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In our opinion: Affordable Care Act: Clarification please

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  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 5, 2011 2:13 p.m.

    Two have ruled in favor of repeal, two against repeal, and fourteen have dismissed cases, so that means those who support obamacare lead 16-2 in court cases.

  • ronnie sandy, utah
    Feb. 4, 2011 6:27 p.m.

    Utah Businessman And I appreciate your thoughtful responses. I am learning something from all this. But much like public education, who says public education should be free for k thru 12. Why is there not some tuition similar to what they have for colleges. A couple other examples: We pay water and sewer fees, gasoline taxes, bus and light rail tickets. But those fees do not come close to pay for all the roads, water systems, light rail construction, etc. etc. The taxpayers are currently subsidizing others big time. Furthermore taxpayers are spending 100s of billions to medicaid. Maybe that should be protested the most.

    My point is its a matter of priorities and not a matter of principle (making some one pay for some one else) since we have been doing that for a century or more.

    I quite frankly would prefer subsidizing someones needful medical costs rather than paying for some one to ride TRAX.

  • Wastintime Los Angeles, CA
    Feb. 4, 2011 4:40 p.m.

    ReUtah Businessman

    Okay. Today YOU, me and every other insured person are already paying the costs for the uninsured.

    So why aren't YOU pushing for legislation that will prohibit people from getting medical care in ERs if they aren't insured and/or don't have the means to pay?

    Another overlooked aspect of our healthcare delivery system is the large increase in for- profit hospitals and insurance companies coupled with an increasing consolidation of insurance companies. For example, two companies provide coverage for 36% of insured people.

  • Utah Businessman Sandy, UT
    Feb. 4, 2011 1:40 p.m.

    @ronnie and Homebrew

    You have to be kidding me!! Bill Clinton was offered Osama on a silver platter and didn't take him--please do a little research on this!

    Regarding Al Gore as president--yee, he would probably been as fiscally responsible as our current Democratic president. Enough said.

    Another issue that you need to do some research on--before Bush II even became president, almost every prominent politician and leader the the world exprssed very grave concerns about the dangers posed by Sadam and the Iraqi regime.

  • Utah Businessman Sandy, UT
    Feb. 4, 2011 1:31 p.m.

    @louie

    Thank you for your very respectful response to my posts. I have three points to make here that my experience and observations tell me are valid:
    1. If we had continued to hold to the principles of personal responsibility and accountability, our health care costs would have been controlled, and the young man's bill would not have been nearly $100,000
    2. If we had been following those principles, it is very likely that the young man would have had insurance (the cost would have been reasonable, and his family and friends would have encouraged him to purchase it)
    3. If we did not have the mentality that it is our "right" to force someone else to cover our health care costs and someone suffers an unusual and onerous health situation such as this, then many people would step up and organize funding to help out (freely given, no bureaucratic red-tape and overhead)
    Perhaps a fourth point should be made--if health care costs were controlled, insurance cost is reasonable, and the young man chose to ignore the risks, then perhaps it is good that he face those difficult results of his negligence.

  • ronnie sandy, utah
    Feb. 4, 2011 1:02 p.m.

    @Homebrew: You forgot one other thing. Al Gore may have listened to Bill Clinton's advise on keeping a closer eye on Osama. As you recall Clinton thought Osama was the number threat to the US, but Bush thought Iraq was the number one threat to the US.

  • homebrew South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 4, 2011 11:52 a.m.

    This will probably come down to Justice Kennedy. I hope so. The result will be It is constitutional. Do you remember a Supreme Court decision about 10 years ago, that handed the presidency to George Bush? What a monumental, collosial mistake that was. Funny how things happen. Imagine if Al Gore would have been declared the winner, and we continued the policies of Bill Clinton. Balanced Budget, Reduced defecits, Cash Surplusses. No war in Iraq that has cost us around a trillion dollars. Yeah, its kinda funny how the supreme court can hold the fate of a nation in its hands. Too bad they made the wrong decision 10 years ago. How much better off we would be today, If the country had never went through George Bush.Would we still have a sound fiscal policy. Would we have averted the financial meltdown, and Economic collapse. Fair questions.

  • louie Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 4, 2011 11:44 a.m.

