that I also have the right to pursue happiness. If it makes me happy to pay out of my pocket for your health insurance then I am free to pursue that. But it doesn’t make me happy to pay for your health insurance. The reasons it doesn’t make me happy are plentiful but I will list only a couple.

First, I probably have something else in mind to spend my hard earned money (the fruits of my labor) on instead of your “health insurance.” I might want a boat or a different car, or I might even want to use my hard earned money to send my daughter to college. I can do whatever makes me happy as long as it does not intrude on your rights.

Second, I have no control over your life and how you will wisely or unwisely spend my money. A quick example: If I am going to pay for your health insurance then I don’t want you risking your health (this is my investment in you). I don’t want you smoking (ever), playing high risk sports (ever), engaging in promiscuous sex (ever), and consuming any dangerous drugs (ever). I will be at your house prior to each and every meal you eat to make sure you are eating properly.

Hell, I don’t even want you to cross the street (ever) because you might get hit by a car and there goes my investment in you. I am a prudent investor who doesn’t like to take unnecessary risks with my money. If you are willing to give me complete control over your lifestyle then I might consider investing in your health insurance and health care.

Those are the minimum requirements that MUST be met before I spend my money on your health insurance or care. If you take money from me for this purpose without meeting these requirements I will consider it theft of private property and will take you to court for violating MY right to pursue MY happiness.

Well, I guess we know that ain’t going to happen because you have the right to pursue your own happiness and if that means eating a bowl of ice cream then who am I to stop you?

What does all this mean? Very simple. Your right to pursue your happiness stops at the point where it starts to interfere with my right to pursue my happiness. You want health insurance – go get it if you have the ability to get it. DO NOT REACH IN MY POCKET FOR MONEY TO PAY FOR YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE!

What Obamacare is doing is reaching into my pocket to get money to pay for your health insurance and this is wrong. However, using slight-of-hand and getting the Supreme Court to grossly abuse their power and deny the right of the people, he is taking that money from my pocket and calling it a “TAX.” It is just as wrong.

One final point from which you need to view Obamacare and this is aside from the “tax” part. At NO PLACE in the Constitution of the United States can you find ANYTHING that could be construed, even with the wildest of imaginations, to authorize the federal government to involve themselves in matters of health insurance. To re-state the obvious: the federal government DOES NOT have the authority to do this.

If the government uses powers that are not authorized by the Constitution, they are using what equates to “dictatorial” powers. Say bye-bye to your freedom! It was fun while it lasted.

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Lisztman @lisztman

@Kevlar: You’re dead wrong on a number of counts. (BTW, TY for demonstrating your knowledge of the Constitution, American History, and the like. There are some holes in it, but I’ll let it go.)

First: When I rebuked gopgirl, I made zero reference to the worth or constitutionality of the ACA. What I said (I’ll give you the Readers’ Digest version): She stated that her company used to provide Health Insurance. Now the ACA makes them provide Health Insurance, so they won’t. What am I missing? IOW — that just plain doesn’t make sense.

Second — after I plowed through all your swell Libertarian propaganda — You are correct. The ACA does not require health care. It requires that everyone have some manner of health insurance. I gather you do not like being told that you are required to have health insurance. You probably also rail against being required to carry automobile liability, and you don’t like that the bank holding your mortgage requires that your house be insured, as well.

The point in all of those mandatory insurance situations is that when (not “if” — WHEN) someone without insurance falls prey to bad luck (in the case of a healthy 26-yo who suddenly has acute appendicitis) — ALL of society pays for it. The hospital necessarily passes on those lost revenues to the rest of everyone else. The ACA codifies this practice. It says that everyone in society must pay his own way.

The alternative is to allow the hospital the opportunity to let die those who can’t afford care. I gather this is what you’re suggesting?

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Kevlar @kevlar



Your comment “When I rebuked gopgirl, I made zero reference to the worth or constitutionality of the ACA” may be technically correct but it completely misses the point. The point is that although there are plenty rock solid arguments to be made against Obamacare and why we should repeal Obamacare, this is a dead-end effort (in my opinion).

Those opposed to Obamacare who are actively trying to get it repealed all have a valid reason but those valid reasons number in the thousands and as a result the fight against Obamacare is going in a thousand different directions. If we all concentrated on the very first problem with Obamacare we could end it today, perhaps even yesterday.

Obamacare is unconstitutional all day long and there are no exceptions. The United States Supreme Court even threw it out in its entirety. It was passed by the House of Representatives, the Senate, and signed by the president as a fine, not a tax.

It barely squeaked by at that but it would have died a lonely death in congress if the legislators would have called it a “tax” because the American people would not have allowed even the skinniest of majorities to vote for that. You will also notice that there was not a single Republican who voted for it. However that is nothing more than noteworthy. To cry over that is to cry over spilled milk.

This should have been a sign to the Democrats of things to come, meaning that since not a single Republican voted in favor, that if the Republicans ever got to a point to make their voice be heard that they just might do it. In other words, if the Republicans ever won control of the House (in this case) they would have the power to speak against Obamacare and force the other side to listen, whereas they were unable to even ask the Democrats in congress to listen in 2009-2010. The Republicans were steamrolled back then but now the Republicans are driving that same steamroller and the Democrats are crying foul.

We are finally witnessing this now. This is a poetic-justice answer to Nancy Pelosi when she said “we will have to pass this so that you can see what’s in it.” It’s kinda like she said to the Republicans “in your face” and now the Republicans are saying to the Democrats “in your face.” Most intelligent people have heard of unintended consequences but apparently not her. Well, this is one of those unintended consequences.

None of that matters except that it identifies the Democrats as too inept to see that coming. What matters is that it was unconstitutional – then and now. The United States Supreme Court struck down Obamacare on the basis that neither Congress nor any other part of the federal government could force you to purchase a product and punish (or fine) you if you didn’t. Struck it down in its entirety based on that.

Then Obama, being crafty as he is, instructed his attorneys to argue that it was a “tax” instead of a “fine.” Chief Justice Roberts, in an effort to not be the “bad guy” looked hard to find a solution. There is precedent in SCOTUS to change insignificant words in an effort to get the law to fall inside the confines of the constitution. An example might be to change an insignificant word from say “minnows” to the word “small fish” in regards to a law about fishing. Not much change there and what is there is insignificant. Many would argue that to be unconstitutional though.

Let’s not worry about that though and agree that changing an insignificant word is OK. Changing the word “fine” to the word “tax” is very significant though. A drastic change of this magnitude by the Supreme Court is legislation from the bench.

ONLY CONGRESS can legislate and one of the reasons is because Congress MUST listen to the people, while the Supreme Court not only doesn’t have to listen to the people, they CANNOT listen to the people. This is legislation without representation. Famous documents have been written about that and the most famous is the Declaration of Independence. The next day we were embroiled in war with the British in which many Americans died to defend our freedom.

Now, what is the difference between a “fine” and a “tax”?

A fine is punishment for doing something wrong, as in breaking a law. The government wanted to force you to purchase health insurance and if you didn’t you would be forced to pay a fine as punishment for your non-compliance with the law. SCOTUS said (correctly) that congress had no authority under the constitution to make such a law, and they struck it down.

Then SCOTUS changed the word to a “tax” which did not make it any more legal as far as a law, but it meant that SCOTUS no longer had to rule on Obamacare, meaning that it was now a non-issue. It was now a non-issue because now the question before the court was does the congress have the authority to tax people, yes or no. We already knew that they could not “fine” you for the non-purchase of a product but that was no longer an issue because SCOTUS correctly said NO.

Question: can congress tax you – yes.
Question: can congress tax you if you don’t buy health insurance – yes.
Question: can congress tax you if you do indeed buy health insurance – yes.
Question: can congress tax you if you wear a blue shirt – yes.
Question: can congress tax you if you don’t wear a blue shirt – yes.

In other words, congress can tax you any time, for any amount, and for any purpose. Congress’ ability to tax you has absolutely NOTHING to do with Obamacare, NOTHING.

The Supreme Court couldn’t care less what decision making process congress (or Obama) used to decide whether or not to tax you. They could tax you because you drive a Ford and that would be just as insignificant as if they used the non-purchase of health insurance as their deciding factor because the ONLY question at that point was “DOES CONGRESS HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO TAX?” YES, THEY DO!

Now, someday I expect the Obamacare ACT itself to go in front of the Supreme Court and if the Supreme Court does its job they will strike it down because the federal government (congress and Obama) HAS NO AUTHORITY to get involved in health insurance – PERIOD.

Fighting a thousand different, although legitimate, battles will probably never work. We would have to wait for it to collapse under its own weight. Unfortunately by the time Obamacare falls completely apart under its own weight it will probably be too late to do anything but have a government bailout, which will make the bank bailout seam miniscule and cheap.

Some are saying that the Republicans should have waited for it to fall apart on its own and they may be right. However, even now we are seeing the Democrats trying to grease the skids by telling us to expect trouble just as there is trouble with other new systems. Even after four plus years to prepare for the best thing since sliced-bread? Give me a break! Get ready for even more laws to fly out of congress just to fix the damage to the economy caused by this failed law.

I say fight it now and concentrate our efforts on the one point that it cannot survive. But that is just me.

As far as companies providing health insurance for their employees goes, you bet they did, at least some of them did. They did so voluntarily, never by law. They did so because they wanted to offer something that would attract not just the average but the best employee to them, not to the competition. The key is that companies did this voluntarily and only if the company could afford it. Now they are involuntarily paying much more for employee health insurance and it doesn’t matter if they can afford it or not.

This started off as a good thing for the employee, because if he had the skills to get on with a company that could afford to pay his health insurance, the employee won and so did the company. Now that it is being forced on us it is bad for both the company and the employee. The 40 hour work week is nearly gone and that is very hurtful to the employee and the economy as a whole. Many people are not getting hired because of this. Free enterprise is a fleeting thought now. Gone is the American dream. Sorry kids!

By the way, I am NOT a Libertarian. I strongly disagree with them in some very important areas, one of which is foreign policy and defense. Also, it isn’t that I don’t like being told that I have to have health insurance (although I don’t like that), it is that it is very much against the constitution to do that. Why do I care about the constitution? Because the constitution, and the oath that EVERYONE with any kind of official authority swears to uphold, is THE ONLY THING IN THIS WORLD THAT GUARANTEES MY FREEDOM, and yours too, by the way.

The constitution guarantees certain things to each American and these things are our freedoms. Every person with any official authority is made to swear an oath to uphold that constitution and upholding that constitution means that they will (or should, we can talk about failures another day) guarantee, to the utmost of their ability, to defend my freedom. Shred the constitutions and you shred your freedoms.

Sorry, but I really don’t care about your freedoms but I do care about mine and lucky for both of us, those freedoms are the same. In the long run, what this means is that I will put my life on the line for your freedoms, and I hope you would do the same if called upon. The ONLY thing you and I have is that constitution and if they shred it piece by piece then they shred our freedom piece by piece.

