Now that we have “Health Care Reform”, will we ever be rid of it?

In my last ravings I wrote about how the Health Care Reform Act was several thousand answers to what amounts to only 2 real problems with your health care system.  It’s been signed into law by the President.  I’ve had a number of discussions with many people about how we can get rid of it.

The answer, sadly, is I don’t believe we can.  Even if we’re wildly optimistic and believe that in 2010 the Republicans gain control of the House AND Senate, it’s still not going to happen.  To repeal the bill it will have to be voted on by BOTH bodies and then sent to the President for his signature.  He won’t sign a repeal of the bill, I think that’s pretty clear, and he’ll veto it.  To override that veto takes a 2/3 majority and nobody thinks that’s going to happen.

All of this means that the actual BENEFITS of the bill, that is the government payments and controls in the bill, will begin to take effect before 2012 while President Obama is still in office, even if he turns out to be a one-term president.  Once the benefits start getting paid, and the businesses quit providing health insurance to their employees (which is one of the main goals of the Act), people will be reliant on the government health care plan.  At that point, there will be no turning back from this debacle.  Once these benefits start coming from Washington, they will be permanent, at least until it bankrupts the country.  Health Care will become another in a series of “sacred cows” that can’t be touched just like Social Security and Medicare is now.

There is one glimmer of hope.  Normally all major laws have a clause in them that says should any single provision of the act be found to be unconstitutional the rest of the act remains in full force.  In their haste to ram this legislation through Congress and get it on the President’s desk, this provision was omitted in the law as signed.  Since it’s been signed, it is done and can no longer be amended.  There are numerous challenges to this bill working their way through the federal court system and they will eventually get to the Supreme Court (at least some of them certainly will).  The only hope of getting this bill overturned is for this to get through the courts, have a major section of it found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, and in that way making it null and void.

Will this happen?  I give it about an 1:3 chance of being overturned in the Supreme Court, if that, but it is a chance.  If we, the people, are extremely fortunate it will happen quickly and the court will rule in favor of the people.  Time will tell.

-john stricker

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Published in: on June 4, 2010 at 9:42 pm  Comments (10)  
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  1. I find it ridiculous that we didn’t adopt some sort of Universal healthcare system. For everyone’s rantings about the price tag on reform people either forget or don’t realize that most developed nations have some form of Universal health care and that we pay more than any of them…and still don’t insure everyone. I’m sure any appeal to our obligation to offer all of our citizens these basic rights would fall on deaf ears since to many republicans unable to afford healthcare=lazy so I will appeal to your pocketbook. We all pay via taxes and insurance costs when people who can’t pay visit the ER. We all pay when their ailment causes them to be unemployed and disabled. We have rationed care in the form of caps on insurance plans, and procedures that insurance will not cover. Its ridiculous to say you don’t want to pay for someone elses health care costs because you already do. Yet, the system is so expensive that while many other countries pay less for health care, we cover less people. Its sad logically,economically,and ethically.

    • We live in a Democratically Elected Constitutional Republic. We do not live in a Socialistic State. Our laws and the boundaries our government have to abide by are governed by the United States Constitution. Nowhere in that Constitution does it give the Federal Government the authority to provide health care to its citizens. NOWHERE! By passing the Health Care Reform Act the government has, amongst other things, ordered its citizens that they must, under penalty of law and threat of fine and/or imprisonment, carry health care. This is an unconstitutional act. To claim that we must do it out of some sense of ethics is not valid. We pay for others care at ER’s as one example for one reason, because hospitals that accept Medicare and Medicaid are, again, ordered by law to treat these folks. This is yet another example of an over-reach by the Federal Government. The “Universal Health Care” (code words for socialized medicine) is bankrupting virtually every one of your “developed nations” that have some form of it installed. Living in the United States of America means we have choices. With those choices come responsibilities to live under whatever happens to us after we make those choices. This nonsense of believing that we have the right to be provided our health care by the government is just one more indication of how dependent on the Federal Government we have become as a society. The good news is that about 60% of the people in this country think you, and the Obama administration, is wrong.
      -john stricker

