published Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Obamacare vs. free choice in medical care

Most people probably agree it is desirable to have medical insurance. Lack of insurance can have costly consequences.

But should the federal government require anyone to buy government-approved medical insurance?

Judging from countless opinion polls on unpopular ObamaCare, a great many Americans would say no. And the Constitution certainly says no.

Will ObamaCare remain in effect? It's hard to tell. Federal court rulings -- including a recent split opinion by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia -- have come down on both sides.

The D.C. court stated that "The right to be free from federal regulation is not absolute and yields to the imperative that Congress be free to forge national solutions to national problems."

Of course, we don't know many people who believe there is an "absolute" right to be free of federal regulation. Rather, the question is whether ObamaCare, which was passed solely by Democrats in Congress in 2010, is constitutional.

It isn't, and the divided court decisions mean it is likely to wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

How the Supreme Court eventually may rule will be important, not only concerning medical care, but as a matter of principles involving decisions that should be individual and personal -- and not subject to federal dictation.

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nucanuck said...

Insurance is at the core of our high cost, poor coverage, health care system. Health care needs to be removed from the insurance company loop.

November 10, 2011 at 1:12 a.m.
EaTn said...

The most cost effective health care manager has been the federal govt as seen in the VA, Medicare and Medicaid. With this option for universal care off the table, the next best option will be WalMart, CVS, Walgreens, etc who are already doing the fringes and probably causing some heartburn at lucrative insurance companies.

November 10, 2011 at 6:57 a.m.
conservative said...

Unless one is dumb as a box of rocks, one knows Obaminationcare is unconstitutional. However, as the RIGHT side of this paper knows there is a lot of unconstitutional goings-on in America and that is not going to change unless there is a change in the morals of Americans. There are just too many who want the property of others and vote for the Socialists who will give it to them.

November 10, 2011 at 8:02 a.m.
JustOneWoman said...

Con wants you to think that if you don't think like him, well you must be dumb. How rude! And that is exactly what is wrong with this country....NO RESPECT. Whether you are right or wrong, show some respect.

I don't like the Affordable Care Act Republican Mandate either. But it was the Republicans that put it there. The fact that you call it obamanationcare is very telling in where you are getting your information. But the Affordable Care Act is constitutional, and if you do not understand why, then go take civics 101.

Oh, wait a minute. I see now. Con wants us all to think alike, look alike, talk alike. Gee that doesn't sound like a democracy or a republic. Con, should we don our little uniforms too?

November 10, 2011 at 8:45 a.m.
Freedom_Czar said...

I am a Veteran and I would not go to a VA hospital period. No one has any motivation to treat patients with any degree of humanity. The record of FATAL issues with VA Hostitals is well documented.
Only when people have a choice of medical providers is there ever a quality of care that not mearly takes care of the disease or injury but for you as a person, as a customer. Vanderbilt is a good example of that. They were wonderful from first to last visit.

November 10, 2011 at 8:58 a.m.
Fire_Obama said...

Consider a private sector, state administered solution to instantly reduce the costs of medical care, that does NOT cost anything from State treasury ANYTHING. Let me give you an actual example of the problem and a solution:

We recently received an EOB from the insurance company.
The Hospital charges were $1,240. Her co-pay was $80, paid at the time of service, which should leave $1,160 for insurance to pay. But the insurance company paid, by agreement with the hospital, for payment in full only $234. The difference $924 is an insurance company "discount". What is wrong about this is this discount is something self-pay / uninsured DO NOT GET. If you are not insured or "self insured" you would be billed for and expected to pay the full $1,240.

Hospitals will tell you that in large part this difference is because many uninsured patients don't pay. It seems to me the reason may often be because their bills are inflated by 4 or 5 times the reasonable rate charged to insurance companies. But usually insurance Co's pay within 120 days, I am told.

Imagine States administered a program: 1. States charge patients per incident, based on the administrative costs so it cost state treasury NOTHING. 2. The program requires hospitals in their state to make it available to uninsured / self pay patients regardless of State of residency. 3. Those in the program get the same rates as the insurance companies IF they pay within 120 days or else they'd pay the full rate. 4. The staff to administer this program could be outsourced in competitive a bidding process creating work at home jobs, based on claims processed, reducing the cost for everyone.

November 10, 2011 at 9:38 a.m.
JustOneWoman said...

No one, not a doctor, not a hospital, not even my country should be able to profit from my body. When we get the profit out of healthcare, we will see affordable healthcare.

November 10, 2011 at 9:48 a.m.
Fire_Obama said...

JustOneWoman, Spoken as a true communist. Profit has developed the BEST heath care system BAR NONE in the world. Profit is the ONLY motive that consistently draws innovators and delivers consistent improvements over time. No bureaucratic system ever devised has or can match the free enterprise system. Those like you should go to Cuba for your health care so you can report the truth when you get back. Oh by the way, did you hear? It is now legal in Cuba to own your own home. Of course no one there can afford to, but you can if you can pay for it.