As far as automobile liability, I am not required to buy that and neither are you. For that matter nobody is required to buy automobile liability, ever. Driving is not a “right” but it is a “privilege” and rights are owed but privileges are not. This means that you can legally be prohibited from driving and in that case you do not need automobile liability. As a side note you can choose to not drive and in this case you do not need to purchase automobile liability either. Freedom of speech is a “right” and you don’t see many fourth graders being prohibited by the government from talking. However, you do see fourth graders being prohibited from driving on public roads because that is a “privilege” they do not have.

A “fine” is something you pay if, for whatever reason, you do not follow the law. If you don’t want to purchase automobile liability, then don’t drive. If you don’t want to pay a “fine” for breaking a law then don’t break the law. When Obamacare was a “fine” if you did not purchase government approved and expensive health insurance and did not want to pay the “fine” then your only choice was to stop breathing. Just for clarity sake, the Declaration of Independence acknowledges our right to “life.” Perhaps the Democrats should acknowledge that as well.

Same logic goes for the insurance on the mortgaged house. If I don’t want to purchase insurance on my house, I don’t have to. There is no law saying that I must. If I don’t I probably won’t be able to get a mortgage on my house but there also is no law that requires me to have a mortgage on my house. It is all about the freedom to make your own choices. That’s what this country is all about.

For the record I do believe it is responsible to have automobile liability when driving a car. In fact I have considerable more liability coverage than is required to have, should I choose to drive.

We use the term “lost revenue” quite frequently but sadly it has no meaning. By this I mean the phrase is used incorrectly and your example is as good example as any. Revenue means money coming in and if you lose that money coming in it is not really “lost revenue.” How can you “lose” something you never received? This is only common sense.

A far more accurate way to say it would be that the hospital necessarily passes on those unrecoverable “COSTS” to everyone else. When you use the term “lost revenue” you convey an extremely inaccurate meaning that the hospital, as a business is greedy. No, they are not “greedy” but they do have to have some way to absorb the COST of that uninsured person (or go out of business and that hurts everyone) so yes, they pass the cost on to their other customers. This is true of ALL business. Those who don’t do this will fail and go out of business. History has proven that to be true millions of times each year.

You have the right to the pursuit of happiness and you are NOT forced by law to purchase health insurance. In fact you still aren’t required by law but it can get expensive tax-wise if you don’t. This is worth repeating. If Obamacare was a law then you would be fined or possibly imprisoned for not following it, just as you would be for not following any other law. Once again, for the purpose of clarity, the Supreme Court of the United States of America struck it down when it was a “fine.”

For the uninsured there are many things that can be done to mitigate those cases but volumes and volumes of books have been written on that (and ignored). For one thing, following the constitution would make health insurance much, much cheaper, but it can take books to explain that to those who don’t even know what the constitution is. Sadly, those books have been written and ignored as well.

Your last question does not even warrant an answer.

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The public did not want it, in reality we had about 9 – 10 Million people that needed Insurance, but the President chose to impose his view on the Country without 1 vote from the opposition party. Never has a public policy the impacted so many people been shoved down the throat of the American people, it always had support from both parties.

The real with Obamacare is that is does nothing to get Healthcare costs under control, it focused on controlling the insurance premiums by throwing tax payer money at the problem

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Lisztman @lisztman

@Kevlar: Okay, so you don’t call yourself a Libertarian. But the stuff you’re saying about the ACA smacks of Libertarian ideals.

Again, I don’t know your background… how many degrees you do, or don’t, have in whatever subject matter. But I’m amazed that your personal knowledge of Constitutional Law is apparently, in your eyes, deeper than that of the President, the Congress, and the SCOTUS. That you can, somehow, have decided that they all broke the law in letting the ACA proceed as written.

You’re right. I’m not required to purchase auto insurance. Unless I drive a car in the State of New York, in which case I am required to purchase auto insurance. (I also have, or at least did at one time — don’t know if the rule still applies — the option of posting a bond somewhere in the equivalent liability amount, to be used as the funds that would “normally” be acquired via an insurance settlement.)

So, in your ideal world, one should not be required to have health insurance. Regardless of what you say or think, you are NOT required to buy it. You are required to have coverage. There are several ways of meeting this requirement, one of which is to purchase it.

So, having said that, I’ll grant you that you should be allowed to opt out of the system. In which case, the entire healthcare system should be allowed to opt out of taking care of you if you get ill or otherwise sustain injury. If you choose to opt out of the system, I’m more than happy with allowing the hospital to let you die on the street.

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Kevlar @kevlar


Lisztman, I think you missed the point, but first I need to clear up some other things.

No, I am not a Libertarian but you might be right in observing that some of the things “smack” to use your word, of Libertarian ideals. I don’t care about Libertarians but I do care about the constitution and I believe they care about it as well.

Why do I care about the Constitution? Because I cherish my freedom and there is not another single document in this country that guarantees the protection of my freedom. The ONLY guarantee that you and I will be free tomorrow is that piece of paper. How, you might ask can a piece of paper defend my freedom when a piece of paper can only have words? It is rather simple.

The constitution guarantees yours and my freedom AND it also tells us how our government will be built and how it will function. The first thing the constitution requires of ALL who will be part of the government is that they swear an oath to uphold the constitution. The constitution guarantees my freedom, and demands of everyone in government to honor that guarantee. In other words, the constitution passes on that guaranteed protection of all Americans to EVERYONE in government.

This is the only thing that separates us from the slaves of a dictatorship. Guaranteed freedom is the only difference between us and the starving peasants of North Korea under their dictator. We are free because we were created that way and we acknowledged that with the Declaration of Independence. The FIRST thing we force our government to do is guarantee that freedom. If they don’t want to accept that guarantee then they will not be in government, it’s that simple. Shred the constitution and you shred the guarantee of protected freedom.

If you want to call that a Libertarian ideal then be my guest. I also think this is the way the Libertarians look at it. However, this is not just a Libertarian ideal; it is a patriotic American ideal. Too bad you don’t see it that way.

As for my background, I have a hard fought for and well earned degree in the school of life, and that is all you need to know. I am an individual patriot first, a conservative second, and a Republican a very distant third. What I do know about the constitution, that apparently you don’t know, is that there are very few (and limited) powers given to the federal government and those powers, for the most part are spelled out in Article One, Section Eight, with a few elsewhere but most of them pertain only to the administrative aspect of running the government so that those enumerated powers can be carried out.

An example of a power of the federal government that is not an enumerated power is: when, where, and how to elect members to a given office. These are not enumerated powers, they are basically administrative powers. Enumerated powers are few and they are very limited by design. I understand this as I would have hoped that you did as well. I am also smart enough, as I believe you probably are too, to understand that there is no mention of the government having the power to be involved in the economy of the United States. Especially not directly.

There are three clauses however where the Democrats and Obama tried to justify constitutional authority for Obamacare. Those three clauses they tried are the “commerce” clause, the “general welfare” clause, and the “necessary and proper” clause. I would forgive you for getting this wrong before June 2012 when the United States Supreme Court made their infamous ruling because many people, like you, who didn’t understand the constitution didn’t understand this.

In June 2012 the Supreme Court struck down Obamacare in its entirety and they struck it down because the federal government has no authority to require you to participate in commerce. If you choose to participate in commerce the federal government then has very limited authority to control that commerce but the Supreme Court specifically said that the federal government has no authority to require you to participate. In other words, if YOU decide to purchase an item (in this case health insurance) then the federal government had some say in what that insurance included. However, if YOU decided not to purchase anything (in this case health insurance) the federal government could not do anything. I am surprised you forgot all the discussion about how the federal government could not force you to purchase a Ford even though you didn’t want to purchase a car. Alas, your failing memory is not the subject here is it?

Obama had his attorneys argue three things in front of the Supreme Court. Those three things were that there was authority under 1) the commerce clause, 2) there was authority under the general welfare clause and 3) there was authority under the necessary and proper clause. News flash – the Supreme Court of the United States struck down Obamacare on ALL THREE of those clauses, declaring that the federal government had NO AUTHORITY to force you to purchase ANYTHING.

Then Chief Justice John Roberts illegally and unconstitutionally changed one word in the Obamacare Act. He changed the word “fine” to the word “tax.” The word “fine” meant that there was a penalty (fine) for breaking the law to purchase a product (health insurance). There could be no “fine” for breaking the law because there could be no law requiring you to purchase a product (see above). No law, no fine for breaking it.

That word was then changed to “tax” so now there was no penalty for breaking a law that did not exist. Basically, the Supreme Court changed (illegally) the Obamacare Act (it can no longer be called a “law” because it was struck down) and the meaning is that the Supreme Court could now set aside Obamacare and rule on the matter that was now in front of them. The matter that was now in front of them is: does Congress have the authority to tax – yes or no? It wasn’t a matter of can congress tax you if you don’t purchase health insurance because remember the Supreme Court already said that the federal government could not force you to purchase anything. So set aside the health insurance part and the only question in front of the Supreme Court was: can congress tax you – yes or no? The answer was and still is – yes, they can. Ironically, the purchase of or the non-purchase of healthcare has absolutely nothing to do with congress’ ability to tax.

You sat through all this, you remember all this. It was all conducted in the English language and the record is written in English should you want to re-read it (by the way, I suggest you do read it).

However, and this is the funny part of it, there is one part of the constitution that I know I apparently know better than you, at least judging by the words you wrote.

I am smart enough to be able to read the enumerated powers, which I will assume you are as well (please advise if you are not that smart and I will issue an apology). But I am obviously smarter than you when it comes to reading the tenth amendment. For clarity I will include it here and I will use caps to denote importance here because this is very important:


So what does this mean?

First let’s review some facts:

Obamacare was struck down by the Supreme Court of the United States because the federal government does not have the authority to compel anyone to purchase anything – ever.

The Obamacare Act was then illegally changed by the Supreme Court. This was illegal because only congress has the authority to legislate and make laws. The Supreme Court DOES NOT have the authority to legislate. The Supreme Court, having no authority to do so, did it anyway. Keep in mind that when the Supreme Court acts OUTSIDE its authority, the court does not exist and when they do not exist their rulings are unconstitutional. However, as illegal as it was, the Obamacare supporters did their level best to bury that illegality because it gave them a chance (illegally) to keep Obamacare alive.

The reality is that the Supreme Court struck down Obamacare, then they illegally changed not only a word, but a very significant word, and in so doing they rendered Obamacare irrelevant in regards to something they needed to rule on. To be clear, now that Obamacare was a “tax” the ONLY question the Supreme Court needed to rule on was – can congress tax? It didn’t matter why, congress does not ever need a reason to tax, they always have that authority. Obamacare as a “tax” was NEVER ruled on; neither up nor down. It didn’t need to be ruled on, and it wasn’t. Still isn’t.

Back to the tenth amendment and what it means to Obamacare.

The Supreme Court struck down Obamacare, then they hacked it up so that it didn’t matter and no longer resembled something the congress had passed and the president had signed and for sure it didn’t represent the will of the people. As it was passed and signed it represented the will of a scarce (meaning thin) majority of the people but as it was illegally changed by the Supreme Court it then represented the will of exactly ZERO percent of the people (something about taxation without representation… didn’t we fight the British over this). Does it really matter if it represents the will of ZERO people? No, if you consider that it is not a law. But it is being treated as if it is a law and the people should now have a say, but Obama and Reid won’t allow that as evidenced by the recent weeks.