    Utah Businessman I am probably older than you. I have been in other countries where I have observed health care services provided to my parents and to my children. As I have said before there are admirable aspects to many of those programs, especially from a cost effective standpoint.

    A story which happens all too often as follows: I know a young man, 22 years old, who had a bad injury (was employed full time but without insurance). He was injured in a swimming accident, hospitalized for 10 days and had two surgeries. His expenses are over $100,000. He is looking at garnishment of wages for many years, bankruptcy, the hospital could write off all or portions, and/or there may be some help from charities.

    Yes everyone should be responsible but our society does not reinforce those values in a way we could and should. If we are going to provide essential and necessary health services (such as life saving surgeries) to everyone, we have to think out of proverbial box to find ways to fund those services.

    We do not have to look too far to find out how others have had some level of success.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Feb. 4, 2011 10:22 a.m.

    To "Kimber | 8:40 a.m." please explain what sense it makes to provide insurance to people that can afford insurance?

    You say that you are an experienced insurance person. Please tell us how much the cost of insurance has gone up as a direct result of this bill.

    According to the Census Bureau, 38% of the uninsured could afford insurance. Do we really need a program to get them insurance?

    According to the Kaiser Foundation 57% of the uninsured children qualify for SCHIP, which also corresponds very closely to people who qualify for Medicaid.

    So, 95% of the uninsured don't want it either because they don't want to pay for or else don't want to sign up for it.

    Why do you want to force you insurance ideals on others? Why do you think you can run their lives better than they can?

  • Hellooo Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 4, 2011 10:01 a.m.

    So much better if the Democrats had just allowed normal legislative processes to have proceeded rather than pass a law that had no consensus or any effort to achieve such. Many of the problems in the legislation would have been overcome with such a process. This is just one example of how partisanship by both parties fails to provide good policy and the Affordable Care Act-though laudable in many of its goals-is bad public policy, and will not improve medical care in this country.

  • Kimber Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 4, 2011 8:40 a.m.

    I write online frequently in blogs to our local newspapers about the Affordable Care Act.. I have been a volunteer for this bill and am an experienced insurance person of many years. This bill makes a lot of sense and helps people get the coverage they need, rather than being denied for a pre-existing conditions or for their age (in the case of children.)
    I have felt that this issue has been fought more because of party lines, rather than actually analyzing the issues. And I feel that although many people knew that repealing would be unsuccessful, that they just wanted to wiggle their way into other political issues.
    Please start alllowing our good bill to free up Americans from the unfair practices of insurance companies and allow them to live more worry free lives. Start allowing people to have more peace, knowing that they won't have to take out bankruptsy for a medical condition.
    If you have issues that need addressed, please do it in a forthright way, and not use the success of this bill as an excuse.

  • Utah Businessman Sandy, UT
    Feb. 3, 2011 11:07 p.m.

    @louie

    "No one can convince me that our current method delivering health care is cost effective"

    No, it certainly is not, and why not? Because, over a period of years beginning about 40 years ago, we stopped doing the "cost effective" thing regarding health care.

    We stopped taking personal responsibility for it.

    We began depending on our employer to provide our health insurance.

    We began expecting this insurance to pay essentially ALL of our health care costs ("full-coverage" insurance)

    We stopped holding providers accountable for the costs (why bother--"someone else" is paying the bill)

    Under the conditions I just described, costs will always skyrocket, and of course they did.

    Added to the mix are government programs with all of their paperwork, red tape, regulations, politicians, bureaucrats and paper-shufflers.

    As indicated in my earlier post, when we were handling our health care costs according to the basic principles of personal responsibility and accountability, the delivery was very cost effective, so that as a teenager, I was able to pay for a 24-hour hospital stay.

    You were probably not yet born when we stopped handling our health care in a cost-effective manner.

  • @Charles the greater outdoors, UT
    Feb. 3, 2011 10:04 p.m.

    @louie said, "Shame on the federal court system for their political short sightedness."

    Why yes, let's just ignore the Constitution louie! Trample all over it!

    If you are looking for socialism feel free to move to any of those countries that you claim are modern societies and have all the socialism you need!

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Feb. 3, 2011 9:51 p.m.

