Obamacare Upheld: What Does this mean for You?

Via elephant journal
on Jun 28, 2012
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There are lots of ways to look at the Affordable Healthcare for America Act.

I believe we are still working towards a complete solution where health care is involved. We haven’t arrived. We still have a long way to go.

I also choose to believe that today, with the Supreme Court holding up HR 3962, we are closer than we were yesterday. For the people whose lives have been affected for the better by these policies, we are getting closer.

I love respectful debate and discussion about these things. What I don’t love? When people decide to parrot their favorite pundit (liberal or conservative) instead of forming opinions of their own.

Before you start complaining about how horrible it is, take a minute and actually

Read it!



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28 Responses to “Obamacare Upheld: What Does this mean for You?”

  1. LibertyLover says:

    The libertarian argument, as I understand it, states that the government should be held to the same moral standards as the individual. So if Peter is selling Paul life insurance and Paul doesn't want to buy it, Peter doesn't have the right to charge Paul a penalty for not buying his service. If Paul refuses to pay the penalty, Peter doesn't have the right to put Paul in jail.

    If you believe healthcare is a right, than wouldn't education also be a right? Yet we don't tax parents when they want to opt out of public schools and send their kids to private school or homeschool them.

    The postal service might seem pretty cool, but we don't tax people when they opt out and decide to use fedex.

    I'm sure a lot of people are being helped by this, I fear in the long run it will hurt more than it saves. Brave New World comes to mind. There are other solutions to provide people with healthcare that don't involve more government and higher taxes.


  2. yogasamurai says:

    Obamacare means —

    1. Mega-profits for the health insurance industry., the chief promoter of the "individual mandate," which guarantees the industry millions of new health care consumers at market prices. No wonder the industry filed so many briefs in support of the law.

    (record profits after just first year – http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/14/business/14heal

    2. No guarantees whatsoever that our health care premiums won't rise, once the exchanges go into effect in 2014.

    3. No guarantees whatsoever that people won't end up losing their existing employer-based coverage, and have to buy it separately; in theory with subsidies as needed; in theory

    4. No way to enforce the fines or the penalties on people not buying "mandatory" insurance; worse, businesses can simply pay the fine anyway, which is modest, rather than offer coverage to their employees

    Up side —
    Lifting the pre-existing medical condition restriction is a good thing – but this should have been legislated separately, I think.

    Biggest downside of the Court decision:

    The majority actually ruled that the Democrats' rationale for the mandate – under the Commerce Clause – was unconstitutional. You can't force people to buy health insurance, or any other public good; this is a bit of a dangerous precedent , or a good one, depending on your view, but it's a precedent

    Ironically, Chief Justice Roberts decided that he would swing with liberals and justify Obamacare with the very argument that the Democratic majority said absolutely wasn't true – that Obamacare, especially the mandate, constitutes a new "tax."

    The right wing will have a field day with this, starting oh, tomorrow. American Crossroads just launched a $9 million campaign

    Justice Roberts is a sly sly sly fox. He protected the Court's and his own reputation, kept the conservatives from being blamed for killing Obamacare outright, and now shifts the onus to Obama to now justify the largest tax increase in US history.

    Things are rarely what they appear in politics. This will end up hurting Obama, I think.

    The whole thing was a big gamble, and once they ran into such serious opposition in 2009, they should have scaled this whole legislative initiative back I think, rather than ramming it through with dubious legislative tactics

    Opposition to Obamacare almost single-handedly produced the Tea party, and it led to the largest loss of congressional seats in 50 years

    Now the GOP controls the House – possibly for a long long time. Was it worth it? Some people think so.

    The fact is, most of the country, while liking several of the provisions, has consistently said in polls that it wanted the law – especially the mandate – overturned and a better approach taken

    So now we're stuck with it, and Obama is stuck with the fall-out. If more people were already benefiting, they might not care, but most of the law doesn't really go into effect until 2013-2014

  3. faye says:

    i am honestly curious – how do make the connection between today's supreme court ruling and a dystopian/utopian novel, depicting a totalitarian society. i find that to be a large jump. this ruling will not turn the US into Sweden nor Russia, two countries with contrasting political and social ideologies, yet offering their citizens some form of universal health care. the US is its own entity and will continue in its own path that does not include any form of totalitarianism (even the most liberals know better than that), only now your neighbor will not lose his/her home due to losing their savings for health reasons.

