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Obamacare is unConstitutional

Discussion in 'Politics and Current Affairs' started by mike114, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. mike114

    mike114 Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    "A federal court ruled Monday that a key part of the health-care overhaul violates the Constitution, dealing the first legal setback to the Obama administration's signature legislative accomplishment.

    U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson said the law's requirement that most Americans carry insurance or pay a penalty "exceeds the constitutional boundaries of congressional power."

    Judge Sides With Virginia on Health Law - WSJ.com

    I never could understand how you can force someone into buying something as a requirement of being a living citizen.

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  2. SamsungVibrant

    SamsungVibrant Android Expert

    Do some more research, this isn't the first lawsuit claiming such said claims. However, that judge in particular is the first to rule in the manner he did in Virginia. For your reference, in the same state, other judges have upheld that the healthcare law IS NOT unconstitutional.

    More junk blah blah blah.
  3. mike114

    mike114 Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    You are right, but this is the most important of the lawsuits as it's being brought by the States declaring the mandate is unConstitutional and they got a federal judge to side with them. So as far as it being more junk, I believe you would be wrong.
  4. jwp1223

    jwp1223 Android Enthusiast

    I don't know where they get that you have to be forced to purchase health insurance...living is a RIGHT not a privilege, unlike driving....Driving is a privilege, not a right, so you are required to carry insurance if you want to drive. No if ands or buts about that.

    So I am glad that they said this is considered Unconstitutional. It should have never been added in the first place.
  5. byteware

    byteware Android Expert

    This is likely the only provision of the health care act that will be deemed unconstitutional, the rest of it will remain on the books. The problem is that without the mandate to carry insurance, the law is even more destructive than it was with it.

    For example, Insurance companies will still be prevented from denying someone coverage based on pre-existing conditions. This means that many people will only get insurance when they get sick. If enough people only get insurance when they get cancer, then that is going to drive the cost of insurance WAY up for those who have continual coverage (say employer funded health plans).

    It's going to be a real nightmare. The law should never have been built around this requirement. Period.
  6. zauper

    zauper Well-Known Member

    The flaw you're getting at might be checked by the open enrollment period, depending on how it works. It isn't definitively written in the law; but it would be possible for you to only get a plan via the exchange during "open enrollment". If you elected not to, you would be ineligible until the following year's open enrollment period. (presumably unless you underwent a qualifying event, such as marriage, having a kid, etc)

    The law says:
  7. byteware

    byteware Android Expert

    True, but that would still be costly, and raise insurance prices. I mean, we pay in for years with relatively good health. If you don't need to maintain insurance, healthy people (especially younger people in their early 20's) will just stay off of insurance.
  8. zauper

    zauper Well-Known Member

    Yes, it will certainly raise premiums. Insurers are counting on being able to sell their policies to the healthy pool of people in order to bring down costs overall.

    (though to be fair, for this population, paying the tax would make sense over paying for insurance in any case, unless they got ill.)
  9. byteware

    byteware Android Expert

    True, but all that would be accomplished by the provision at that point would be for 20 somethings to add to government coffers, while ALL of our premiums went up.
  10. Crude

    Crude Android Expert

    Didn't NJ try this a while back? How did that go for them?;)
  11. mike114

    mike114 Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    My hope is that this decision will give the republicans in Congress the backbone to begin the repeal process of the whole bill, or at least defund it as they will hold the purse strings starting in a few weeks.

    And let me add my correction to your last statement, the law should never had seen the light of day as once again, politicians have overstepped their Constitutional boundries.
  12. byteware

    byteware Android Expert

    Something needs to be done. The poor do not have access to quality health care, and something needs to be done about that. However, the way things were done in this bill... weren't going to help anything.
  13. foxII

    foxII Well-Known Member

    So if you're poor, does the insurance get deducted from your (i.e. welfare) benefits? If so then it might offset the cost to working taxpayers who foot that part.
    IMO raised premiums has nothing to do with the goverment, it has to do with corporate and medical greed. Other than serious surgery, the longest I have ever actually had "physical" contact with a doctor over my lifetime has not exceeded "1" 8 hour day.
    I think it's a step in the right direction to ease the burden of the working class. The next step will be more sweeping healthcare reform if it passes.