  2. I think your facts about all of these developed nations going bankrupt are a little off, which ones specifically? Also, I’m interested in where exactly it says in the constitution we should not have universal healthcare? Also, what are you arguing for? Our right to spend our taxpayers money inefficiently? Here are the facts, health care costs are out of control. This is due to waste,litigation, expensive technology and paying for the uninsured. Which all shows up in your insurance bill and taxes. What do you think would be better, no offense, but that question hasn’t been answered by you or any other Republican. Plenty of people go bankrupt with health insurance. Seriously, what are you defending? I’m not “with Obama”, I did my research. I think its lazy to just jump on the “socialism” bandwagon just because Sarah Palin or some other politician said it; and its definately lazy to condemn a solution when you don’t have a better answer. I am tired of Republicans claiming that President Obama is running this country into the ground when you would have our population sick, uneducated, overpopulated, with 2% of the country owning all of the wealth. THAT is what is un-american. But you’re right, I’m not worried, because I think that its very unlikely that it will be repealed.

    • Read my post and reference material on the pending insolvency of the Canadian system. Look at what’s happening in Great Britain and Greece. If their financial situation doesn’t scare you then you’re not paying attention. Your question on where it says in the Constitution that we CAN’T have health care shows a fundamental misunderstanding of what the Constitution was meant to do. The US Constitution gave the federal government specific authority to do specific things and NOTHING ELSE. The tenth amendment says it plainly: “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” so it’s not my responsibility to show you where it says it CAN’T provide it, it’s your responsibility to show in the Constitution where it’s allowed to do it. If it’s not allowed, then it’s not permitted. If you took the time to read my blog you’d find I DID offer an alternative that would have addressed a great many of your concerns but you’re so stuck on the idea of “Universal Health Care” you apparently didn’t read it. I don’t really care who you’re with on either side of the aisle, the fact is we are moving towards a socialistic society, and for you to claim that I “would have” our population sick, uneducated, blah, blah, blah is simply untrue. I made no personal attacks on your comments and I’d appreciate it if you refrain from the same. I enjoy intelligent discussion, but I won’t tolerate personal attacks on myself or anyone else.

  3. Apologies,its true, I didn’t read your blog before responding. Also, I should not have put forth my ideas in an offensive manner, but, I was a little thrown by your last paragraph and have had more than my own fair share of personal attacks lately following my blog posts and am feeling a little touchy. That said, let’s get down to it. I certainly have been paying attention and in regards to your examples about Britian and Canada, it’s true. Britain overtaxes its residents, Japan doesn’t charge enough, and Canada…well, it’s Canada, come on. However we should not operate under the assumption that all Universal Health Care is the same. They all work differently and pay for it in different ways. Single payer, insurance required, some take part of the money from employers, some from the patient. Many countries also include waste management and eliminate PCP’s as gatekeepers to specialists. We can develope our own based off of ideas from the best. Germany is the world’s oldest universal care system developed just after WW 2 and the Swiss model is good enough even to have gotten a nod from Bill O’Reilly. There are plenty of good models farther east. I have included a few pages on my own blog but beyond that I trust you can continue the research on your own. As for the constitution, it was created to put the power of choice in the hands of the people. At that time, they had far less people to worry about, and even the founding fathers realized that they could not forsee everything that would come up in the future. The founding fathers would not have included anything about Universal health care because they didn’t need it. Our world today is a bit more complicated. The original constitution even allowed for slavery, and was ammended, we have the ability to do that because ,we on occasion, must be fluid and evolve to solve the problems that face us currently and in the future. If a system is broken, we should throw it out. Our system certainly is broken, and unfortunately even being insured often isn’t enough. I know this because I work in health care and have seen many people who are insured go without, my friends in insurance have also confirmed that they have to turn people down for coverage, even for things that are lifethreatening. These people truly are the real, hardworking Americans everyone keeps talking about. Health care is rationed now. There is only so much that we can do to regulate care when it is part of the free market. Beyond the practicality of it, we are one of the richest countries in the world. We do not owe our neighbors a new car, or a bigger tv. But anybody can get sick regardless of whether or not they can pay, and we don’t turn them away. Nor should we, we should not become socialists, but nor should we let the gap between the rich and the poor get too wide. We need to make sure anyone who wants to earn a better life for themselves is capable of doing so. That those who are willing to work can be healthy and educated and keep themselves from becoming the burden of the state. Beyond that you’re on your own. Evolve. 🙂

