Obamacare Ruled Constitutional

June 28, 2012

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Official 2005 photo of Chief Justice John G. R...

Chief Justice John Roberts, author of the majority opinion.

Don’t spike the ball. This is what the Crying Man and his cohorts in Congress focused on leading up to today’s decision by the Supreme court on the Affordable Care Act or more commonly known as Obamacare. They did not want to upset the common folk and possible voters in the upcoming elections by having too joyous of a reaction to what they felt was going to be a Supreme Court ruling in the favor of their ideals. Man, they must have really been blindsided when the ruling came down today in favor of upholding Obamacare, especially when the deciding vote ended up being one of their own. So it has already been a pretty chipper beginning to a day for me, but should I have this good of a feeling. Oh what the hell, screw this I am spiking the ball. IT’S CONSTITUTIONAL.
BITCHES!

Actually that was a tweet this morning from the DNC executive director when the ruling came out, but its sums up my sentiments exactly. A man the Republicans thought they had in the palm of their hand ended up being the deciding vote against them and Kennedy sided with them. Oh the irony. Granted in his opinion on the ruling Chief Justice John Roberts was pretty political with his rhetoric about the President, but did uphold the right of Congress to mandate people having healthcare coverage as it is in ways a tax. I bet Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alito are now no longer on speaking terms with the Chief Justice after his ruling. I mean the same Court that brought you the personhood of Corporate America and unlimited secret campaign spending to buy elections, just saved Obamacare. Oh the agony!

The ruling was pretty much a sweep across the board in favor of upholding all of what was before the court. The ability for 26 year olds to be on their parents’ insurance was upheld. The ability for Congress to regulate that people with pre-existing conditions to be able to be covered by insurance was upheld. Most importantly and the most debated part of the decision is that the individual mandate was upheld as a taxing mechanism. Now I do not really like the wording with the ruling there as it just added more fuel to the fire for the illogical right. The only down part in the ruling was that the Medicaid expansion was struck down, but would be upheld if Congress were to take out the clause punishing states by withholding current Medicaid funds if they did not comply with the expansion. I agree that that part should be taken out and if it were not for the Congress that don’t do anything (sorry my kids have been watching Veggietales a bit much lately) it would be able to be remedied quickly.

Well that is about it for this month. Ah what a feeling. I will open up the comments section to discussion on the SCOTUS ruling. I will try to answer comments as soon as I see them. I’d love to see some discussion on this. Certainly a phrase I would never have thought I’d say. Thank you Chief Justice Roberts for making my day and slightly restoring my view of the Supreme Court if only just for one ruling.

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Is Obamacare Constitutional?

April 5, 2012

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Is Obamacare constitutional?

Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection an...

Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at the White House.

The federal mandate to buy health insurance is the very heart of Obamacare.  This is interesting because people keep saying that health care is a right.  Maybe so, but this law doesn’t mandate health care, it mandates health insurance.  This is a big issue for me.  I don’t HAVE to buy auto insurance unless I want to license my vehicle.  That’s a far cry from saying I’m going to buy auto insurance or face a tax/penalty or whatever.

There is an argument that people abuse the Emergency Rooms and clinics and they don’t have healthcare coverage.  I agree; that is most certainly true.  Yes, we’re all paying for it and that isn’t fair…I agree with that too.  This however isn’t the answer; if we enact a government health care plan we’re all still paying for it!  How stupid is that?

I would propose a program for unpaid health care bills similar to the way unpaid child support is handled.  If someone isn’t paying their bills or they aren’t on a payment plan they get put on a list.  This list then causes any tax rebates/refunds to be held for payment.  This list should also keep someone from obtaining a driver’s license unless they are acting in good faith by establishing and staying current on a payment plan for their health care costs.  This (of course) would have to be driven by the states and not the Federal government or we’ll end up in the courts again.

If the courts decide that we can’t be forced to buy health care insurance, what will happen?  I’ve heard that the mandate is the only thing that made this work financially.  The law of large numbers is the key to making insurance work.  If Obamacare accepts everyone but only a small group of people apply for it (like the uninsurable) the cost of the care will not be affordable or it will be subsidized by the government making the entire purpose of the law moot.  How will the government cover those costs?  Raise taxes?  Cut or limit the coverage?  This is what traditional health insurers have had to do to cover costs and no one is happy with that.

Presidential Race

We’re into April, and still we don’t know for sure who the Republican nominee will be.  The rule changes made by the Republican National Committee to force all pre-April caucuses and primaries to use proportional delegate allocation (as opposed to winner take all) is playing a part in this.  With a winner take all contest, a relatively small win can shower a candidate with a large number of delegates.  When delegates are awarded on a proportional basis, a small win becomes just a small difference in the number of delegates awarded – making the race to 1144 delegates much longer.