Obamacare, even as a tax was never ruled on (up or down) because it didn’t need to be. Someday it will return to the Supreme Court and if they can read and follow the tenth amendment (third grade understanding required) it will be struck down because the federal government clearly does not have the authority to dabble in health insurance. The tenth amendment clearly states that “THE POWERS NOT DELEGATED TO THE UNITED STATES BY THE CONSTITUTION, NOR PROHIBITED BY IT TO THE STATES, ARE RESERVED TO THE STATES RESPECTIVELY, OR TO THE PEOPLE”

Health insurance does not fall within “the powers delegated to”, not in specifics or in either of the three clauses where you can possibly slip in a non-specific item. So, it clearly falls into the category of “NOT DELAGATED TO” and that is specifically the sole jurisdiction of the STATES. For Obamacare to work at all (and it still wouldn’t work because it is an ill-conceived monster) it would have to be done by the states and it would ONLY be valid in the states that properly legislated it and to date, of the fifty states there are NONE who have done that.

I am sorry to get so detailed and long winded but when you accuse me of taking on “the President, the Congress, and the SCUTUS” I believe it is important that I present the facts as clearly as possible.

One more thing, it is not a matter of opinion that people should or should not have health insurance. That is irrelevant but for the record I personally think that at a certain point in life, perhaps when you get older and start a family, it is absolutely responsible to have insurance. That said, it is not for the federal government to require it by law. As indicated above, I value my freedom and the only thing that guarantees my freedom is the constitution. Obamacare shreds the constitution and every time you shred part of the constitution you take away some of that guaranteed freedom.

If there is one drawback to a free society it would be that nobody is guaranteed anything except an equal start. You cannot have guaranteed freedom and guaranteed success at the same time because if somebody doesn’t want to produce then his success is still guaranteed. Where will that production come from to guarantee his success? It will be taken from my production and I will have lost some of my freedom.

You can’t guarantee both so our founders decided it was better to guarantee freedom and let each individual be responsible for his own success. Charity was a very big thing in those days, parents took care of their kids and the kids took care of the parents. Things are different today but if the government would stop interfering in our freedom we would have enough left over at the end of the month that we could all donate to charity. Instead that money that we would otherwise donate to charity is taken through taxes and there is little left for charity.

Helping those who cannot help themselves is a worthy goal but it cannot be legislated. How long have we had poor people and how long have we had a welfare program? Is that welfare program working? No. There are ways to help those who cannot truly afford health insurance, but this is not the way.

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com


I don’t know how much I can add to this discussion but I do have a few things I would like to say. I have been reading through a lot of the comments being made and I hear it repeated over and over that the Supreme Court has said that obamacare is constitutional, which reminds me of something that Abraham Lincoln once asked. He once asked the question of a person who was being a bit contrary, “How many legs does a donkey have if we say his tail is a leg?” The guy thought for a minute and then stated, “Five”. Mr. Lincoln looked at him and said, “No, a donkey only has 4 legs.” “Just because you call a tail a leg doesn’t make it one.”

It is just as true in this case. Just because the Supreme Court says it’s constitutional doesn’t make it so. In several ways, that have been mentioned through out this discussion, shows that it is in fact not constitutional. Is it impossible that the Supreme Court could be just as corrupt as the rest of Washington? I don’t believe so.

When we begin to say this or that is true because someone of authority has said it is, haven’t we allowed ourselves to become mere robots of those who only need us for as long as we will believe what they say, whether it is true or not.

We are the only country in the world that has a system of government that allows us to think for ourselves and how do we make use of that gift? We close our minds and say I will follow. This is not the destiny of men this is the destiny of sheep.

For now this country’s highest power is Our Constitution. We should not allow anyone, Republican, Democrat, Tea Party, Independent, Libertarian, or the Supreme Court to use it, alter it, or misrepresent it, for political or any other gain.

It, in fact, is the reason we are the greatest country in the world, it is the reason people from all over the world want to come here, and it is the reason why for more than 200 years we can still say “We Are Free”.

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Lisztman @lisztman

@James L. Riggs

First, Mr. Riggs — the Constitution is the set of rules under which this Nation operates. You have zero right to ignore it because you perhaps disagree with one of its articles or clauses.

Mr. Kevlar — Sorry. The SCOTUS didn’t “strike down” Obamacare. What Justice Roberts said was that the administration’s argument in favor of fines was outside the rule of the Constitution. But that its interpretation as a tax was within the rule of Law and therefore constitutional. There is, simply, no mechanism by which the SC can write or rewrite law. That function is 100% within the purview of Congress.

I’m glad your third-grade education enables you to disagree with all those legals in D.C.

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Kevlar @kevlar


First of all, James, I copied your list of recipients and then added to them from this thread in order to hopefully get some of them to return to the conversation. I hope that copying your list is OK with you. I added my name to the bottom of the list in case someone wants to “copy” the list into their post.


I don’t often quote Wikipedia because sometimes their accuracy is questionable but that doesn’t mean they are wrong all the time. This demonstrates that Obamacare has problems of acceptance with the people in general.

“Public opinion polls indicate that the United States public generally supports healthcare reform, but the public’s views became increasingly negative in reaction to specific plans discussed during the legislative debate over 2009 and 2010. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act itself remains controversial with opinions falling along party lines; most Democrats favor the law, while Republicans and Independents generally do not.”

“Specific elements are very popular across the political spectrum, with the notable exception of the mandate to purchase insurance. FiveThirtyEight, describing public opinion of the law, said, “while surveys have consistently found that a plurality of Americans have an overall negative view of the Affordable Care Act, they have just as consistently shown that large majorities of Americans favor individual elements of the law.” For example, a Reuters-Ipsos poll during June 2012 indicated that 44% of Americans supported the law, with 56% against.” Wikipedia Patient_Protection_and_Affordable_Care_Act

Obamacare, as illegally changed by the Supreme Court, basically does one thing relative to the “individual mandate.” Since the Supreme Court ruled that the Act does not compel, or force you to purchase health insurance, the only thing left is to realize that the Act only “asks” you to purchase health insurance (asks because it cannot compel). As a citizen, your answer to that suggestion will either be “yes I will purchase health insurance” or “no, I won’t purchase health insurance.”


“But the mandate need not be read to declare that failing to do so is unlawful. Neither the Affordable Care Act nor any other law attaches negative legal consequences to not buying health insurance.” Section titled “Held: The judgment is affirmed in part and reversed in part.” Paragraph 4 (b)

Does congress have the authority to “fine” you if you don’t purchase health insurance? No, and the preceding paragraph should be enough proof but I will provide more later. Does congress have the authority to tax you ONLY and BECAUSE you didn’t purchase health insurance? No, there is no authority for this in the constitution.

However (this is important and it will absolutely make your day), does congress have the authority to tax you totally separate from anything related to health insurance? Yes, they do, you can find this authority in Article One, Section 8, and its expansion in the sixteenth amendment.

What does this mean for us? Simple answer. Obamacare is NOT a law with legal standing and authority because there are no legal consequences (penalties) to not purchasing health insurance. The Supreme Court made this very clear.

The Supreme Court goes on to say that if you don’t purchase the government approved health insurance that you could be subject to an additional tax. Taxing authority is addressed and discussed under a completely different part of the constitution. Article one section eight, first clause states that “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts, and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.”

The sixteenth amendment allowed for the first time that taxes could be taken from “income” (as opposed to just assessed value of property) and it removed the restriction that it be apportioned among the states and without regard to any census. In a nutshell this meant that congress could tax anyone they want, anytime they want, and for any amount they want.

As extreme as this example is, this would give congress the authority to take, via taxation, 100% of the income of all people who are between 5 feet 9 inches and 6 feet 2 inches tall, and only do that on even numbered years (my point is to illustrate that this power, as written in the constitution specifically in the 16th amendment, is unlimited).

Can they tax you if you don’t purchase health insurance? Yes, but not because you didn’t purchase health insurance. Taxing authority has NOTHING to do with health insurance and health insurance has NOTHING to do with taxing authority.

Here are some interesting observations from the Supreme Court decision on Obamacare:

“Beginning in 2014, those who do not comply with the mandate must make a “shared responsibility payment” to the Federal Government. §5000A(b)(1). The Act provides that this “penalty” will be paid to the Internal Revenue Service.”

This is found in the initial paragraph (abstract if you will) and establishes that the Supreme Court acknowledged that the Act, as written by congress and signed by the president, was clearly intended to impose punishment for non-compliance (basically compel you to purchase something whether you wanted it or not).

“Twenty-six States, several individuals, and the National Federation of Independent Business brought suit in Federal District Court, challenging the constitutionality of the individual mandate and the Medicaid expansion. The Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit upheld the Medicaid expansion as a valid exercise of Congress’s spending power, but concluded that Congress lacked authority to enact the individual mandate. Finding the mandate severable from the Act’s other provisions, the Eleventh Circuit left the rest of the Act intact.” This is also found in the introductory portion of the decision.

“The Anti-Injunction Act provides that “no suit for the purpose of restraining the assessment or collection of any tax shall be maintained in any court by any person,” 26 U. S. C. §7421(a), so that those subject to a tax must first pay it and then sue for a refund. The present challenge seeks to restrain the collection of the shared responsibility payment from those who do not comply with the individual mandate. But Congress did not intend the payment to be treated as a “tax” for purposes of the Anti-Injunction Act. The Affordable Care Act describes the payment as a “penalty,” not a “tax.” That label cannot control whether the payment is a tax for purposes of the Constitution, but it does determine the application of the Anti-Injunction Act. The Anti-Injunction Act therefore does not bar this suit.” Judgment section paragraph 1

This means that if it was a “tax” then it would NOT have made it to the court because the Anti-injunction Act would have kept it out of court. The mere fact that it found its way into court in spite of the Anti-Injunction Act means that the Supreme Court acknowledged that it was in fact not a “tax” but a “fine” as was specifically stated in the passed and signed law.

However, it is noteworthy that the Supreme Court later said that as a “fine” it was absolutely unconstitutional and as a result they struck it down. Interesting how even the United States Supreme Court can speak out of both sides of its mouth at the same time. Even with my third grade education I was able to catch that one, but I noticed that some people missed it (Lisztman, let me know when you get it).

“CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS concluded in Part III–A that the individual mandate is not a valid exercise of Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause.” Paragraph 2

The law was struck down under the “commerce” clause and again under the “necessary and proper” clause.

“The Framers knew the difference between doing something and doing nothing. They gave Congress the power to regulate commerce, not to compel it. Ignoring that distinction would undermine the principle that the Federal Government is a government of limited and enumerated powers. The individual mandate thus cannot be sustained under Congress’s power to “regulate Commerce.” Paragraph 2 (a)

The law was struck down under the “commerce” clause and this explains why.

“Nor can the individual mandate be sustained under the Necessary and Proper Clause as an integral part of the Affordable Care Act’s other reforms. Each of this Court’s prior cases upholding laws under that Clause involved exercises of authority derivative of, and in service to, a granted power.” Paragraph 2 (b)

The law was struck down under the “necessary and proper” clause and this explains why.