  4. Libertylover you raise some great points. The lack of allowing people to opt out easily (and perhaps have a tax break if they opt not to use) is a concern of mine too. I'm glad we are moving forward on this issue, but I think it will be years before we are near any kind of complete solution.

    That said, people do pay taxes that go towards public education even if they don't use it. People do pay taxes that support the postal service if they use it or not. And—devil's advocate—if folks don't receive preventative care, they could end up costing the state more in health care costs in the long run.

  5. I agree with you on the insurance industry issues. I would have liked to see more reforms included there. The insurance industry (and malpractice suits/and malpractice insurance!) are where most of our healthcare dollars—public and private—go these days.

    I think it's going to need to go through massive revisions and changes before it's truly helpful across the board. It's a tough call: do you make sweeping change and then fix as need be when you move forward or do you make the changes piecemeal and address one issue at a time?

    Either way has benefits. Either way we are still a long way from it helping all the people who need it.

  6. I agree Faye, that's quite a leap.

  7. brianculkin says:

    One of the basic problems in the debate is that the opposition to Obamacare is verbalized through the medium of the Fox news insanity and the leadership of the Republican party which is, truly horrific.

    We are through this dialectic given two options: Big Corporations or Big Government

    This is the inherent problem, the more rational, compassionate, and evolving paradigm would be neither — but a return to localized, unregulated, communal based health care — tribal if you will.

    You have to ask yourself, great American thinkers like Emerson or Thoreau — what would they think of Obamacare? Civil disobedience anyone?

    The real truth is that Obamacare will greatly benefit large corporations, centralize power, and when Obama leaves and a right wing a la Bush comes to office, everyone that supported this will be the first to revolt against it …

    And yes, the Huxlien future certainly comes to mind with this bill …

    You can not bureaucratize the truth
    There are no civil servants of the revolution

    Thank you Kate for starting the discussion … I'm looking forward to start writing articles again this fall

  8. LibertyLover says:

    If you were living in a dystopian novel, would you be able to recognize your predicament? I don't think it can be denied we are living in Orwellian times. I forget the exact percentage, but remember when a good number of americans thought Iraq was responsible for 9/11? The propaganda has only become more sophisticated.

    As far as Brave New World, I see Americans already living in a sort of drug induced dystopia. It's not widely acknowledged yet, but something like 1 in 4 people are abusing prescription medicine. This is a new epidemic. So what happens when we have universal healthcare?

    It may take 10 years, or 50, but at some point physicals are going to become mandatory. It's like Kate said, if people don't receive preventative care, they could end up costing more in the long run and raise premiums, so everyone will be for it. So if you don't get a physical, you will pay a huge fine. Then you will be prescribed something for stress. A new drug, just a little different from aspirin. Stress causes heart disease, and if we can reduce heart disease we can lower premiums. So you will have to take this new drug, and they will know if you don't because at these physicals your blood is being tested. See where I'm going with this? People still think fluoride is good for your teeth.

  9. LibertyLover says:

    Agree we are continually presented with a false choice. What's your view of a Huxlien future?

  10. Thanks Brian, I look forward to reading them.

  11. faye says:

    Hi LL,

    Sorry but I still don't agree with your points because they are only what ifs – physicals becoming mandatory? not getting a physical results in paying a fine? nor do i necessarily follow your logic about stress, new drugs and premiums. The point I really, truly want to make is that if we as an American society can harness our strive for freedom – at least as i understand it – and manifest it into designing our country to deeply KNOW that freedom includes knowing that our neighbors, family and friends are medically protected thanks in part to you and your other family and friends, then we can work on finding a solution to so many other issues – the environment, the increasing number of poverty-stricken folks, education and innovation – all crucial to the future of humanity.

    Please consider carefully the number of those truly suffering due to a lack of medical care – how many of those could have instead continued studying or working or happily and effectively been a nurturing parent? these what ifs are much more discerning to me. how much have we as a society lost out on b/c people have been preoccupied with chronic, persistent, debilitating conditions and could not contribute their strengths instead.

    i believe if our basic needs are not met, we will be a society running on a hamster wheel. and regarding obama's plan – i believe it is far from becoming an established institution in the US as is, but i believe it is a step in the right direction. with the high-court decision, the US can finally take seriously the issue of health care and work on designing it to be a good fit for America, instead of being wishy-washy about it. I regret, being an American who has lived in Germany the last 5 yrs, that some of the ideologies of the US do not include those of other prosperous countries in terms of protecting its citizens on a basic level. However, what I miss the ABSOLUTE most is the drive/consciousness/self-confidence of Americans to fight for what they believe in, to keep on keepin' on through the thick and thin of it all and believe in personal freedom.