SuperPACs are also playing a big role.  Romney definitely isn’t hurting for money, and Santorum and Gingrich each have had a billionaire in their pocket (Sheldon Adelson for Gingrich and Foster Friess for Santorum).  Under the new rules, these two heavyweights have been able to funnel millions in cash to their candidates through SuperPACS – and it’s 100% legal.  The SuperPACs have allowed candidates to remain active in the race even without broad-based support from the electorate.  If you can have a buddy write a $1 million check, that’s just as effective as getting twenty thousand people to contribute fifty bucks.

Romney or Santorum—we just need to choose. Seriously, how long can this indecision be stretched out?  Tell me this will be decided by convention time.  It’s time to rally behind one Republican candidate and focus on the true task at hand – ensuring that Barack Obama is a one term president.

Communism Talk

North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, and China – they’re all bad, they have terrible leaders and we shouldn’t be supporting them in any way.  We need to make sure that we’re revoking any funding and not lending any aid.  If they want it they need to play by the rules.  If they don’t play by the rules and agreements they get nothing.  What is North Korea doing testing ICBMs that could reach the US?  Now is the time to be tough.  Clearly Bill needs to screw around with Monica again, get Hillary really mad and then send her to Pyongyang to dismantle Kim Jong-un’s newly acquired government.  Can you imagine a more intense strike force?  I’m not sure that Seal Team 6 could survive a wife scorned twice by the Slick Willie.

Zimmerman vs. Martin

I have to make a follow up comment to my original piece on the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin situation.  NBC released an apology for editing the 911 call from Zimmerman that made him sound like a racist.  If you’re one of the people that have been calling for George Zimmerman’s head on a platter you need to read my original blog and this story in the Washington Post.

Again, it is not your duty to judge based on the limited and biased information you’ve been fed by the media.  Just wait until all the information comes out.  The Grand Jury hasn’t even convened on this so don’t rush to judgment.

The Pendulum Swings

Romney

Santorum

Romney

Santorum

Gingrich

Romney

Santorum

 

North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, Russia and China.

Obamacare is constitutional, Obamacare is unconstitutional, Obamacare is constitutional, Obamacare is unconstitutional….now we wait for the Supreme Court.

Why is there so much up and down lately?  Everything is back and forth, ebb and flow, left then right.  This is frustrating for me because I really try to make quick and informed decisions.  When I see this pendulum swinging each direction so frequently I don’t understand why.

Squeaky…
 

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Baby Joseph, Government Healthcare, and Death Panels

March 3, 2011

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Welcome to Canada! We have free healthcare for our citizens. We spare no expense to give them whatever surgery or care we deem necessary. That being said, if we don’t think the treatment is necessary we are not going to pay for it. Sounds reasonable doesn’t it? It sounds a lot like what we have been promised in the United States doesn’t?

Think back to 2010 and the US healthcare bill that was passed….the one that we had to pass to find out what was in it. There was talk of death panels; some secret panel that would be created which would decide whether or not the government would allow a procedure. There were a lot of people making fun of conservatives for thinking this was possible.

Well, over the last week, we’ve probably all heard about Baby Joseph. Baby Joseph is a 13 month old child to Moe Maraachli and Sara Nader of Windsor, Canada. Unfortunately, Baby Joseph is suffering from a serious neurological disorder. The Canadian hospital wants to take the baby off the ventilator which would lead to his death in minutes. The child’s parents want him to receive a tracheotomy which will extend his life by possibly as much as six months. They would then like to take him home where he can live out the remainder of his short life. A tracheotomy is a procedure in which a small incision is made on the front of the neck allowing a small air tube to be inserted.

Parents…none of us should have to bury our children. Unfortunately, we know it sometimes happens. This family is now faced with a struggle of unimaginable proportions. The baby has the ability to live longer if something simple like a tracheotomy is given to him. That would buy the family additional weeks if not months to spend time with their child yet the hospital is refusing the procedure.

My mom suffered a brain aneurysm 10 months ago. I was told in the emergency room that my mom was going to die. We had her life flighted to a specialty hospital in Denver and they saved her life. Today she is recovered and is doing wonderfully. The surgeon told me in the days following her surgery that these miralces won’t happen after the new healthcare system is implemented. He said that there WILL be red tape, reviews, more control over who receives what services. I really hope he’s wrong though because God, the medical staff and that hospital are the reasons that I can still hug my mom today. I hope that the future families are as blessed as we are.