    In the preamble of the constitution it says that its purpose is to . . . provide for the common defense, [and] promote the general welfare. . . According to the dictionary "provide" means to make arrangements for supplying means of support, money, etc. In other words the government has the responsibility to fund our armed services. It must do this. On the other hand, "promote" means to help or encourage to exist or flourish. Health care and many other government social programs may be considered justified when the program(s) "promote [help or encourage] the general welfare. Did the writers of the constitution mean that the government must mandate a health care program in which all citizens (except for the elite ruling class of congress persons and senators who have exempted themselves) must participate or be fined for failure to do so? Doesnt this go far beyond merely helping and encouraging good health? Is it in harmony with the constitution?

  • louie Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 3, 2011 5:13 p.m.

    America has been first and foremost in democracy but now is last in universal health care. Very few modern societies do not have a universal health care option.

    No one can convince me that our current method delivering health care is cost effective. Shame on the federal court system for their political short sightedness.

  • Utah Businessman Sandy, UT
    Feb. 3, 2011 12:01 p.m.

    @TwoCents

    I feel your pain, and I want to apologize to you and all like you who cannot afford today's stratospheric health care costs. I am retirement age (although not retired) and I can well remember when health care costs were reasonable and all but the very poor could pay for several days in the hospital out of their own pocket.

    When I was 18 years old I spent 24 hours in the hospital--I was making about as much money as most 18-year-old's (not much), but I paid the hospital bill AND the doctor bill--simply wrote a check!

    Then along came employer-provided "full-coverage" health insurance AND government programs, and for the next 35-40 years very few people cared what health care cost because "someone else" (employer/insurance/government) was paying the bill. During that period, when other household costs went up 5-10 times, a day in the hospital (and an x-ray and most basic health care) went up 100 times.

    Why? Technology? Frivolous lawsuits? Excessive paperwork? Sure, but the BASIC REASON is that we consumers abandoned PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY and ACCOUNTABILITY, so costs were not controlled.

  • Doug10 Roosevelt, UT
    Feb. 3, 2011 8:09 a.m.

    Of course this is a hot topic but so was mandating a speed limit. So was mandating that people lawfully must have auto insurance.

    Now the government wants to share the freeloaders who are uninsured with the insurance companies who have picked who they will and won't insure.

    Is this more socialism than your government mandating their teachers will teach your child.

    Many responding here will never have a firetruck respond to their home yet the government still forces them to pay for it. It is however for the better of the whole, as is education, as is paving roads and highways to move people around the country. Most Americans will never appear in the supreme court yet we are forced to pay for judges from that level to the local level.

    Many people who will pay for the healthcare of others may die in an accident or pass in old age never requiring health care coverage, but that is probably not the case.

  • Mr. Bean SLC, Utah
    Feb. 2, 2011 10:15 p.m.

    @Brother Chuck Schroeder:

    "Hudson rejected the arguments made on behalf of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services that such a mandate is allowable under both the Commerce Clause and the General Welfare Clause."

    The commerce Clause is for regulating existing commerce... not creating commerce that does not exist. If Congress can create commerce it can require you to buy and eat spinach and require you to buy and wear a hat so you don't get a sunburn in the summer sun.

    The General Welfare Clause is for promoting welfare not forcing it upon someone who doesn't want it.

    Of course, Congress can tax to pay for promoting general welfare. Unfortunately, Obamacare does not provide for a taxation... it requires people to dig into their own pockets and buy it.

    Congress can tax and provide. It can't require people to provide for themselves. States might be able to do so but the fed can't... under our existing Constitution.

  • Mr. Bean SLC, Utah
    Feb. 2, 2011 9:42 p.m.

    @Esquire

    "You mean the Republicans who want to repeal and replace it with something else, yet they won't tell us what that something else is?"

    Anything, even nothing, is better than Obamacare.

    Look, there's not enough money in the world to provide all the health care that everyone wants and needs. As a result someone has to do without. Right now, the wealthy who can afford health insurance and health care get the care they need. The poor do not. What Obamacare wants is to make health care mandatory for all, rich and poor. Who will go without, then? The aged. That's right. the aged. Those who no longer have worth in our society becasue of age and/or being infirm. They will be cut off. It's called 'Death Panels.' If that's what is wanted, then by all means keep Obamacare.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 2, 2011 9:42 p.m.