    I beg, hope and pray that all those Americans who, regardless of political affiliation, gender, family status, religious/spiritual outlook etc, fighting for their beliefs consider deeply the consequences of such and their motivations behind them. Are they really, honestly, ultimately for the benefit all living beings? If not, why not? Who/what caused such pain for you to have those beliefs? Or are they based on greed of some kind – recognition, money, power, status? and again, who/what caused such pain for you (i am so not referring to you, LL!!) to have those beliefs? From what I have seen in the last 36 yrs is unfortunately the later – with, nevertheless, glimmers of sunlight, i.e. ,elephantjournal.

    please LL and the like-minded, don not worry about the US becoming Orwellian – we are a smart enough, ferocious enough folk not to let that happen. instead focus on the f*ing good this country can do, the way we assemble to celebrate victories and gather to discuss defeat and how to move on. we have the answers to all the worlds problems. but are our basic needs first met before having the strength, ingenuity, rational and GD courage to make them a reality??

    All my best,
    Faye, the ranter 🙂

  12. libertylover says:

    Yes, as a society we should take care of the needy. What I object to is the use of force to do it. When I see the government increase it's power in this way, through a mandated tax penalty, especially after patriot acts 1 and 2, the NDAA, SOPA, etc., I start to fear the onset of an orwellian state.

    I believe with all my heart that, If you are really and honestly for the benefit of all beings, then you have to be committed to non-violence, or what libertarians call the Non-Aggression Principle. The ends don't justify the means. A mandate is aggression, and unethical no matter the good it does.

    How many great religious leaders have asked their followers to petition governments for national healthcare?

    This idea that to be free includes a knowing that you are medically protected. Being medically protected is security, not freedom. So you might be able to say that freedom requires a certain level of medical security. In an idealistic society, I would be inclined to agree. My objection is to the method this bill utilizes to promote healthcare. My hope is someday, we agree as a society we should take care of each other, and provide universal healthcare by cutting the military budget in half, then their would be no new tax or mandate needed.

  13. ostrichsandwich says:

    I don't mean any ill will but I am saddened to see this posted here. I read Elephant as someone who is committed to the hard work of waking up and cutting through illusion and so I am rather ironically struck that your post mostly just aggregates a series of what I think are very, very illusory propaganda images. This really seems to be little more than another bailout for a deeply corrupt industry that operates dependent on the continued commodification of a fundamental human right. Over the past three years, the National Nurses Union (i.e. those on the front lines) has nobly argued against Obamacare's re-affirmation of the health insurance industry and demonstrated there remain many loopholes that may allow companies to continue to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions. So, this is hardly some sort of intermediary step towards real universal healthcare. It neither implements quality controls on insurance providers nor meaningfully limits the cost of services. It feels lovely to see personal narratives like the ones above in which it appears that Obama ala Florence Nightingale herself has reached down to protect the most vulnerable among us. Yet I find it very upsetting. Because there is no equally easy way to encapsulate in narrative the larger tremendously violent picture I perceive – we've deeply and totally reaffirmed that each of us and our health is to be treated, in this country, as a commodity. Health Insurance stocks dropped Thursday, probably due to the confusion around the ruling itself and subsequent freezes on trading due to volatility. I will be stunned if they have not only recovered but climbed much higher by the end of next week.

  14. cathywaveyoga says:

    I am Obamacare. I no longer have insurance.

    I decided to nto pay for my old policy when year after year they increased the cost by 11% and said it was beacuse of the health care reform. I had the lowest rate possible in my state for my age with minimal coverage which I never used. I take vitamins, do yoga, get accupuncture, live conservatively, eat less than 30% processed, never drive in traffic rushes. I have a low income .

    For me, if I dont buy health insurance my low income will also be penalized on my income taxes.

    I helped Obama get elected, but I didnt do so to be forced into supporting the AMA, big pharma or wealthy medical insurance providers.

    Go a little deeper.. all these people who the companies must cover now.. infants, people with pre-existing conditions.. those and no more caps.. will COST a lot and 'affordable' means they set the payment and rates. "Afoordable' to someone making 200,00.00 or more and then major bonuses( read those stockholders finaincial reports) is not what "affordable' is to me.