Some readers may know who Brock Lesnar is. If you don’t he’s the former heavyweight Ultimate Fighting Champion and a fan favorite. In 2009 he became very ill and had extreme abdominal pain. He sought emergency help at a Canadian medical facility and when he felt as though he wasn’t getting any help he asked his wife to quickly drive him back to the United States for health care. He went to the Mayo Clinic and was found to have a severe case of diverticulitis. His intestine had perforated allowing feces to leak into his body. Today, Lesnar criticizes the Canadian healthcare system and has urged President Obama and the lawmakers to repeal the changes. He cites his experience as a key reason. He refers to the Canadian facility as providing 3rd world medical care and praises his wife for saving his life by taking him back to the US for treatment.

I know everyone reading this will have other examples that they’ve heard. Brock Lesnar, while a great athlete and a fit individual, is not without controversy. However, don’t let that take away from his message.

Baby Joseph though? How could any of us put ourselves in the shoes of his parents and criticize them for wanting to spend a little more time with their child? The Canadian hospital has gone so far as to take this matter to the Canadian court where Joseph’s parents were ordered by the Canadian government to allow removal of the life support so that their child would die. Is that what we’ve signed up for with government run healthcare?

I recently found an article posted on another blog (medibid). The article was written by a Canadian physician. I urge you to take five minutes to read it. He talks a little about the rationing of healthcare and the consequences that he saw personally.

For now, we have government healthcare ramping up for its effective date. We need to make sweeping changes or we will see situations like the ones that Baby Joseph and Brock Lesnar experienced; but these will be happening right here in the US. This is not what the people of the US wanted but I’m certain it’s what we’re all going to get.

BTW, did Charlie Sheen really test clean? No drugs or booze? Maybe he is just high on Charlie. Nahhhhhhh.

Unconstitutional Obamacare

February 3, 2011

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Unconstitutional.  What does that mean?  Webster says that it means it is not according or consistent with the constitution of a body politic (such as the US).

As of Monday January 31, 2011 we now have two judges that have ruled that the Health Care reform bill (Obamacare) is unconstitutional.  The judges say that the individual mandate (the part that says everyone in the country must by health coverage) is the unconstitutional part of the bill.  The most recent judge to rule (Judge Vinson) indicated that since the individual mandate is not separable from the bill, the entire thing must be ruled unconstitutional.  So, can’t they just slip in a version of the bill that doesn’t include the mandate?  Nope. 

The idea behind insurance companies is the law of large numbers.  Say you insure 100 people.  The insurance companies are hoping that only a one or two of those 100 are going to get really sick.  This means that the premiums that the other 98 pay are used to pay for the two people that have serious ailments.  By removing the mandate, all the government will have in their pool are those that can’t get coverage because of their health situation.  It’s hard to stay in the green when you’re collecting $12,000 in premium from someone then paying out $2 Million in claims over the next 5 years.

Healthcare is a serious money pit.  Obama was hoping to eliminate the Bush tax cuts and use that extra money to help fund the health care changes.  When the Bush tax cuts were extended, I can only imagine the thoughts running through people’s minds.   I know what mine was, “How are they going to pay for this now?”  Of course that was followed by a, “Thank God they extended those tax cuts.”

I think back to the days when I was out of school but not working.  I wouldn’t have benefited from the new legislation because I was too old to get on my parents policy and didn’t have money to pay for coverage like the government is requiring.  I purchased a short term hospital-surgical plan.  It didn’t cover any doctor visits, any meds or any ER visits; if I needed surgery the policy would kick in.  That is what most people really need to have.  So, why are we forcing everyone to buy coverage that they really don’t want or need?   Why are we forcing anyone to buy anything?  Do we really have a right to tell people how they are going to spend their money?

I like the legislative proposal in South Dakota right now.  Everyone (within 6 months of turning 21) must buy a firearm.  Don’t want it?  Don’t need it?  That doesn’t matter.  You are now required to spend your money to buy a firearm of your choosing.  This isn’t a big deal, $700 for a new Glock is much cheaper than a year’s worth of insurance premiums.

I like the display that these representatives are putting on.  The liberals will be very happy that everyone has healthcare but will they feel the same warm fuzzy tickle up their leg if everyone has a firearm?  The reaction that a liberal has to that proposal is about the same reaction I have to being told that I must buy healthcare.

This is definitely the time to move forward with repealing the healthcare bill.  We need a bipartisan (non-partisan would be even better) group to sit down and make the healthcare system better without jamming things down our throat.  We could even take a year or two to do it and get it right!  Why do it in three months?  Was that necessary?  This bill was crap from the start and now we’re finding that it isn’t constitutional. 