    • Apology accepted without reservation. We all get in a hurry from time to time. I find it interesting that you’re a proponent of the Swiss system. It is very similar to what we have here in the states except they don’t have any type of a Medicare or Medicaid program and they subsidize the basic policy so everyone pays the same amount. That is not dependent upon your income, if I make a million dollars per year and you make twenty thousand, we both pay the same for the basic coverage. Now we can choose to increase coverage at a higher cost or decrease it for a lower cost, but the basic plan is the same for everyone. This plan is not without its issues either. The cost is beginning to stretch the Swiss government as well having to pay the subsidies and there is still some inequality in coverage and care depending on what you can afford or want to pay. All in all, it’s not that bad of a system. While most Swiss citizens are satisfied with the system those that have experienced care in the US generally feel it is still better here than there although it does cost more.

      Here’s the point, though, and I’m going to quote a Swiss citizen on an NPR interview:

      “Yet Rappaz looks puzzled when asked about people in the United States who say that it would be intrusive to mandate health insurance.

      “I’m not sure that I get you,” she says, cocking her head.

      When the question is put another way, she laughs. “Oh, I see. That’s really an American question. You are so used to having this individualistic way of thinking, and that’s why you don’t have these social [safety] nets. You still have this pioneer mentality where everyone has to take care of themselves.”

      (the link to the interview is at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=92106731 if you’d like to read the entire thing for yourself, something I urge you t do)

      She is absolutely right but doesn’t take it far enough. It’s not just our way of thinking, it’s the law as stated in the Constitution. The FEDERAL government has absolutely no right or ability to order its citizens to carry health insurance. None. it’s not in the Constitution. Now I understand that you might think that’s unfair and on that we must agree to disagree, but there is no debate on whether or not it’s authorized under the Constitution. If you think it should be then propose and amendment to the Constitution (as we’ve done with other unfair societal practices like womens’ suffrage or slavery or the income tax) and get that through in a legal, proper way. That’s why it was made possible to amend the Constitution to allow for change. It was NEVER intended to be “interpreted” as a “fluid” document at someone’s whim. If you continue to read my blogs you’ll find that I’m a very strict constructionalist, or Constitutionalist if you will. I believe the document was written in plain language and says just what it intends to say. It really doesn’t have much wiggle room in it if you read it literally and then reference it to the Federalist Papers and other references written by the members of the Constitutional convention at that time. Although I’m a registered Republican I am so only because in my home state if I’m not registered to one party or the other I can’t vote in the primaries and that includes my local elections for office holders. Although I don’t think the Republican party is all that close anymore to a true Constitutional basis, I do think it’s closer than the Democratic party (at least for now, things have changed before and will again).

      If you haven’t already read the Federalist Papers I strongly urge that when you get some time you do so. There is a wealth of information on just what the founding fathers were thinking when they actually wrote the Constitution and, more importantly, what they were afraid of. Certainly the system needs fixing in certain areas, but don’t take almost 3,000 pages of bad legislation and accept it when the changes could be effected in 200 or less.

      -john stricker

  4. So if you disagree with the new health care bill on the basis that it is unconstitutional how do you feel about medicare? You can’t opt out of that either, by the same standards wouldn’t it be unconstitutional? What about the unconstitutional nature of Arizonas new legislation? Isn’t it unconstitutional to question someone based off of no other evidence than the color of their skin? As much I as I respect the constitution, I think that there are certain issues that the founding fathers had no forsight of, because they had no way of knowing what kind of problems would arise due to our population and technical advances. I am not saying that we should simply discard the constitution or that ammendments to it should not be taken seriously. We should however realize that our world is constantly changing and that as it changes we need to adapt.

  5. Because it’s in place and been around for 40 years does NOT make it Constitutional. Social Security, by ordering it to be mandatory and forcing money from their citizens, is not Constitutional. Medicare, which also funds a large part of Medicaid, is likewise Unconstitutional.