    Fun fact: 2 judges have ruled in favor of repeal, 2 against repeal but do you know that a dozen have thrown out cases arguing for repeal. So really it's not 2-2 in the scorekeeping... it's 14-2 in favor of obamacare being constitutional.

  • TwoCents Cedar City, UT
    Feb. 2, 2011 6:38 p.m.

    @ Proteos

    Amen. There is no amount of money you can save as a college student working part time at min wage to help pay for insurance or doctors visits. Step onto campus for a second and see students with chronic coughs, messed up knees, and strange aches that don't go away for months while they wonder if it could be something seriously wrong.

    The population of middle aged adults who have 'already survived college' have no idea what it is like to be a college student today. It is a different ball game. People who have made it or are feeling comfortable need to realize that there are people who haven't made it and aren't comfortable. These are people who are working just as hard to contribute to society, but honestly have no options. Not every poor uninsured person is a bum waiting on the side of the street for their American handout. I think people forget that.

    Is socialized healthcare the answer? I don't think so, but there needs to be a change and going straight back to the way things were is not the answer.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Feb. 2, 2011 5:28 p.m.

    Obama could care less about the "constitutionality" of anything. He and his rouge law makers have basically attempted to set the US constitution to the side while they "reshape America" as they see fit. Also, Obama's disdain for the US supreme court was clear to all during his first state of the union speech so once again Obama has show no respect for the constitution or those who job it is to protect and enforce it. I relish the day (soon to come) when the high court stikes down Obamacare and its mandate to purchase insurance (the unconstitutional part). Without the forcing of people to purchase insurance Obamacare will crumble. CANT WAIT!!!!!

  • Considering Stockton, UT
    Feb. 2, 2011 5:09 p.m.

    ECR claims: "I think you know, as does everyone else, that the Affordable Care Act specifically prohibits the use of federal money to fund abortions."

    That is not what I was talking about. But as a matter of fact, Obamacare does provide taxpayer money for abortions. That Obama issued an executive order to the contrary is meaningless.

    Obamacare funds insurance programs that will and do cover "reproductive services" including not only elective abortions, but also cover birth control deemed immoral by our Catholic neighbors.

    That the constitution does not delegate to congress ANY authority to tax citizens for the purpose of providing health insurance, nor to spend tax money providing medical services to the general population means that forcing people to fund what they consider to be mortal sins is doubly offensive.

    I know, you don't like "the war." Neither do I. But war powers ARE specifically delegated to congress and the vast majority of our elected officials--in BOTH parties--voted to exercise that power. Republicans replaced 2 of their 4 members of the federal delegation here in Utah. Democrats refused to replace their sole member.

    If you have to misrepresent what a law does....

  • Jash Clearfield, UT
    Feb. 2, 2011 3:41 p.m.

    Assumptions made in Vinson's ruling to the benefit of Obamacare:

    "...I will assume that the individual mandate can be Constitutional under the Commerce Clause and will analyze it accordingly."

    "I will assume, however, that the Comstock considerations were just that, and that they did not bring about any fundamental change in the Courts long established Necessary and Proper Clause analysis."

  • ECR Burke, VA
    Feb. 2, 2011 3:38 p.m.

    VST - I've read the article - again - now you need to read my previous post - again. The DN article says, "Consequently, we call on Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to expedite appeal of this case." The Secretary has no obligation to expedite an appeal that is not necessary. Four judges have ruled on this act and two have favored it while two have opposed it. The act HAS BEEN PASSED by the Congress and until a final judgment is rendered it is the law of the land. Anyone who wants to change that law has the obligation to bring it to the Supreme Court. The DN article makes it sound as though the HHS Secretary has an obligation to do something that her opponents need to do. That's what makes this article all about the merits of the law - because the DN and others disagree with it and want it to be stopped and so they will twist logic to make it happen.

  • Jash Clearfield, UT
    Feb. 2, 2011 3:27 p.m.