    PS: What I object to is forcing me to wear a seatbelt. If its a privaledge to drive then it should be a privaledge to wear a belt and not a "law".
  14. byteware

    byteware Android Expert

    I don't think you understand how insurance works and why the prices are what they are.

    You cannot lower premiums without driving insurance companies out of business, unless you lower the actual cost of medical care.

    Since the government did nothing in this bill to address the cost of medical care, Insurance premiums are not coming down. In fact, Insurance premiums can only go up, since we've removed the Insurance companies ability to prevent sick people from enrolling for insurance.
  15. foxII

    foxII Well-Known Member

    Actually I worked in medical billing. I "Know" how it works.

    You cannot lower premiums without driving insurance companies out of business, unless you lower the actual cost of medical care.

    Exactly...The next step, more sweeping healthcare reform.
    Passage of this bill is the precedent for healthcare costs, since it will be mandatory. Bottom line...It will be regulated.
  16. mike114

    mike114 Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    I don't disagree, but this certainly wasn't the cure. Some free market ideas must be implemented and solutions should be coming from the States. Most of this healthcare mess has been because of the Feds.

    If you look at the profit margins for healthcare providers and hospitals you will notice that they are near the bottom of all major industries in this country. So while greed is often played to make these people seem cold and evil, the numbers don't bear it out. These companies still exist to make money and profits.

    We certainly don't need more sweeping reform, we need less intrusion from the Feds, let the free markets work and have the States be responsible for their own citizens.

    As far as seatbelts go, I agree that people should be able to make their own decisions, but those are State mandates, so you have no recourse.
  17. zauper

    zauper Well-Known Member

    If you're under 400% of the FPL, there is a sliding subsidy (full subsidy under 133% FPL) to pay your premium. This is a new benefit.
    Fantastic. How long was your serious surgery? How many of them have you had? How long have you spent in the hospital? How many people were involved in it? (did you have to be knocked out, I'd assume so; how many assistants/nurses, how much of their time) What drugs have you taken? For how long? Imaging? etc.

    Cost of care is more than just the doctor's time.

    Rising premiums have little to do with the greed of the insurance companies, and a lot to do with the rising cost of care... which has little to do with the greed of the doctors, and more to do with the rising cost of health care inputs, and particularly the development of novel treatments.

    This. Insurance companies, IIRC, skate around a 1-3% margin. Providers tend to be in that area as well, though it obviously depends on the kind of provider and the patient mix (and payer mix!). Generally speaking, providers lose a ton of money on Medicaid beneficiaries, some money on Medicare providers, and have to make it up on private payers.
  18. foxII

    foxII Well-Known Member

    RE: seatbelt law...Do your homework the feds (NHTSA) threatened to deny any fed assistance (grants) to states that did not comply with this s mandate.

    RE: healthcare... Actually there was choice called the "public option" keep wat you have or go with the goverment, whichever one you felt best fit your needs. The republicans refused this issue thereby denying you the right to think and choose. In response to profit margins, most Americans don't have insurance, so in essence by your statement having all Americans maintain insurance will increase their profits. But the cost is not with the insurance companies, its with the hospitals charging and treatment.

    Development of therapies is private sector (big pharma) and once again greed.
    BTW, $40 for a tylenol pill at the hospital I'm sure you dont disagree with me when I say greed.
  19. zauper

    zauper Well-Known Member

    This isn't true, because of other requirements that are coming down; such as minimum MLR. Additionally, requiring everyone have insurance is one way of bringing down the costs of adding the folks who are currently uninsurable and live in high risk pools / can't get insured to the market without nuking everyone's rates.
    Yeah, this is true to an extent -- the rising cost of premiums is largely driven by providers costing more.
    Really? Tell me then, what's the average cost to bring a therapy to market? How many therapies don't make it? What's the average cost for those? How much is a fair price for a therapy (big pharma) to charge?

    Pfizer (who has the largest blockbuster drug, which, on a sidenote, is going off patent in 2 years and is a model for why the blockbuster model is dead in pharma) put up a 5% profit margin in the most recent quarter. Man, it sure is the overcharging that causes that, huh? Lipitor (again, the highest grossing drug in the world, at ~$10b/year) costs $2/day on average in the states. Not exactly going to bankrupt you. But the issue is the novel treatments, which cost more because of the ridiculous cost to develop them... and don't generate even 10% as much revenue as the blockbuster chemical drugs, generally.
    If only hospitals were making a substantial profit, huh?
    CYH - 2.61%
    UHS - 4.97%
    LPNT - 4.71%
    THC - unsure. (1.86% operating margin; the numbers are thrown off by recognizing a tax credit). This means their true margin was probably under 1%.
    HCA is private, so we don't have access to their margin.