“Even if the individual mandate is “necessary” to the Affordable Care Act’s other reforms, such an expansion of federal power is not a “proper” means for making those reforms effective.” Paragraph 2 (b)

“The Affordable Care Act describes the “shared responsibility payment” as a “penalty,” not a “tax.” That label is fatal to the application of the Anti-Injunction Act.” Paragraph 4 (a)

Sorry Lisztman, but you need at least a third grade education to understand this but I will try to explain it to you.

“CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS concluded in Part III–B that the individual mandate must be construed as imposing a tax on those who do not have health insurance, if such a construction is reasonable.”

The interesting thing here is that Roberts has compromised his own integrity. If it is a “tax” as he now wants to call it (he has no authority to do this because ONLY congress can legislate, but he did anyway) it would not even be in front of the court because it wouldn’t pass the Anti-Injunction act (you can research this yourself if you are so inclined).

Basically, what happened there is that the law specifically declared it to be a “fine” and NOT a “tax” which was a good thing because if it was a “tax” it wouldn’t be in front of the court. So it definitely is a “fine” and we know this for two reasons. One is because the law specifically and clearly states it is and two, as a “tax” it cannot at this time be in front of the Supreme Court and can’t be until 2014 taxes are due (April 15, 2015) and that is still a long way in the future.

But wait, Roberts is going to take the single handed authority (read dictatorial actions, powers which he does not possess) and rule that it is indeed a “fine” for the purposes of getting it through the courts door (around the Anti-injunction act) and THEN alter the word to “tax” which is NOT in the passed and signed law so that he can subvert (do an end-run on) the constitution. Obamacare supporters love this abuse of power and overlook the illegality of it, while those of us who can read see this as a significant loss of our individual freedoms and a compromise of the only thing (constitution) that guarantees the protection of our freedom.

Roberts then turned to the government’s “alternative” argument (Obama’s argument) that it was NOT a “fine” as was passed in the peoples house, the Senate (or the States house) and signed by the president but it actually was a “tax.” All this stuff you might remember is required and if you ever watched the children’s video on “how a bill becomes a law” you would know this. That video has cartoon characters and is made for children so I think you could learn from it if you watch it. You might have to watch it multiple times though.

I don’t remember EVER having the opportunity to consult my representative about a “tax.” This being added AFTER the House, Senate, and president complete their business is nothing short of legislation without representation and furthermore it is “taxation without representation.”

You might remember that we fought the Revolutionary War over exactly that. Yes, we fought a war in which many patriotic Americans died, and we did it in the name of freedom. But importantly, we won that war and built a nation based on a constitution that FORCED our government to respect our rights and freedoms and NEVER exact a tax from us without our consent.

We even made EVERY government servant, including the President of the United States, swear an oath to “we-the-people” that they would NEVER do that to us. In order to serve, every one of those government servants swore an oath that they would not do this.

Yet we have the gall to call Ted Cruz and the House Republicans un-American for standing up to this injustice. In actuality it is the RINOs and the Democrats who sold the American people down the river on this. I almost feel like my third grade education (as you graciously assigned to me) puts me ahead of many politicians.

Even with my third-grade education (thanks for acknowledging that and please let me know when you have advanced to this level) I can see that if not complying with the individual mandate is not “unlawful” then non-compliance is not a violation of any law. For my first grade-educated friends (Litszman) this means it is not a law, only a suggestion and if there are negative consequences (of the financial magnitude in question) for not following a suggestion then this can ONLY be done using dictatorial powers and NOT constitutional powers.

What say you?

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com

@kevlar, You have a real bad habit of confusing an issue with facts. Don’t ya hate it when that happens.

Keep bringing the information. Those who still choose to not understand may get it.

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Arthur @asmithj

Just my two cents

1. Preexisting condition coverage will be limited.
A. Currently you can’t get insurance with a per existing lowness, you can get insurance under ACA
2. Rising premiums for healthy, young, non smoking individuals.
A. Health care in the USA has been going up double digits now the grow is less then 6%
3. At least 20 new taxes on American people
A. You might be right
4. Limiting of treatment options from doctors, including prescriptions
A. Insurance companies make the choice not the government this is insurance
5. The IRS is involved
A. You are correct
6. Paperwork burdens on all health care related businesses
A. You have paperwork in everything, have you tried to get insurance before
7. Crushing small businesses by forcing them to provide health care for all their employees or face penalties
A. Business with less than 50 employee don’t have to provide anything for employees
8. Giving millions more health care will only worsen our doctor shortage.
A. The point of ACA is the push preventive care, clinics will carry a lot of the load
9. Over 1 trillion dollars in government spending
A. 760 million of that the government already is spending on Medicare
10. Oh and of course, the government overhaul of an entire industry. Can’t wait for our health care to be run like our DMV’S, Post office, social security, The government has proven to be inefficient, why let them seize our health care industry??
A I don’t know about you but I like the post office and social security serves we receive and the DMV is state not federal

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Kevlar @kevlar



Interesting list and thank you for adding your two cents. I have a couple comments to add and I will use your numbers where I can.

Number one: Pre-existing conditions. You can get coverage for pre-existing conditions even today, it is not illegal. Insurance for pre-existing conditions is very expensive (if you understand the business model and the risk/reward relationship it will help you understand this). It is true that many companies might not offer it but there is no law that says you can’t purchase it where it is available.

It has always been very expensive, and it will still be very expensive under Obamacare. Actually, because it is very expensive for one person and Obamacare mandates that it will be available for everyone, it will ultimately be EXTREMELY expensive for all. I guess we are already seeing that added expense, it is just that many people don’t associate the added expense with the true cause.

For example, if you have terminal cancer and no health insurance, you could still find someone to insure you. If the doctors said that you have, for example, one year to live (assume absolute accuracy for this example) and you will need $200,000 of treatments during that time (chemo, radiation, surgery, etc., again assume absolute accuracy for this example) then the cost of that policy for that one year will be $200,000 plus the associated business costs of producing this policy such as labor, taxes, pencils and paper clips, and a reasonable profit for the insurance company to take that risk because without some profit there is no reason to be in business at all.

In the above absolute example you would not expect the insurance company to insure this person for $300 per month because the insurance company would be guaranteed to lose $196,400 in that one year and that would put many businesses out of business and when you multiply that by the total number of people who might fall into this category, it will destroy ALL of the health insurance industry.

If I was the insurance company and you asked me to insure this person, since I already know that he/she is projected to live for only one year and the cost for that year is projected to be $200,000 (no certainty this time, just professional opinions of doctors), I would still insure this person.

However, because there is substantial risk for me and my insurance company and the professional estimates of costs (to me, the insurance company) for one year are astronomical, I would probably insure this person for $250,000 per year, with a deductable of probably $10,000 and a co-pay of at least 20%. There would be a one year pay-out limit on this policy of $230,000. Beyond that you pay out of pocket.

Then, if this person is still alive after one year, I would renew the policy for an additional year for the same amount plus whatever cost increases there might be. I would demand ALL money up front (at the beginning of the year) and I would reserve the right to cancel this policy at the end of every year (not renew the policy).

This policy would be VERY expensive for this person because it will be VERY expensive and VERY risky for the insurance company. That said, business is all about risk-taking and the higher the risk the higher the cost (just look at ANY business model). The bottom line is that in a free-market system this can exist but because of the substantial costs, this won’t exist because the patient cannot afford it and if the patient cannot afford to pay for it the insurance company cannot afford to provide it.

So the government will force it on the insurance companies and NOT pay the high cost required. The insurance company will be forced to pay extremely high costs and will not take in nearly enough to cover those costs, resulting in a very substantial loss for the insurance company. The ONLY option is for the health insurance company to substantially increase the cost to ALL clients including those who are young and very healthy. The health insurance industry will be destroyed.

As a side note, when Obamacare is implemented and this person needs treatment for their terminal cancer, assuming the government ever wakes up and realizes that this is too costly to ever work, they will convene a panel to evaluate the risk/reward. When they see that this won’t pass the risk/reward matrix of any sane person that panel of arbitrators will then have to tell that cancer patient that they cannot have the needed treatment. That treatment, however, was required for the survival of that patient and without that treatment the patient will die. Some folks refer to this panel as a “death panel.”

Interesting also is the notion that Obamacare supporters adamantly deny the existence of these “death panels” and declare that they are a scare tactic of Sarah Palin. Ok, I’ll bite. If there is no panel to make this decision and tell the patient that they cannot have this treatment, then the patient will receive the treatment at the EXTREMELY high cost. You can say bye-bye to the insurance company and while you are at it you can bid farewell to the entire health insurance industry. Read-on, it gets better!

At that point, where there is NO health insurance industry left and ALL Americans are now without health insurance, you can do one of two things. You can start all over with a free-market solution, which will be very difficult considering that the time allowed for this will be about five minutes to build an entire industry from scratch, or you can implement single-payer in a matter of seconds (just violate the United States Constitution one more time, but we are getting used to doing that aren’t we). Which do you think it will be?

Number two: Premiums have been rising for several reasons. With new technologies coming on line that really do improve healthcare, those technologies have to be paid for somehow. Also you need to consider the research and development to bring a new drug, machine, or procedure to market and get it approved by the FDA. This is extremely expensive.

Add to that the cost of liability insurance which is passed on to the consumer because we Americans love to sue someone and we don’t really care how frivolous the lawsuit may be. Then consider how the attorneys get involved and add to the cost.

Don’t forget the rising cost of labor, often the result of union interference. Don’t forget the rising costs associated with increased taxes and government regulations. Some government regulations are good but we have enough regulations to choke off most industries. More regulations means more red tape and that means slower and less efficient business and that results in rising costs.

Then consider that the dollar is being devalued by our own Federal Reserve and that devaluation significantly raises the price of all things that have any influence from the international market (which means almost everything).

When you receive that 3 cent Tylenol in the hospital that you are charged $10 dollars for, you are paying for R&D, liability insurance for the hospital, malpractice insurance for the doctors and nurses (that could be many people), lawyers to defend the hospital and doctors when someone sues because even though the hospital and doctors may ultimately win, they still need to defend themselves in court. You are paying for increased taxes that the government takes so they can give Obama-phones to those who do not need them.

I could go on and list a million things but the bottom line is that these costs will always rise and the more the government interferes in the free-market the faster they will rise.

I must acknowledge what is probably your most important point because there is some truth to it and that is the higher cost to you to pay for the medical care of the uninsured and under-insured. Perhaps we could start by securing our borders so you and I don’t have to pay for the medical care of illegal aliens. This is only a start and I know it is more than just illegal aliens.

There are other free-market ways to reduce this expense. Even with Obamacare running at 100% efficiency this will still be a problem. Question: how many years do you think it will be before Obamacare is running at 100% efficiency? My guess is at least 100,000 years. I would put money on that but I won’t be here to collect.

Number three: At least 20 new taxes, would you like to make a higher guess? I don’t know the real number but this is bigger government in action. If you want more government you will have to pay for it. Good of you to acknowledge this “chink” in the Democrats armor.

Number four: Limiting treatment options? You can now have what you are willing to pay for and this has always been true. However, it will not be true under Obamacare.

Number five: What does the IRS have to do with ANY part of health insurance or health care? Answer: NOTHING. This is just another way to get more people involved and it puts everything you own at significant risk.