    Re: Truthseeker

    I find it ironic Fried is exclusively using Gibbons v. Ogden to claim the law is constitutional when Vinson addressed that very ruling with subsequent rulings to show that the law is unconstitutional:

    "Notwithstanding this seemingly broad interpretation of Congress power to negate New Yorks assertion of authority over its navigablewaters, it was not until 1887, one hundred years after ratification, that Congressfirst exercised its power to affirmatively and positively regulate commerce amongthe states. And when it did, the Supreme Court at that time rejected the broad conception of commerce and the power of Congress to regulate the economy was sharply restricted. See, e.g., Kidd v. Pearson, supra (1888)."

    Reread Fried's argument and then read Vinson's entire ruling (Google 'Health Care Ruling by Judge Vinson' to find it.) Vinson's ruling actually addresses and knocks down the two straw men put forth by Fried. I would be interested to see if Fried actually read Vinson's entire ruling.

    The ruling actually makes many assumptions in Obamacare's favor.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 2, 2011 2:57 p.m.

    I would think that the Supreme Court would likely only strike the mandate down rather than the whole bill (or would declare it constitutional). However, the mandate is the form of cost control in the bill. That pre-existing condition ban... if people don't have any fear of being dropped or denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions then that means they can free-ride without insurance until they get sick. This free-riding would cause health insurance premiums to skyrocket. The mandate gets rid of the free-riding (goodness, I'm a progressive making the Romney argument for mandates) issue.

  • KM Cedar Hills, UT
    Feb. 2, 2011 2:17 p.m.

    "yet they won't tell us what that something is?" sounds not even as bad as "we have to pass this bill before we can know whats in it." There certainly are alot of games being played by both sides, and its costing us taxpayers all the money they can afford. Progressivism is destructionism.

  • T. Party Pleasant Grove, UT
    Feb. 2, 2011 1:53 p.m.

    @Truthseeker and Laurels

    The power to regulate commerce is not the power to force someone to engage in commerce.

    It's just not there.

  • ljeppson Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 2, 2011 1:53 p.m.

    Yes, the ever FDR - hating D-News can be counted on. The D-News' solution to the health care problem is to let the states somewhow work this out. What about people whose very lives are hagning in the balance - including myself? Your view of constituional government (your ideology) trumps your compassion. I'll answer my own question. We will die young. But what the heck - we just bounce over to paradise and everyhing's fine - right? Well, you don't know what you presume to know about the "hereafter" thank you!

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Feb. 2, 2011 1:24 p.m.

    In the early 1970s, President Richard Nixon favored a mandate that employers provide insurance. In the 1990s, the Heritage Foundation, a leading conservative think tank, embraced an individual requirement. Not anymore.

    "The idea of an individual mandate as an alternative to single-payer was a Republican idea," said health economist Mark Pauly of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. In 1991, he published a paper that explained how a mandate could be combined with tax credits -- two ideas that are now part of Obama's law. Pauly's paper was well-received -- by the George H.W. Bush administration.
    (FoxNews March 2010)

  • ECR Burke, VA
    Feb. 2, 2011 1:17 p.m.

    Considering said, "Clearly such rhetoric was empty and what they really meant was, "we just want legal access to elective abortions on demand.""

    I think you know, as does everyone else, that the Affordable Care Act specifically prohibits the use of federal money to fund abortions. Please do not attempt to implicate otherwise.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Feb. 2, 2011 1:07 p.m.

    TO "TwoCents | 12:30 p.m." if you are a college student Utah already had laws that said you could be on your parent's insurance until you turned 25 or finished college.

    Otherwise, what can you do to save $100/month? You probably pay nearly that much for cell phone service each month.

  • Laurels Sandy, UT
    Feb. 2, 2011 12:48 p.m.

    Dear T. Party:

    "Obviously" two federal judges and a slim majority of Senators and Congressmen--the ones who voted for the health care reform act--believe the law is constitutional.

    Two federal judges and a significant percentage of Senators and Congressmen--those who voted against the health care reform act--don't believe it is.

    26 of the state attorney generals--the ones who filed the lawsuit in Florida that Judge Vinson ruled on--also do not believe the law is constitutional.

    You don't think any and all of these people didn't consult the constitution? Based on the number of 5-4 Supreme Court votes, I would say that provisions of the constitution are interpreted differently in various situations.

    I personally believe the current bill is unconstitutional and problematic for a number of reasons. However, a great many people, judges, and elected officials "obviously" disagree.