Let’s work on improving the system, establishing risk pools, not mandating coverage and get tort laws reformed.  That would be a great start that both sides of the aisle can embrace.  It should also make a significant improvement in our system without incurring huge amounts of debt.  If that doesn’t work we can always go further, but this idea of jumping headfirst into an empty swimming pool isn’t working.

It will be interesting to see what the Supreme Court ruling will be on this.  The justices also will need to remember to watch their backs over the next couple of years.  Who knows what else they’ll do to keep Obamacare alive.

As We Begin The New Year

January 6, 2011

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As the New Year begins, I have been thinking about what my first write up would be for 2011. I have to admit (and hopefully I’m not the only person out there) that I’m tired. I’m abnormally exhausted. Maybe it’s the combination of the in-laws coming to visit, too much eggnog (those who know me know that it is actually beer), far too much work and too much fun with the kids. Any way you slice it, I hope that 2011 finds each of you in a good position and that during the coming months things will continue to improve for each of you.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011 was the beginning of the 112th congress. John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi once again exchanged the gavel used by the speaker of the house. This year seems to be the beginning of a more partisan house than we’ve seen in years though. Since November battle lines have been drawn by the congressmen/congresswomen. Republicans have promised to fulfill promises they made to their base about repealing “Obamacare” and to bring our country back to the conservative values that it was founded on.

It just seems like yesterday that we heard political ad after political ad. Does anyone remember that like a nightmare? I swore if I heard one more person try to align themselves with Ronald Reagan I would get sick. That seemed to be the war cry of those wanting to poise themselves opposite of the Obama administration. Reaganomics was a term coined in the 80’s for simple trickledown economics. It isn’t a new idea and is heavily documented in econ book after econ book. This is the direction many people believe we should be moving back to—this is likely what is spurring the Reagan comparisons.

So, what are the tasks that John Boehner, the Republicans and the few conservative Democrats in this new Congress would like to take on?

  1. Repeal “Obamacare”. We all know that this won’t happen right now. The question is will they make the statement and stand against the healthcare changes like they said that they would? The two biggest complaints that people have with the healthcare law is that this behemoth change now mandates healthcare coverage and that it is expensive…very expensive. Some people were silly enough to believe that this wouldn’t cost us anything. I telecommute for a company that employs some people working in health insurance. I have a desk within earshot of reps answering phones. I can’t tell you the number of times I heard these reps trying to explain to callers that they can’t just call up the insurance company and ask for the free Obama Healthcare Plan.
  2. Control spending. Everyone has an opinion on the spending. Peggy the Mooch thinks we ought to spend more to pay for the gas in her tank and her mortgage. Others think that we need to get back to decreased public spending and allow people to become more self-sufficient. It does seem that we have created this enormous government tit that the entire country has latched on to and is working to suck dry. Everyone from the execs at Goldman Sachs to Peggy the Mooch is connected. Are they wrong for doing so? Hell no, I can’t blame Peggy for taking advantage of some free goods. If people are going to give it away why wouldn’t you take it? I do blame her for being naive enough to believe Obama was going to be her Obama Clause though. People, we’re enabling this….this is our fault and we need to fix it. Someone created the fictional character Hugh Jidette to make light of the situation, but don’t take it too lightly; this is happening. This week the House votes on a 5% cut across the board to their own spending budgets…good start, but don’t stop there. Just keep thinking smaller government.
  3. Stimulate the economy and create more jobs. I’m lumping them together which may not be wise. I’ve taken fewer than 10 econ classes and in my simple world it seems like the two go hand in hand, but that may be naive of me. No, I don’t have the answer; I’m not foolish enough to believe that a simple IT guy will come up with a plan to save the free world economy. I can only suggest that we look back at what hasn’t worked, consult with those that are much wiser and do something about it. If we don’t take action nothing will improve.
  4. Give John Boehner strength. Yes, John Boehner the gravelly voiced speaker is a softie. He has been known to shed a tear at those moments where emotions run high. No, not just before he pushes Nancy Pelosi off the speaker’s podium…more like when Harry Reid retained office or something tender happens within his family.

This year will be hard on politicians, pundits and constituents. We are likely going to be at odds with one another even more after 2011 ends. Let’s hope that in the process that we don’t have any additional wars break out, any nuclear fallout from Iran, Korea, China, Venezuela, etc. Let’s hope that our economy improves and we begin to feel like the confident leaders of the free world we are used to being. Let’s hope that jobs are created and more American’s are put back to work. Let’s hope that people can start to see some common ground and reduce the political walls that have built up. Finally, let’s pray that God leads our President, our Congress and blesses our troops with safety, wisdom and courage in this New Year.

Squeaky…