November 10, 2011 at 9:59 a.m.

lol! "no one, not a doctor, not a hospital, not even my country should be able to profit from my body."

Think about this JOW,
When a doctor uses his talents to help you, if you don't pay, you are profiting from his body. Should he be compensated for his efforts? Do you get your hair done? Nails? Eat at restaurants? Every one of these examples involves people using their bodies to serve you. If you didn't pay for their services, you would be profiting from their bodies. Do you have a job? Do you work for free? Even if you get paid, your employer is profiting from your body.

November 10, 2011 at 10:12 a.m.
conservative said...

Lieberals, Demoncrats, and Socialists ( I know, redundant ) will hang themselves with their own words. Just smoke them out with the truth and they will do the rest for you.

November 10, 2011 at 10:33 a.m.
EaTn said...

conservative....are you a member of the 1% that have hijacked this country, or a member of the gullible part of the 99% that just believes that it's ok for the 1% to control the other 99% since they are 99 times smarter and work 99 times harder? This is third world thinking, not capitalism thinking.

November 10, 2011 at 11:57 a.m.
JustOneWoman said...

When they have no substance, they revert to name calling. Maybe I will start using my tallents to make money on Con or Fireobmama's yards. I went to school. I have the education. So why don't I just start a business on your front lawn? Just because I know how, I should. Would I owe you anything? According to your rules above, if I paid for the education, then I get to make the money, even if its your property I am making my money on. I never said the doctors shouldn't get paid. I said she should not be making a profit from my body. Our doctor offices have become profit mills. Need a boat payment, order a biopsy. Need a vacation to China, get a kickback from pharma.

November 10, 2011 at 12:16 p.m.
acerigger said...


November 10, 2011 at 12:27 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

To those of you saying that we have the best health care in the world, you couldn't be more wrong. We have some of the best medical technology, perhaps, but one of the worst health care systems. There are over 50 million Americans who have no health insurance, primarily because they cannot afford it. And that figure doesn't take into account the many insured people who have to choose a ridiculously high deductible – like $5,000 or $10,000 –because they cannot afford it otherwise. In that case they really don't have health care, as such; they basically just have catastrophic insurance as a means of protecting their assets in the eventuality of a debilitating disease or accident.

Forget the “constitutionality” of whether it's the right thing for our country to provide health care for all its citizens. You strict Constitutionalists are as narrow minded as any Bible thumper when it comes to cherry-picking how you think the Constitution reads to support your self-serving view of the way our country is supposed to function. You read it and think, “Hey, if it ain't in there, it ain't constitutional!” And that's pretty much the end of your thought processes on the matter.

What's more, you lack no empathy whatsoever. To you, that's a dirty word that only exists in the socialists' vocabulary. As long as you've got your slice of the pie (good job, nice house, savings, decent health care, etc.), you think all is right with the world and to hell with everyone else. Obviously, to your way of thinking, all those who don't have their slice are just stupid or lazy and don't deserve it, so just let 'em die anyway. You have no clue how FORTUNATE you are to be where you are. Sure, there was probably some hard work and wise planning and forethought on your part that helped to put you in your position but that can all be taken away - by fate, happenstance, God, or whatever you want to call it - in an instant, and you seem to have lost all concept of that. There are many who are suffering now who worked just as hard and planned and saved and did all the right things but lost everything. And our system is rigged in such a way to favor the rich and screw the disadvantaged, making it even harder for one to get back on his/her feet.

Our health care system is grossly unfair, way too costly for the average person, and it needs to be changed. The free market is not the answer to every problem. There are some things that it is simply ill equipped to do and health care is one of them. I'm not meaning to imply that I have the solution. But whatever it is, for-profit health care in the hands of private insurance companies, like we have now, ain't it.

November 10, 2011 at 12:34 p.m.
Fire_Obama said...

As long as we have private insurance COMPANIES and for profit HOSPITALS you have CHOICES, there is competition that drives innovation AND effective price controls because if one is too high you can go to some one else. Where there is a SINGLE PAYER SYSTEM like the left wants you will have NO CHOICES and there a single jerk in cubical, most likely thousands of miles away from you and your Doctor deciding:

(1) If your life has enough value left to the collective to be worthy of the care you need to live.

(2) Who is more valuable than you to society that should be in line ahead of you (if you are fortunate enough the be in line at all.)

(3) Since the BUDGET in a single payer system determines total resources no one NOT IN THE RULING CLASS ELITES will be able to get services not provided to the proletariat (That would be YOU). You could not earn better care because you produce more. You could not arrange financing for more than your slotted health care resources.

(4) Since resources are always limited where no one has a motive to produce anything beyond what they must do to keep from getting shot there would be no additional resources to get. Your body would no longer be your body. It would be a RESOURCE owned by the state.

(5) When RESOURCES fail to provide advantage to the collective they are deposed of.