Number six: The fact that you might have “paperwork burdens” on something is not reason enough to justify adding even more to those burdens. Your comment here makes no sense (sorry).

Number seven: Business should provide health insurance to their employees IF AND ONLY IF it is their best interest to do so. If it is not in their best interest to provide health insurance then they shouldn’t. This is a business decision that can ONLY be made by the individual business. Having the government interfere with that business will increase the costs of the products that business produces and if the market won’t support that increased cost then the business will fail. When businesses fail employees get fired, unemployment goes up, welfare-associated costs to you and me go up, it reduces taxes coming into the government so taxes on you and me go up to compensate.

The only real answer is for the free-market to address this health insurance issue and get the government out. We are starting to see the truth in this. The problem here is that while the conservatives have been aware of this for a long time, the independents are just starting to wake up to it, the liberals will never accept reality as being real, and the very sad part is the RINO part of the Republican party.

Even though the RINOs might understand this, they will do whatever is in their political best interest because they lack integrity to serve the people who elected them. Please don’t consider this to be a point in favor of the liberals because the RINO group is only a subset of the Republican Party while nearly ALL in the Democrat Party lack the integrity to serve those who elected them.

Number eight: Preventative care is a good thing and eating right and exercise are the best places to start. People either do this or they don’t. Obamacare is not going to change this. But if you put more people in the program who don’t want to concentrate on eating right and proper exercise, then yes, there will be more patients for the same number of doctors and that will result in a doctor shortage. Simple math!

Number nine: Over $1 trillion in government spending? Since Obamacare is unconstitutional (illegal, see my previous posts) this means that $1 trillion is illegally spent. When you stop and think about it, Medicare on the federal level is unconstitutional for the same reasons Obamacare is unconstitutional. Medicare on the state level might find some authority to exist though.

Number ten: Government overhaul of an entire industry? Where did they find the authority to even start that? They didn’t because they do not have the authority to tamper with health insurance or health care. This is unconstitutional.

Too bad your list ends there; I was just getting warmed-up!

Even the most widely accepted part of this, the part that allows your kid to stay on your policy until age 26, is nothing. Even before Obamacare you could do that because it was not illegal. The problem is that most insurance companies are not willing to take on that increased risk unless you are willing to pay for that increased risk (please re-read my example on the terminal cancer patient who wants insurance for a pre-existing condition).

This is how business operates, the more the risk the business (insurance company) takes on your behalf, the more it will cost you. Most people don’t consider that a good investment because junior needs to strike out on his own and start his own family. However, if you really want it, it has always been there if you are willing to pay for it.

Now that the government is forcing that on ALL people, not just the ones who want it, the cost will go very high and we ALL get to pay for it (even if you have no kids).

The very best part of Obamacare is ultimately bad for this country. The funny part, or very sad part if you will, is that on each and every point of Obamacare you can make a valid and strong argument that it is bad. Yet for some reason, we want to attack it on each of those thousand points but we will not fight it at its most vulnerable level and that is the unconstitutionality of ALL of it.

The military talks in terms of the “center of gravity” of the enemy. The “center of gravity” of the enemy is the one point that if you attack with adequate force the enemy will buckle because without that “center of gravity” they cannot continue to function. Constitutionality, or lack thereof, is the “center of gravity” for Obamacare but for some reason we won’t fight it at that point where it would immediately fail. The American people could learn a great deal from successful military strategy.

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Lisztman @lisztman

@James L. Riggs

Several points, Kevlar. I’ll try to keep them simple.
First, about that 3rd-grade education — I have a B.S. from a top-shelf technical university. Statistically my IQ is virtually guaranteed to be a quite a few points higher than yours. You don’t have to talk down to me (or anyone else on this site, thank you very much).

Your preaching of Constitutional law is a waste of time. You do NOT know better than the sum of the lawyers in Washington. Let me simplify the whole thing for you in a few

1) Congress passed a law.

2) Challenges to the law were taken to the Supreme Court.

3) The SC does NOT have any rights to change the law. They may strike it down, or strike down explicit parts of it. But they may not “change” it. In the event that a law, or parts of a law, are shot down by the SC, then CONGRESS (not the SC) may rewrite that portion (or anything else) that was found to be objectionable. Congress did not rewrite anything because the SC let the law stand.

4) What CJ Roberts did was the following: He told President Obama’s prosecution that they were using the wrong argument in defense of the law. That they should have been arguing that the “penalty” is a tax. And that it is, indeed, a tax, and therefore constitutional. Your insistence that it is unconstitutional displays a distinct lack of understanding of how the system works. End of discussion.

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Kevlar @kevlar



Wow, this is getting good. You have a B.S. from a top-shelf technical university – that’s good to know. I kinda suspected this because I was starting to see some BS in your posts, but we don’t need to go there. I am certainly glad to see that you have an IQ that is statistically (virtually – whatever that means) guaranteed to be quite a few points higher than mine (oh, could you please quantify that for me).

With you being as smart as you think you are (or at least as smart as you are trying to impress the rest of us) there is probably no way I could talk down to you. I’m not even sure I could talk you down. Just so you know, my IQ is one standard deviation above the mean, which puts me squarely in the upper-mediocrity category. Possibly the only thing I have over you is the ability to read and comprehend. This is taught in third grade and as such you might know how to do it, but with your advanced degree you probably forgot most of it.

Congress passed the law – you are correct here and the fact that there was zero bipartisan support does not invalidate the law although it does signal a fight at a future point in time (such as now). However, congress does NOT have the authority to pass a law that is unconstitutional (has no authority via the constitution to even exist).

I am a realist and know that congress is made up of people who are imperfect and that imperfect people make mistakes. Many of them probably suffer from having an IQ that is lower than your substantial IQ. My point is that even smart people sometimes make mistakes even though the incredible opposition to this should have been enough to raise a red flag of caution. A quote comes to mind here: “we will have to pass this law so you can see what’s in it.” Probably one of the most anti-American statements a politician could ever make.

In the event that congress gets something wrong, and passes a bill that is unconstitutional, the executive branch then gets a chance to look at it. The executive branch has many attorneys and a few of them are presumably smart – could even be as smart as you. This is the second line of defense and another great opportunity to stop a bill that is unconstitutional. By stopping the bill I mean not signing the unconstitutional bill into law. Oops, looks like they failed to do their job too! Starting to see a trend here.

Then, if the first and second line of defense fail, it can be taken by the people to the court system and ultimately to the Supreme Court. This is exactly what happened.

On its way to the Supreme Court it stopped by the Eleventh Circuit (federal court) where the individual mandate was STRUCK DOWN. I included that direct quote from the United States Supreme Court decision in my last post for all to read. I will consult with admin to try to ascertain why that paragraph was not included in the copy you received (this could be part of a government conspiracy – just kidding).

For your reading pleasure I will include it again in this post:

“Twenty-six States, several individuals, and the National Federation of Independent Business brought suit in Federal District Court, challenging the constitutionality of the individual mandate and the Medicaid expansion. The Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit upheld the Medicaid expansion as a valid exercise of Congress’s spending power, but concluded that Congress lacked authority to enact the individual mandate. Finding the mandate severable from the Act’s other provisions, the Eleventh Circuit left the rest of the Act intact.”

By the way, this quote is found in the certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and is part of the SCOTUS decision. You can read it if you want, it is online in PDF format.

The United States Supreme Court then went to great length to describe why this was not a power that congress had and that they had NO AUTHORITY to force the people to participate in commerce.

SCOTUS went into great detail on this and I had thought that I had posted enough to convince even the least literate person but apparently more was needed (for this I apologize). I won’t re-post all of it here but you are welcome to read it for yourself in its entirety at your leisure. You can even get some help from my fellow third-graders if there are some big words you don’t understand.

The bill was written as a “fine” and not written as a “tax” and that is made very clear both in the bill and subsequent court documents. Let me repeat that; it has been made very clear that it was designed as a “fine.” Don’t be afraid to solicit help from those third-graders if you don’t understand this.

Then, after striking down the law due to its unconstitutionality, SCOTUS illegally took the power that is constitutionally assigned to CONGRESS and specifically NOT to the Judicial Branch (meaning that they acted OUTSIDE their authority) and changed the law.

SCOTUS had NO authority to do this – NONE. This would be like you telling my kids what they can or cannot wear to school today. You certainly have the authority to tell your kids but you have no authority to tell my kids. If you act outside your authority and tell my kids what to wear it is as if you don’t exist when you do it.

By the same token, when SCOTUS acts outside their authority it is as they DO NOT EXIST because they don’t exist. For clarity, SCOTUS exists because the constitution allows (and requires) them to exist. Furthermore, the constitution, which gives SCOTUS authority to exist, also denies them the power to legislate.

The constitution is very clear on this because the constitution gave CONGRESS the authority to legislate. If the constitution, which gives SCOTUS authority to exist within constitutional parameters, is NOT adhered to by SCOTUS then SCOTUS DOES NOT EXIST as long as they are acting OUTSIDE their authority. When acting outside their authority, since they do not even exist, any ruling they make during that time is invalid.

Using the above example, while you certainly have the authority to tell your kids what to wear to school, when addressing my kids on the same subject you do not. You may still exist as a physical person but you DO NOT exist as an authoritative figure.

Let me put it in language you might understand (that school example was designed to explain it to the third graders with whom I hope you consult). The United States Constitution is the document that gives authority to the federal government. That authority is not unlimited.

In fact that authority, by design, is VERY LIMITED because that authority (all of it) originally belonged to the States and when the constitution was written the States were very reluctant to give up any of their sovereign power to the federal government (lest you forget that the States created the federal government, it wasn’t the federal government that created the States).

The States gave, via the constitution, very few and very limited powers to the federal government and specifically denied any and all powers to the federal government that were not specifically mentioned in the constitution (those third-graders will recognize these limited powers as “enumerated powers”). The States refused to ever allow the federal government to acquire, on their own, ANY other powers so they clinched the deal with the tenth amendment. I have quoted the tenth amendment several times but you can read your own copy of the constitution (though I doubt you have one).

Again, I will consult with admin to find out why these were removed from the posts that only you received. Dear admin: I am just kidding, trying to make a point that Lisztman reads what he wants to read and disregards what doesn’t support his political agenda.

It would be irresponsible of me to not acknowledge that the Framers recognized that, as time goes on the constitution will need to be brought current, or amended. They intentionally made this a cumbersome process, cumbersome but not impossible, in hopes that this slow process would force us to give serious thought and debate to any amendment we tried to make. If you want the federal government to have the power to direct and force health insurance then by all means, amend the constitution to give them that authority because they do not currently have that authority.

Long story short: the courts (including SCOTUS) correctly struck down the individual mandate portion of Obamacare and they provided ample supporting evidence as to why. Then SCOTUS illegally assumed legislative powers to change the law so that they no longer had to consider and/or rule on the law because with the change they illegally made, Obamacare became irrelevant and was effectively rendered to be “not a law.”

As evidence I once again offer the following quote from SCOTUS:

“But the mandate need not be read to declare that failing to do so is unlawful. Neither the Affordable Care Act nor any other law attaches negative legal consequences to not buying health insurance”

For my very highly educated friends with a BS degree (kinda appropriate huh) from an unidentified but self-described “top-shelf technical university” I will offer the explanation one of my third-grade friends once offered me (I would give my explanation but Lisztman has made it clear that he is smarter than me – at least in his opinion).