    I'll say it again: private payers get overcharged to compensate for bad debt and losses from other payers.

    You also aren't only paying for the tylenol, you're paying for a lot of things that are generally packaged with your care.
  20. byteware

    byteware Android Expert

    2 things:

    1) one medicare is already set to bankrupt the nation, and you want to ADD to that... that's a bit crazy if you ask me.

    2) Visit your local VA and you'll get a first hand glimpse of what government's involvement in health care will look like.

    That's because you aren't just paying for the tylenol. If you look on your bill you will notice that you aren't billed for the nurses that have to be administer the tylenol. Where do you think their salaries come from? By charging $40 for tylenol.

    Unless you want to bring down the actual cost of providing medical care, you will never have any effect on premiums.
  21. mike114

    mike114 Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    And therein lies the problem. More federal intrusion into the States. Why the hell should the Feds be giving any grants period for roads?? Once again, back to my point, the Feds, as always overstep their Constitutional limits.
  22. zauper

    zauper Well-Known Member

    Actually, this one is pretty easy.

    The constitution says:

    Also, since the highway grants are only for interstate roads, the commerce clause would also give the feds authority.

    Though, the current highway system comes out of Eisenhower's experience during WWII -- he found it much more efficient to move troops on the German highways (and that the German's had a substantial advantage due to the autobahn).

    As a result, in ... 56? The current highway system was born as a defense measure.
  23. byteware

    byteware Android Expert

    While I agree with your assessment, I believe that it should be unconstitutional for the Federal Government to collect money from the states, and then pay that money back to the states with strings attached.
  24. mike114

    mike114 Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    You are correct, congress has the power to build post roads, roads connecting other roads to the post office. Here is what Thomas Jefferson wrote to James Madison regarding the issue of post roads.

    "P.S. Have you considered all the consequences of your proposition respecting post roads? I view it as a source of boundless patronage to the executive, jobbing to members of Congress & their friends, and a bottomless abyss of public money. You will begin by only appropriating the surplus of the post office revenues; but the other revenues will soon be called into their aid, and it will be a scene of eternal scramble among the members, who can get the most money wasted in their State; and they will always get most who are meanest. We have thought, hitherto, that the roads of a State could not be so well administered even by the State legislature as by the magistracy of the county, on the spot. What will it be when a member of N H is to mark out a road for Georgia?

    Does the power to establish post roads, given you by Congress, mean that you shall make the roads, or only select from those already made, those on which there shall be a post? If the term be equivocal, (& I really do not think it so,) which is the safest construction? That which permits a majority of Congress to go to cutting down mountains & bridging of rivers, or the other, which if too restricted may refer it to the states for amendment, securing still due measure & proportion among us, and providing some means of information to the members of Congress tantamount to that ocular inspection, which, even in our county determinations, the magistrate finds cannot be supplied by any other evidence? The fortification of harbors were liable to great objection. But national circumstances furnished some color. In this case there is none.

    The roads of America are the best in the world except those of France & England. But does the state of our population, the extent of our internal commerce, the want of sea & river navigation, call for such expense on roads here, or are our means adequate to it? Think of all this, and a great deal more which your good judgment will suggest, and pardon my freedom."

    Jefferson knew that roads should not be left to the feds because of all the corruption it would create, and once again, he has been proven right.

    And isn't it ironic that Eisenhower who pushed for the interstate highway system under the guise of national security then warned about the industrial military complex??
  25. zauper

    zauper Well-Known Member

    Oh, I agree that there are issues with how the grants are handled, but Congress clearly has the authority to do it.

    mike: without... interstate..highways, how would you drive from one state to another? you know, in your (not offroad) car. Not your carriage.

    Also, with the lessening value of sea/water transportation in particular...

    And, if you don't realize the value that good roads have in transporting troops and equipment... (not to mention the... interstate commerce... aspects). Plus, the money is given to the states to build roads. So isn't your issue then with state corruption?

    Additionally, a post road is any road over which mail is carried. So, every road (used by the post office) is a post road. Not just roads which connect the post office to other roads.

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