This is NO MYTH. I was station in Germany TWICE during the cold war. I was stationed there when the wall came down. I saw the walls, the barbed wire and guards to make sure no one escaped East Germany. It's odd, no one ever tried to go the other direction from West Germany to East Germany. I have talked to people with these experiences. You have been told of course that this would never happen to you. Don't believe it.

Learn the truth of history of be a victim of the propaganda of the leftist, socialists, communists and progressives.

November 10, 2011 at 1:09 p.m.
Livn4life said...

For all those calling for the socialization of this country, just look to the places who have tried it and see how it has worked out for them. That is what we can then expect not too far down the road as you see realized this degrading of that doggone 1% who have hijacked this country. I have to laugh at that statment when I realize most of the ones using it are also part of that 1% but are given passes because they are Liberal. Just wait and see what your NEW DEAL approach brings. It will not be fun. But we can predict your responses to its failures. Either we just don't fully understand what success is or blame it all on the former administration.

November 10, 2011 at 2:12 p.m.
EaTn said...

F_O.....the single payer Medicare has worked for about fifty years with both patients and providers. The only reason that insurance companies got into the picture for the new health care law is because of a little term called lobbyist, which is also the reason that the Bush drug law prohibited govt price negotiations comparable to the VA.

November 10, 2011 at 2:13 p.m.
JustOneWoman said...

Fireobama, if what you say is true, then we should have the cheapest and best medical care possible. But it just isn't that way at all. When the price of technology starting coming down, the price of medical technology started going up.

You said, "you will have NO CHOICES and there a single jerk in cubical, most likely thousands of miles away from you and your Doctor deciding:"

That statement is true of the private insurance and medical care we have now. Only now, the person in the cubicle is making the decision based on what profit it will make, or losses it will incur.

Our bodies are already resources to the state. I have not done much research on this yet, but it seems our birth certificates are bonded so our government can borrow against them with the Federal Reserve.

November 10, 2011 at 2:26 p.m.

JOW, I agree completely. The prices charged by doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and the various and sundry labs and testing companies is usury. That is the true driver of health care costs and should be reigned in. How do you do it while still maintaining a free market? The convenience and efficiency of health insurance has slowly allowed the doctors to push prices steadily upward to the point where you can't possibly pay out of pocket unless you are one of the 1% out there that have made it big and can pay no matter the cost. The fact that a lot of people no longer ask how much a test costs or how much their visit truly costs is what allowed these prices to get so high. A little profit isn't a problem. Usury is. I am not faulting health insurance for being such a good product, I am faulting the greed of individuals. Not all doctors are greedy, but I would say a majority of them are definitely in it for the money. If we can raise awareness and get their prices down, we might be able to save our wonderful healthcare system. Obamacare isn't going to save it. We have to do it ourselves. I am currently arguing with an orthodontists office about the price they are trying to charge me for braces for my daughter. I have insurance and can pay my share, but I think the cost is way above what it should be. I am not sure how much progress I could make, but if everyone else did the same, they might change their mind about what they are charging.

November 10, 2011 at 2:29 p.m.

Like I said above, health insurance costs aren't the problem, or people would just pay the doctor directly. The prices healthcare providers charge is the problem. You seem to have fallen for the Obamacare misdirection mantra hook, line and sinker. If it were healthcare reform, we might be able to afford to pay doctors directly from our own pockets like we used to.

November 10, 2011 at 2:41 p.m.
EaTn said...

About three years ago I had major surgery with the insurance cost of both the surgeon and hospital running at about $500 per hour each on actual time spent on me. I had some car maintenance done at the dealer a few weeks ago at $100 per hour. Since the first cost saved my life I still think it was a better deal than the second one, but I'm not sure either had my best financial interest at heart.

November 10, 2011 at 3:09 p.m.
JustOneWoman said...

FlyingPurpleSheepleEater said, "You seem to have fallen for the Obamacare misdirection mantra hook, line and sinker."

?????? Over assuming just a bit aren't we? You have no idea. In this political world, it is easy to assume. I don't like the healthcare act. But we needed something to stop the insanity. I don't like the Republican mandate, but we need something to stop the insanity. A 4 hour emergency room visit is $10,000, and there was no treatment given. The overnight stay in the emergency room is $26000, go cart accident. A back surgery is $250,000. Yes a quarter of a million for surgery. Those are just the 3 I know about personally. I will agree with most of what you say. But until it is not profitable, it will not stop. I do think insurance is certainly a big part of the problem. They move money around in a shell game. I think it is both the medical fld and the insurance. People using the insurance have no clue they are paying such high costs, so the competitiveness is taken into back rooms and set deals between the few. I think the entire system is awful. I am over 50, so I can tell you I remember when our system was a good one and it worked. I can remember when I could afford my insurance and it was good insurance. Now insurance controls the world, and it is the beast. And try and find a doctor that will see you without insurance.

November 10, 2011 at 3:27 p.m.
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