    If you believe otherwise I invite you to go to http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html and read through the online version of the US Constitution and refer me to the area of the Constitution that authorizes the Federal Government to do anything like this.

    Keep in mind, ALWAYS, that the US Constitution was devised and implemented for one purpose and one purpose only, to limit the power of the Federal Government.

    Arizona’s law, I don’t believe is Unconstitutional. Like many you are confusing what a state can do with what the federal government can do. By design, our republic give much more power to the states and the people than the federal government can every have. Remember the tenth amendment:

    “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.”

    What do you think that means? It’s quite clear, the Constitution is there to limit the power of the federal government. It says the feds can do THIS and THIS, and THIS and if it doesn’t SAY SPECIFICALLY that it can do THIS and THIS and THIS then that power is reserved to the “States respectively, or to the people”.

    This is how the States can pass laws like mandatory auto insurance, or state unemployment insurance, and NOT violate the US Constitution, because THEY HAVE THAT RIGHT TO GOVERN THEMSELVES.

    The Federal Government has NO authority or right to do ANYTHING except what the US Constitution specifically says they can do.

  6. I would like to note that the last two questions I asked were specifically for the purpose of having it explained to me since I wasn’t 100% sure on either. Thank you for clarifying. However, I think that we should always keep in mind that beyond the Bible, the Constitution, and anything else that is written to help mold our society, the purpose of all of them is to do the best thing for society. What kind of country would we be without social security and medicare? Wouldn’t it be immoral to be one of the richest countries in the world and allow people to starve or allow our elderly to go without medical care? People should help their familes and themselves. But not everyone has the ability to help themselves all of the time, and not every elderly person has family to help support them. Critical thinking is necissary, and dogmatic thinking can cause unecissary suffering.

  7. You’re right, critical thinking is necessary. Our nation existed for a lot longer WITHOUT social security than with it and there was probably no higher a percentage that starved than there is elderly eating dog food now. Before social security, people KNEW they were responsible for their own well being after they were finished working, some of them NEVER finished working, even after social security was initiated.

    Medicare is another issue. I contend that many of the failures of our insurance system (and that is the REAL issue with medical care in this country, not the quality of care) is a direct result of medicare and medicaid. It put people in the mindset that “someone else” is paying for their health care and took the competitive nature of capitalism out of the they system.

    The Constitution of the United States is NOT there to be any kind of a moral compass. It’s not. It’s there to stop the over-reaching arm of a very powerful government. That’s all it’s there for.

    Think critically about this, for a moment. The FEDERAL GOVERNMENT is NOT to be the moral compass of the citizens. It’s not. The CITIZENS are the moral compass of the nation and if the Federal Government acts immorally even while abiding by the Constitution, they are, as a moral imperative, to be removed from office. One could easily make the argument that insisting that the Federal Government help those that are “needy” (a term with no real definition, by the way) is dogmatic socialist thinking and not critical thinking. “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need..” (Karl Marx in his 1875 Critique of the Gotha Program).

    What difference does it make as to how wealthy someone is as it relates to their morality? Per capita, the United States of America gives more in charitable donations than any other nation in history? Does that make us more moral, or less moral, than a country with lesser means?

    You sound like an extremely intelligent person by your comments. I would strongly urge you to take a few hours and really study the Federalist papers. I think you’ll be surprised that many of the issues the founding fathers were afraid might happen are now happening because of our ignoring the simple principle that the Constitution is there to restrain the government.

    I know from your comments that you believe that things have changed and the the Constitution doesn’t address those changes. I believe you are so very wrong. What has changed? People didn’t get older and couldn’t work back in the late 1700’s? I beg to differ. People didn’t need medical attention? I beg to differ. People weren’t concerned about attacks on their nation? I beg to differ. People didn’t need to get from one place to another via road or rail? I beg to differ. What, in your opinion, has changed so radically? The technology of today? Certainly, but how does that change what the responsibilities of the individual are? I would be most interested to hear of your opinions on the subject and thanks for the intelligent and polite comments, I do appreciate them.

    -john stricker


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