  15. I hear your argument, but most states now require folks to carry car insurance if they want to drive and register their auto.
    There doesn't seem to be any debate about mandatory car insurance. I see this as quite analogous to mandatory health care coverage. Yes, we don't have to send our kids to public schools, but we are required to school them. I guess I'm just as frustrated as you, as my wife is a nurse that sees the inside of the insurance game and what a mess it has become. The profit motive of health care insurance companies will always be in opposition to a patient's best interest. Let's hope our legislators are listening to their parents, children and grandchildren.

  16. seaglasslvr says:

    You forgot one.. Adding millions more people to the system with the same amount of doctors getting lower payments. You want this person to do surgery on you or spend an extra 5 minutes in his office to explain all your ailments? His/her mind is on several other things… and one of them it getting you out of their face.

  17. seaglasslvr says:

    I just don't think the Illuminati, George Soros and New World Order was around when Emerson and Thoreau were thinking their thoughts! They didn't have Haarp, Aspartame, GMOS, Pink Slime, Vaccinations, and a host of other interferences going on…each and every day. Whole different ball game today.. Drink their Kool Aid.. not for me thank you !

  18. whisperer says:

    Actually the historical (aka real) Illuminati was almost surely still around at that time, having been founded on May Day in 1776.

  19. seaglasslvr says:

    Perhaps… but they didn't have the competition they have now!

  20. LibertyLover says:

    In this famous passage from Ayn Rand’s novel, Atlas Shrugged, the doctor explains why he refuses to practice medicine in a world in which his life and work are owned by the government:

    "I quit when medicine was placed under State control some years ago," said Dr. Hendricks. "Do you know what it takes to perform a brain operation? Do you know the kind of skill it demands, and the years of passionate, merciless, excruciating devotion that go to acquire that skill? That was what I could not place at the disposal of men whose sole qualification to rule me was their capacity to spout the fraudulent generalities that got them elected to the privilege of enforcing their wishes at the point of a gun. I would not let them dictate the purpose for which my years of study had been spent, or the conditions of my work, or my choice of patients, or the amount of my reward. I observed that in all the discussions that preceded the enslavement of medicine, men discussed everything – except the desires of the doctors. Men considered only the ‘welfare’ of the patients, with no thought for those who were to provide it. That a doctor should have any right, desire or choice in the matter, was regarded as irrelevant selfishness; his is not to choose, they said, but ‘to serve.’ That a man’s willing to work under compulsion is too dangerous a brute to entrust with a job in the stockyards – never occurred to those who proposed to help the sick by making life impossible for the healthy. I have often wondered at the smugness at which people assert their right to enslave me, to control my work, to force my will, to violate my conscience, to stifle my mind – yet what is it they expect to depend on, when they lie on an operating table under my hands? Their moral code has taught them to believe that it is safe to rely on the virtue of their victims. Well, that is the virtue I have withdrawn. Let them discover the kind of doctors that their system will now produce. Let them discover, in the operating rooms and hospital wards, that it is not safe to place their lives in the hands of a man they have throttled. It is not safe, if he is the sort of man who resents it – and still less safe, if he is the sort who doesn’t."

    Is healthcare a right? I don't think so… http://lewrockwell.com/lazarowitz/lazarowitz50.1….

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  24. Jack Harris says:

    Catastrophic insurance isn't that expensive. Forcing healthcare on everyone will make all visits to the doctor expensive, and mandatory. If you failed to get insurance and failed to have reserves to pay for something catastrophic such as a tumor or whatever, that's up to you and your family to find a way to pay for it. Take some responsibility. If you don't accept responsibility, you're sending the entire country down the path to a third world country. Chinese men will be buying your daughter's pussy in 15 years at a bar.

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  26. richardblank says:

    OBAMACARE promotes outsourcing in Central America. Enacted in July 2010, The U.S. healthcare reform (“ObamaCare” or the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”) is intended to pressure large and small employers through force and taxation. The end result will show North American companies deciding to send customer support, sales, lead generation and appointment setting jobs offshore or risk going out of business. Many will decide to hire a dedicated bilingual employee who is 100% committed to their project. ESL call center employees in Costa Rica are just as or more effective than transitional in-house staff. In addition, giving the owners the freedom to scale up their offshore staff without getting caught in the Obamacare challenge in 2014.