Obamacare as a law has just been rendered impotent by the Supreme Court of the United States. They have correctly stated that there are NO LEGAL CONSEQUENCES TO NOT BUYING HEALTH INSURANCE. This is very clear and unambiguous. It is possible that clarity is not taught in many “top-shelf technical universities.” I do wish I knew the identity of that university because I would like to look into their education standards if they even have any.

What does this mean? It means that the Supreme Court no longer needed to rule on Obamacare. It means that they do not have to determine if it is constitutional or not constitutional because it no longer matters to ANYTHING or ANY PERSON. The Supreme Court did not, AFTER they illegally changed the unconstitutional word “fine” to the irrelevant word “tax” either uphold OR strike down Obamacare at that point. It needs to be remembered that it was struck down when it was a “fine” though.

At this point the Supreme Court was able to completely set aside Obamacare as being irrelevant because they had rendered it impotent as a law. This means that the Supreme Court could DISMISS Obamacare and rule on the only remaining question and that question was – can congress make you pay a tax (yes or no)? Yes they can – case dismissed.

Case dismissed and the ONLY thing to come out of it was that congress can tax you. We already knew that. Congress has had that authority since the beginning and it was expanded in 1913 with the ratification of the sixteenth amendment.

Here is how it applies to Obamacare: Congress can tax you if you don’t buy health insurance and they can tax you if you do buy health insurance. In other words, congressional authority to tax you has absolutely NOTHING to do with health insurance. NOTHING! Even SCOTUS said there is no law that can compel this.

Case dismissed and the only thing left on the battlefield is Obamacare itself. It remains on the battlefield as an irrelevant document that has NO legal meaning to anything whatsoever. However, completely aside from the defeated law, congress (federal government) is still interfering in health insurance (just not forcing you to buy it).

Someday we will decide to clean up the dead bodies left on the battlefield (Obamacare) and at that point it will go back to the Supreme Court, but this time the question won’t be “can the federal government compel you to purchase something you don’t want (because it was already decided that the feds can’t) but the applicable question then will be – can the feds do ANYTHING with regard to health insurance?

The answer to that question (if the Supreme Court can fight the urge to act outside their authority) will be “NO.” Because the federal government CANNOT take that power away from the States (see the enumerated powers and the tenth amendment for rock-solid proof).

It is interesting to note that the states, individually, can do this kind of stuff. This is why Romneycare in Massachusetts is legal. Legality has nothing to do with whether the law is wise and I think many people see Romneycare as being not wise, but the wisdom of a law is a legitimate subject for robust debate and a good topic for another day. For clarity, the wisdom of a law is NOT within the power of the Supreme Court to decide.

All kidding aside Lisztman, I seriously want to thank you for participating in this debate because honestly there are others who, just like you, don’t see this either. Unfortunately they are not willing to engage robust debate. Robust debate among voters is what educates voters and educated voters make more informed decisions when they vote.

For the record I never advocate that I am always right but I try to provide as much supporting evidence for my position as possible. In this case I think I have provided overwhelming supporting evidence. When I say “thank you” I mean that from the heart because it is my firm belief that the only way to save this country is for voters to make informed decisions.

I think I might have tossed around a few jokes at your expense but they pale in comparison to your flagrant attempt to guarantee that your IQ is higher than mine. For the record I take no offense to this and I kinda admire your ability to score points (or at least attempt to do so) in an indirect manner. This is a skill I respect, and only wish I possessed.

Yours Truly,

A very proud third-grader

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com


Lisztman, I will go along with the fact that if you have a college degree that you are, in fact, more educated than I am, no problem. Now here’s some bad news being educated doesn’t always mean that your smarter.

If you would slow things down, forget rhetoric, forget party lines, just step back and look at this objectively, do some research on the things that Kevlar has said, then decide whether he’s right or wrong. With your new-found research, show him where his mistakes are. With this you will have proven your point and you will have helped Kevlar see the error of his ways.

I’m just a dumb old country boy, but I gotta tell you, I put no faith in lawyers, I put no faith in Washington, then when you put lawyers IN Washington, my lack of faith goes off the meter. Just a personal observation you understand.

Good discussion. Keep talking it out.

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Lisztman @lisztman

I will repeat, as simply as possible, for those of you (Kevlar?) who aren’t listening. SCOTUS did not change the law. Nothing in its words was changed — except its interpretation.

Justice Roberts concurred that a “fine” might be viewed as had been ruled by the Circuit Court. But that, as a tax, it was entirely within Congressional purview. Hence the law stood. As written.

Again — because you apparently weren’t listening the first time around — the SC cannot change, cannot rewrite, a law. The SC compares the meaning of the law to the Constitution and rules accordingly. They didn’t change anything.

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Kevlar @kevlar


In the Obamacare law, the word “fee” is found 167 times, the words “penalty fee” together are found 14 times, and the words “additional tax” are found 6 times.

The word “tax” (as a single word) is found several times and often it refers to things like medical device tax or extra tax on people who make high incomes or people who might have a “Cadillac” plan. However, what you are trying to skew the words to mean is an “additional tax” that is assessed as a “penalty” for not purchasing Obamacare. The word “penalty” is found 132 times and one example is as follows:

“(j) Penalties.–
“(1) Penalty fee.–

“(A) In general.–Not later than April 1, 2014, and annually thereafter, the Secretary shall assess a penalty fee (as determined under subparagraph (B)) against a health plan that has failed to meet the requirements under subsection (h) with respect to certification and documentation of compliance with– “(i) the standards and associated operating rules described under paragraph (1) of such subsection; and “(ii) a standard (as described under subsection (a)(1)(B)) and associated operating rules (as described under subsection (i)(5)) for any other financial and administrative transactions.

“(B) Fee amount.–Subject to subparagraphs (C), (D), and (E), the Secretary shall assess a penalty fee against a health plan in the amount of $1 per covered life until certification is complete. The penalty shall be assessed per person covered by the plan for which its data systems for major medical policies are not in compliance and shall be imposed against the health plan for each day that the plan is not in compliance with the requirements under subsection (h).

This is found in Section 1104 paragraph j(1). I hope I got the reference correct; it is difficult because it is a spaghetti factory.

In subparagraph (A) above it is interesting that the penalty is to be assessed only against those health plans that FAILED (meaning violated) to meet the requirements with respect to “associated operating rules.” In other words IN VIOLATION OF THOSE RULES.

It seems funny that when you pay a tax you don’t do so because you are guilty of VIOLATING RULES. After all that has been presented to you Lisztman if you still cannot see the difference between a “Fine” (or penalty) and a “tax” then perhaps you should return that BS degree you stole from that “top-shelf technical university” that probably doesn’t exist.

You know, even paragraph (B) talks about the “penalty” for policies that are not in compliance with… I give up. There is no way to get you to accept reality and I am getting tired of this.

I hope this is enough to convince you of the intent of the legislation to be a “penalty” for non-compliance. I think I have gone far beyond what is reasonable to prove my point that Obamacare is unconstitutional. SCOTUS did not just “re-interpret” a word (as you claim) but they completely and totally re-wrote the law with that one word and that is far beyond their constitutional power.

Ironically none of this really matters because had congress originally used the word “tax” which they did not, Obamacare would still be unconstitutional. The only difference is that the Supreme Court would then have to actually rule on Obamacare and they would have driven a life-ending spike through the heart of Obamacare. In other words, it would be officially declared dead for ALL the world to see and Obama would have not been re-elected.

Instead, that spike was never driven through the already dead heart of Obamacare. There was no need to because Obamacare was rendered irrelevant with the word change. However, lacking the spike through the heart you are unable to see that it is dead anyway.

Some people do need a graphic illustration and had SCOTUS done its job, not only would it have been dead but graphically dead. As it was, SCOTUS changed the word and that left the law dead on the battlefield. Since the burned out carcass is still there you think it is still alive. Analyze it however you want but at the end of the day, it is dead.

I entered this spaghetti factory in an effort to identify for you that this was meant to be a “fine” or a “penalty” as opposed to a “tax.” These two words have ONLY one thing in common and that is money that is paid to the government. The similarity stops there and the differences begin:


Monetary charges imposed upon individuals who have been convicted of a crime or a lesser offense.

A fine is a criminal sanction. A civil sanction, by contrast, is called a penalty. The term fine is sometimes used to describe a penalty, but the terms fine and penalty should be kept separate because the consequences are different: nonpayment of a criminal fine can result in incarceration, whereas nonpayment of a civil penalty cannot.


A punitive measure that the law imposes for the performance of an act that is proscribed, or for the failure to perform a required act. Purchasing Obamacare IS NOT a required act and this is something for which you have been presented with overwhelming evidence, yet you still refuse to accept the truth.

Penalty is a comprehensive term with many different meanings. It entails the concept of punishment—either corporal or pecuniary, civil or criminal—although its meaning is usually confined to pecuniary punishment. The law can impose a penalty, and a private contract can provide for its assessment. Pecuniary penalties are frequently negotiated in construction contracts, in the event that the project is not completed by the specified date.

penalty n. 1) in criminal law, a money fine or forfeiture of property ordered by the judge after conviction for a crime. 2) an amount agreed in advance if payment or performance is not made on time, such as a “late payment” on a promissory note or lease, or a financial penalty for each day a building contractor fails to complete a job.

West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

A tax is an amount of money assessed on an individual or corporation by the government based on the value of an asset (such as the value of your home, or the purchase of a car) and that asset can be cash, such as income (income tax). It should be noted that a tax is significantly different from a fine or penalty. You don’t have to do anything wrong to be subject to a tax, but a fine or penalty infers wrongdoing. These are vastly different words.

If a person works for a company that dumps its employees health insurance plans and the employee who is now uninsured and cannot afford to purchase Obamacare, he will be fined for not purchasing Obamacare insurance. Please tell me what this person did WRONG that he was “fined” or “penalized” for? He could be subject to a unequally applied tax (I understand that although I don’t agree with it) but for you to say that they have the same meaning and have the same interpretation is wrong.

If a penalty can be interpreted as a tax then an interstate highway can be interpreted as a fork (they are similar in that they are both manmade objects) but they are also incredibility different and most people wouldn’t even consider them to be similar. By the same token, a penalty (fine) is for something you did wrong and a tax is for something you didn’t do wrong.

Two completely different words with two completely different meanings and even the Supreme Court knows they can’t “change” a law and for sure they cannot significantly change the entire meaning of the law. But alas, it doesn’t matter because regardless of the particular word, there is no constitutional authority for Obamacare to exist. Please quote for me the specific part of the constitution you believe to give that authority. Don’t just quote it, analyze it and tell us why.

I have entered the spaghetti factory for you once and barely escaped with my life (reading that garbage will drive you nuts). I will not do this for you again, so here is how it will be from now on. Lisztman, several of us have asked you very nicely to please provide supporting evidence for your position and each time you refuse. On the other hand I have gone to great lengths to provide you with evidence to support my positions.

So, from this point on, I will assume that everything you say is wrong unless either you support your position or I know from my previous experience and research that you are telling the truth. In other words, while I don’t mind doing some research for others, I am tired of doing it for you.

I don’t say this out of disrespect, I am just tired of beating my head against the wall because you refuse to accept the obvious while at the same time you are unwilling to provide supporting evidence for the positions you take. I joined this site because I wanted to learn about politics and maybe help others learn along the way. I didn’t join so that I could wade through the swamp of Obamacare just so that you can take advantage of others. Robust debate is a two way street and it is your serve. So far you haven’t pulled your own weight here, all you have is talking points.

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Lisztman @lisztman

So now you’ve stooped to believing I made up my background. Nice play. I won’t bother to try to answer that one.

You can scream all you want. But a) SCOTUS didn’t change any words in the law. b) SCOTUS found the law constitutional.

I’m so happy that you feel that your reading of dictionaries (I already knew the difference between a “penalty” and a “tax”, sir) makes you a legal expert. What CJ Roberts said (paraphrased) was: The penalty is legal if one considers it as a tax. Collection of taxes by the government is legal.

There is no higher Court in this Nation than SCOTUS. I don’t think anyone, including myself, cares that you still think you know better.

Good luck with your campaign.

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Kevlar @kevlar


Sorry, I thought I was finished debating someone who refuses to acknowledge the United States Constitution but I guess not. Perhaps this is a weakness of mine in that I believe in the value of the constitution. Personally I believe that since the constitution is the ONLY thing protecting my freedom, it is worth my time and effort to make sure that constitution remains intact and is not destroyed by those who would ignore it.

Your background is immaterial to this debate but you thought it to be of high enough importance that we all should be aware of it; yet when asked you keep it a secret. Are we just supposed to go wow that is one highly educated dude? You brag about your education, specifically stating for all to see – “I have a B.S. from a top-shelf technical university. Statistically my IQ is virtually guaranteed to be a quite a few points higher than yours.”

Nobody cares but it is interesting to see if that is all bravado or if there is a real education there. We may never know and we may be relegated to the notion that you are convinced of a high status and self-importance that you possibly don’t have.

Brag about your accomplishments if you wish but when you do, if you are called on to support those previously flaunted accomplishments (the only one being called on is the name of the “top-shelf technical university”), perhaps you shouldn’t run and hide because it creates suspicion. Who really cares though, this is a free country and you can say whatever you want and seldom are you required to account for it other than self-accountability. You do know what self-accountability is, don’t you?

Let’s take a look at some of the statements you have made, some of which actually support my argument.

Lisztman: “This is a sampling. As I noted, most of the objections are fostered by individuals with only a half-baked understanding of the provisions of the ACA — and parroted from right-wing media. A lot (e.g., “The IRS is involved”) are simply red herrings. (The IRS is involved only to the extent that there has to be a way for the government to collect the penalty, or “tax”, if you prefer, from those who elect to forego coverage.” Page 4 this thread

Of particular interest is your statement “The IRS is involved only to the extent that there has to be a way for the government to collect the penalty…” Seems to me that you might just be admitting that this might have been intended to be a “penalty” just like it was written in the law. Yes the same law that talks to length about how it is “Punishment” for wrongdoing. A penalty, as we know is the price you pay if you have done something wrong. But the very act of not purchasing health insurance IS NOT WRONG by ANY STANDARDS as was clearly pointed out by SCOTUS. Question: how can you be punished for doing NOTHING wrong? Smacks of a dictatorship.

We all know that a “tax” is levied on people who did nothing wrong and that a “tax” cannot be used as a “punishment” yet just to make sure that you know that you did nothing wrong we are going to punish you until you admit you did nothing wrong and then as your reward for correctly admitting that you did nothing wrong, we will levy a tax on you that we won’t levy on others equally. This makes no sense and a degree from a “top-shelf” university should help you understand this.

Alas, it would be irresponsible of me to not acknowledge that Lisztman did go on to say, in that same quote “or tax.” Stating that a “penalty” and a “non-penalty” are the same thing is indeed precious and invites even more scrutiny of that highly flaunted but unaccounted for top-shelf education.

Lisztman: “Mr. Kevlar — Sorry. The SCOTUS didn’t “strike down” Obamacare. What Justice Roberts said was that the administration’s argument in favor of fines was outside the rule of the Constitution. But that its interpretation as a tax was within the rule of Law and therefore constitutional. There is, simply, no mechanism by which the SC can write or rewrite law. That function is 100% within the purview of Congress.” Page 6 this thread

I am very glad you acknowledge the authority of congress to legislate but it worries me that you also give the Supreme Court the power to legislate. The law was written the way congress (slim majority) wanted it written. If they wanted it to be a tax then they would have said it was a tax. Only congress can legislate because congress is accountable to the people and the Supreme Court IS NOT accountable to the people. The Supreme Court is accountable to the constitution ONLY.

The law was clearly written to impose a penalty (or fine) for violation of the mandate. SCOTUS struck it down stating that congress has no authority to compel anyone to participate in commerce. I have included that in my posts many times and you still don’t get it. Let me know if you want me to copy/paste it to this site a couple hundred more times or at least until you learn to read.

You are correct that after striking it down as a penalty, Roberts then interpreted the Obamacare law to infer a tax, although that clearly was never in the bill represented to the people for their consideration and possible comment; something about REPRESENTATION and the capacity it has for sparking wars if not allowed to happen (I think I remember that being important to free Americans). Nor was it in the bill passed by congress and signed into law by the president.

What you are failing to understand is that Roberts (and the rest of the justices) have NO AUTHORITY to interpret what they think the law could possibly mean by someone who can’t read and comprehend English. Roberts single-handedly violated the constitution by exercising powers that neither he nor the Supreme Court had or will ever have. The Supreme Court acted OUTSIDE its jurisdiction and therefore they violated the law, in this case, the constitution which is the supreme law of the land.

Lisztman: “The SC does NOT have any rights to change the law.” Thank you for acknowledging that fact. It is too bad that you can only believe yourself when you are wrong and can’t believe yourself when you are right.

Then you went on to say “They may strike it down, or strike down explicit parts of it. But they may not “change” it. In the event that a law, or parts of a law, are shot down by the SC, then CONGRESS (not the SC) may rewrite that portion (or anything else) that was found to be objectionable.” This paragraph, to this point is correct and it just amazes me that even though you can recite the fact that the Supreme Court cannot change a law and that ONLY congress can, in your very next breath you will completely contradict yourself. Your next sentence is precious as well: “Congress did not rewrite anything because the SC let the law stand.”

No, congress did not rewrite anything because the Obamacare law was rendered irrelevant. Keep in mind that congress can legally tax you if you don’t purchase health insurance AND congress can legally tax you if you DO purchase health insurance. Health insurance has absolutely NOTHING to do with taxes. I thought I had made that clear with plenty of supporting evidence.

I will ask one question though: was congress taxing people in the 1980s and 1990s? If taxing is dependent on the failure to purchase health insurance then I think the federal government might have a bundle of taxes to return to the people. No, they don’t and you know it, because health insurance and taxing authority have NOTHING to do with each other.

As a side note I’m not sure why we even argue this point when it is painfully clear that the federal government DOES NOT have any authority to interfere in health insurance period and it doesn’t matter if it is a penalty or tax. NO AUTHORITY IS NO AUTHORITY. Oh, now I remember why we argue this point. It’s because you are ignoring the constitution. That’s OK, Obamacare can be completely defeated on more than one issue, so back to your choice of topics to fight.

Congress has the power and authority to tax and that is the end of the story. Now, can congress use as their decision matrix, the non-purchase of health insurance as a method to determine who to tax? Other than the unequal treatment under the law (which apparently doesn’t count anymore) I suppose they could do that.

Can the same congress use as their decision matrix, the non-purchase of a Ford truck as a method to determine who to tax? Other than the unequal treatment under the law I suppose they could do that. It doesn’t matter what congress uses to decide who to tax (as long as it is legal and fair), what matters is that they have the authority to tax. Once again, a tax and a penalty are two very different things.

To be legal, congress could tax you if you DO purchase health insurance and for lack of a better term they might call that a “sales” tax. Perhaps you have heard of this tax. Taxing you for participating in commerce – perhaps. Taxing you for NOT participating in commerce – NEVER.

Once again, the Supreme Court of the United States declared, in this very case, if you have read anything I have been saying you will know this to be true, that the federal government HAS NO AUTORITY TO COMPEL YOU TO PARTICIPATE IN COMMERCE. I would use taller letters but I don’t think “hearing” is the problem. I think your problem is far worse than that.

Lisztman: “What CJ Roberts did was the following: He told President Obama’s prosecution that they were using the wrong argument in defense of the law. That they should have been arguing that the “penalty” is a tax. And that it is, indeed, a tax, and therefore constitutional. Your insistence that it is unconstitutional displays a distinct lack of understanding of how the system works. End of discussion.” Page 7 this thread

Neither Roberts, nor ANY judge in ANY court has the authority to advise those in their court as to the “best method” to argue a case. As a judge he is obligated to keep the proceedings WITHIN the law. Attorneys are the ones given some latitude to argue but they ALSO must stay within the confines of the law.

Your insistence that a Supreme Court Judge can give legal advice to either antagonist displays a distinct lack of understanding of how the system works. Perhaps this would be a good time for you to return that degree from the mysterious “top-shelf” university. Or was it a “diploma-mill.” Or perhaps even a “Cracker-Jack box.”

I can imagine that the justices who sit on the Supreme Court have a certain level of intelligence. That intelligence would allow them to interpret for example that if the point in question was that the only food available for the defendant to eat was a navel orange or face starvation, and later it was revealed that the orange in question was not in fact a “navel” orange but a “blood” orange, that the facts of the case were unaltered by that revelation.

Why? Because in the context of that case the misidentified species of orange had no bearing on the survival of the defendant because he could eat either one. However, in the context of the scientist being fired for his inability to properly identify the species of orange, it would probably be important.

Oranges can be interpreted to be oranges and apples can be interpreted to be apples but apples cannot be interpreted to be oranges. A “fine” is something you pay because you did something wrong. Serving time in jail is also something you pay for doing something wrong. Losing your house in a legal battle is something you pay for doing something wrong. The common thread is that these “penalties” while not being identical, are ALL actions imposed on you for something you did wrong.

A tax is something you pay for participating in something, perhaps property ownership, or the production of income, or the purchase of a can of soup. By the way, you cannot be taxed for NOT participating in something; I didn’t participate in the civil war, so how much tax do I owe as a result?

Or do you believe that you could pay a real-estate tax even if you don’t have any real estate? Do you think you could be charged a sales tax even if you didn’t buy anything (and therefore there was no sale)? A tax is NEVER for something you did wrong (that would be a penalty) and a tax is NEVER for something you did not participate in (that would be the already struck down Obamacare argument by the government that they could compel you to participate in commerce).

Apples are not oranges, oranges are not apples, and penalties are not taxes and taxes are not penalties. Chief Justice John Roberts does not have the authority to call an apple an orange and he does not have the authority to call a penalty a tax. What part of that do you not understand?

One last thing and this is very important. They are even considering teaching this in top-shelf universities someday if they can ever get the IQ of their students to a level that they don’t drool on themselves (dude, you gotta come clean and account for your superb education instead of just rubbing our noses in it, because I am starting to have fun at your expense).

You said “There is no higher Court in this Nation than SCOTUS” but much to your dismay there is a higher law than the Supreme Court and that higher law is the United States Constitution. The United States Constitution is what gives the Supreme Court the authority to exist. Without it they do not exist and neither does this government, and sadly neither does any guarantee of the protection of our rights and freedoms. You need to acknowledge this fact because without it we will all surely lose everything we have, our freedoms and our country first, then perhaps our lives.

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Jim @jagsted

Although the employer mandate is not currently in effect, the policies are effective. It is driving up costs and forcing coverage reductions and increased rates. Further, it is cause small business owners to reduce the number of hours for legal citizens and residents. If the immigration bill is approved in this Congress like the President wants, US unemployment is going to skyrocket as it will be cheaper to hire Provision Immigrants (that are not taxed under Obamacare). See


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Kevlar @kevlar



Good post and thanks for sharing the links.

The Forbes article does a good job of documenting the monumental failure of the rollout of Obamacare, the train-wreck we have all been witnessing.

The youtube video was especially interesting and I encourage everyone to watch it. It is lengthy but for those of us without a degree from a “top-shelf” university (a degree that seems to significantly slow the thought process) the message will be clear in the first two or three minutes.

The youtube video is of Ted Cruz in the Senate. For those who hate Ted Cruz, and I presume there might be a few, I would suggest that you ignore the person and concentrate on the message.

The message is important because it illustrates how the left (Obama administration) is trying to accelerate that train-wreck to make the destruction of our economy sooner and even more spectacular.

Great post – thanks!

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John PharmD @epharmd

I am fairly sure that @Kevlar has ‘jumped the shark”. Please! Get a grip.

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Kevlar @kevlar



Thanks for the expert advice. I took you up on that and I got a grip and I now feel better. I appreciate it.

Now, please return the favor and please follow my advice to you. Read and attempt to understand the Constitution and know that if the government exists BECAUSE the constitution allows it to exist then when it is operating outside the parameters established by the constitution, the government DOES NOT EXIST.

Even Lisztman correctly knows that the Supreme Court cannot change, or legislate, a law. The problem is that he doesn’t understand the meaning of those words. He will make that statement very emphatically and turn right around and state that Chief Justice Roberts “interpreted” the law in some other way than it was clearly written. Please tell me that you are smarter than to contradict yourself in the same paragraph?

It’s almost as if Lisztman memorized those words because he has no idea what they mean.

Read and understand the Constitution as if your life depends on it. Actually your life may not necessarily depend on it because even a person in thirty year solitary confinement in the most secure prison in North Korea is still alive (if only by medical definition), but he has no freedoms, no liberties, no rights, and NONE of the protections the Constitution guarantees to you and me.

If we lose the Constitution because we casually follow it and dismiss it as an inconvenience when it gets in our way, sharks will be the least of your worries.

If you think I have gone too far in my attempt to debate Lisztman, please consider this:

I don’t care if Lisztman ever figures this out. It would be nice if he did but his understanding isn’t required. However, other uninformed Americans listen to and sometimes believe what he says, not because he is correct but because he makes a statement (usually wrong) and does not offer anything to support his position. People eat that up because it is the 30-second sound bite they seek and they can get back to watching the game. This is how many lazy people get their “news.” Unfortunately, this is all they know when they vote. That is what I am trying to help solve.

Again, I don’t care if he ever understands this and for that matter I don’t care if you do either because I have debated you and I am aware of your casual respect for the constitution as well. But I do care that as long as he keeps talking that when he makes an incorrect statement that someone steps in to provide clarity. It doesn’t have to be me, it can be anyone. I am not immune to mistakes and you are welcome to provide clarity to what I say but as always, I ask that you provide supporting evidence for your opinion, and so far Lisztman has been unable to do that.

Perhaps you would like to try again? Can you trace, for me and everyone else, the line of authority for Obamacare, from the Constitution all the way to the individual. It isn’t there but I eagerly await your attempt at the impossible.

Good luck!

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Kevlar @kevlar

Still waiting…

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Policy MAKES me SIGH @policysigh

In a new development. The uninsured now view Obamacare as unfavorable by 2 to 1. Drudge ” 47% view Obamacare in a negative light vs the 24 percent who view it favorably” Thats a change from 43% who viewed in unfavorably last month and 36% that viewed it favorably. 39% said Obamacare makes them worse off and only 26% said it improved their situation.

Regardless of what you think of Obamacare, the numbers aren’t lying. People are directly being impacted by this policy, and as people start to witness the real life impacts on their pocket books and monthly insurance rates, they will oppose this law more and more.

There are some people that won’t mind paying more for insurance, they will understand that the fundamental basis of the law is healthy people pay more to cover the costs of the sick. So if you had a low premium before its going to go up to bring the cost of unhealthy or the previously uninsurable down. In a hurting economy, with joblessness and low wages our number one issue (as laid out by the President in his SOTU Address on Tuesday) how he thinks people are going to want to pay more for something they already thought was too expensive is beyond me.

Its not going to work.


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Eileen @ekcullen04

If you put your economic views aside, or if this is somehow miraculously funded without destroying the economy first, you can see the real problem.

Where the government starts to intervene, innovation begins to end. You can see it in the space industry, after the pulling back of NASA, private companies with incentive to make money have began to develop cheaper ways to travel in space.

Just as the government intervention in the space industry stifled innovation, it will stifle the medical community. Doctors who start private practices and doctors who specialize will eventually be whipped out.

After paying for medical school, students do not have the funds to go a specialize and eventually innovate because they know if they go to specialize they will not make enough money.

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Traci Crawford @tracicrwfd

Above all else, it’s a law that forces American citizens to purchase a product. Secondly, it’s a violation of a basic human right to use one’s own conscience to decide what is best for ones own self. Thirdly, it forces consumers to pay for services for someone other than his/her self, ie Viagra, birth control, etc. Shall I go continue?

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Coffee Addict @coffeeaddict

@ekcullen04 I think you make a very valid point about government stifling industries. We can see this with the website. The website is a complete fail. The government spent 635 million dollars to build a website that private industries could have and have built similar websites with nearly nothing. Government is not efficient. Government spends recklessly and doesn’t produce any results. All that money they spent on the website could have been put to much better use. The kicker, they hired a foreign company for the job! We are the internet capital of the world and they decided to go elsewhere. We have high unemployment and are in a recession and the government thinks its a good idea to spend tax payer money on foreign contracts? Are you kidding me? that is outrageous.

@tracicrwfd I didnt know viagra was a part of the law. Great, we really are funding people’s recreational sex lives. This gets more outrageous by the day.

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Abraham Assad @abe-assad-5

My employer subsidized plan was changed, my deductible went up by $2000, and my premiums have increased by 20% over the last year. Exactly as I expected.

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Coffee Addict @coffeeaddict

@abe-assad-5 ouch. I’m sorry. There are so many stories exactly like yours. This law is a complete utter failure.

Unfortunately, with everything going on right now, the media isn’t focusing on it very much. We’ve been distracted by Furgeson, the Middle East, ISIS, immigration reform, scandal after scandal, the list goes on and on.

At least the people voted this midterm election, but we need to keep the conversation of the impacts of Obamacare going as we head in to 2016.

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foxwomble @foxwomble

i dont get you americans. here in the United Kingdom we have free healthcare for all. we don’t spend be a penny if we are ill. even if that means $50,000 a year for cancer drugs for 10 years – we pay zero.

In america you have millions of people unable to afford healthcare and they suffer enormously due to this. Obamacare is a first attempt to combat this, i hear it isn’t technically perfect but at least its a way forward. its frankly abhorent that you live in country where you are unhappy to pay a bit more in tax to help the under privledged in society. i’m not pro ‘socialism’ in any way – i’m pro humanity. the rest of the civlised world looks at America with an increasing “are they all bonkers?” attitude – don’t get me started on the gun thing.

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com


Foxwomble, you said, “…. here in the United Kingdom we have free healthcare for all.”

To this I would say “TANSTAFLE”. Meaning, There’s No Such Thing As a Free Lunch.

How exactly do you figure it is free? Every working person in the UK is paying for it, and it’s the cause of a lot of deaths over there. Not only are the wait times incredibly long, but the medical equipment is outdated.

Here is an excerpt from the link below.

[From Britain’s National Health Service comes a report that perhaps one third of all terminally ill cancer patients are dying only because of delays in treatment or misdiagnoses. According to the London Times, “long delays between appointments were often blamed for a time lag when previously treatable cancers grew incurable”. A leading British cancer specialist was quoted “It costs nothing to ensure that patients see a doctor within two weeks, as the government has insisted, but what is the point if they then have to wait about three months for treatment with a worn-out radiotherapy machine?”]

Here is an excerpt from another link, posted below. This is from 2012 and things have not improved since.

[ Britain imposed socialized healthcare in 1948 with the creation of the National Health Service [NHS]. Then Labor Minister Dr. David Owen predicted, “We were going to finance everything, cure the nation and then spending would drop.” This was pure blind hubris. Sixty-four years were wasted in an attempt to prove that socialized medicine could work. So far, it has been an utter failure.

It seems at least one person in Britton is beginning to see the light. The current Prime Minister David Cameron, along with some conservatives, are suggesting to outsource healthcare to the private sector circumventing the NHS. It is cheaper, higher quality and faster. ]

Even the Prime Minister of your own country realizes it is not working.

More from 2013.

[ Health Care: A new report on Britain’s National Health Service notes that as many as 13,000 needless deaths have occurred in 14 NHS hospital trusts since 2005. This is no fluke. It’s the result of socialized medicine, done by experts.

Britain’s much vaunted public medical system, accountable for 82% of all health care spending, according to the OECD, is in shambles.

A warning shot was fired a few months ago when one hospital, Mid-Staffordshire, was found to be a veritable death trap of neglect, misspent funds and starved investment. Now a new report on 14 NHS trusts, released by government-appointed Prof. Sir Bruce Keogh this week, finds that neglect and “needless” deaths are pretty much a characteristic of the entire system. ]

You said we had millions of people suffering. Maybe so, but you better learn about how many are suffering in your country not because of the lack of healthcare insurance, but because of the care, or lack of care, that they receive.

If you think that socialized healthcare is working anywhere else in the world, I invite you to read the following discussion. Just follow the link.

I will say what I have said before, Socialism in any form, is a big hole that you fill with money, the more you throw in the bigger the hole becomes, and it never, ever stops growing.

Foxwomble, you didn’t make me feel like we are less compassionate towards those do not have medical insurance, you did not make me feel inferior to the British way of taking care of their people, to tell you the truth, I think it is abhorrent that you folks feel so superior about your healthcare when most of you don’t even know it is wrecking your country and that the care you are receiving is sub standard.

Now, I would have left that last paragraph off of my post, but I can’t stand arrogance. Your comments are arrogant and you are not informed about the topic you tried to be so smug about.

Have a good day.

P.S. About the gun thing. They’ve got you old boys running in circles. First they take away your guns. That didn’t work, so now this.

Look how good it’s working in Australia.

What you folks fail to realize is that it’s not about owning a gun, it’s about not being a victim.

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