    As posted earlier, I think this will come down to Justice Kennedy being the swing vote on a very ideologically divided Supreme Court. He's difficult to predict and has been known to do 180s without notice.

    It is a travesty that so much power is in the hands of one person.

  • Considering Stockton, UT
    Feb. 2, 2011 12:43 p.m.

    Conservative writes: "you ARE part of such a system. You use it and you fund it for others. You can escape it by moving to China."

    Is that the same rhetoric often used when someone complains about some facet of life in Utah? "If you don't like it you can move...."

    Yes, we already have a lot of government mandates in healthcare that force responsible citizens to pay for the less responsible while denying opportunity for actual, freewill charity. I object to such laws and requirements just as I object to the latest new batch of laws in Obamacare.

    Liberals demanded government get out of the bedroom and not come between a woman and her doctor. Clearly such rhetoric was empty and what they really meant was, "we just want legal access to elective abortions on demand."

    The government is between me and my doctor. Obamacare puts them even further into that relationship.

    The same liberals who complain about alcohol laws or taxes that are fully constitutional under the 21st amendment turn around and pick my pockets to fund their favored "charities" with no constitutional authorization at all.

    Where does it end?

  • TwoCents Cedar City, UT
    Feb. 2, 2011 12:30 p.m.

    I can see the issues with the bill, but I don't think ALL of it should be repealed. It was because of this bill that I was able to go back on my parent's insurance starting this year. Now I'm looking at being uninsured once again.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Feb. 2, 2011 12:30 p.m.

    Feb. 1. 2011

    In a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing today on The Constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, President Ronald Reagans former Solicitor General Harvard Law Professor Charles Fried tore into the reasoning of Judge Roger Vinsons decision striking down the Affordable Care Act, saying the issue should be a no brainer:

    I am quite sure that the health care mandate IS constitutional. My authorities are not recent. They go back to John Marshall, who sat in the Virginia legislature at the time they ratified the Constitution, and who, in 1824, in Gibbons v. Ogden, said, regarding Congress Commerce power, what is this power? It is the power to regulate. That isto proscribe the rule by which commerce is governed. To my mind, that is the end of the story of the constitutional basis for the mandate.

  • T. Party Pleasant Grove, UT
    Feb. 2, 2011 11:33 a.m.

    @Roland & Laurels

    Yes, it is a travesty that it would come down to one Supreme Court justice, when
    435 representatives, 100 senators, and one president all could have consulted the Constitution at any time before it came to this point.

    Had they done so, it would have been obvious that they don't have the power to force Americans to purchase insurance.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Feb. 2, 2011 11:20 a.m.

    Everyone of us can read, at least I assume that those who post can read. The President can read. Congress can read. The judges who have ruled in this case can read. The Supreme Court can read.

    Yet, who has understanding?

    Who understands the Supreme Law of the Land?

    Who knows that the Supreme Law of the Land cannot be overruled by any Court or and Judge unless the People of this nation pass an amendment?

    Why are their four justices who always vote for the Democrats and four justices who always vote the Republicans and one justice who usually votes for the Republicans?

    Since when did politics come before integrity?

    Since when did any person, no matter his station, have the authority to decide any matter based on his politics?

    We can read, but few can comprehend and fewer still have the integrity to do the right thing.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 2, 2011 11:15 a.m.

    To Mike Richards: Two courts have found the law constitutional, two have found it unconstitutional. Why does the president only have to follow the decisions you support?

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder A Tropical Paradise USA, FL
    Feb. 2, 2011 11:08 a.m.

    Remember way back when the big health care law was little more than a dream, a prominent figure spoke out against the idea of forcing people to get health insurance. He said that would be like solving homelessness by passing a law making people buy a house. Like every leader and many citizens, Obama was searching for the right balance between what government should do for people, and what people should do for themselves. That debate that began in the bloody throes of revolution, has persisted through history's pendulum that swings left and right. In "FLORIDA", Vinson ruled it was unconstitutional for the government to force people to get health insurance. Never before, he said, has Congress made people buy something "just for being alive and residing in the United States." The law remains in effect pending appeals and a likely US Supreme Court showdown. In most other richer countries, it's an article of faith that government will help with health care, just as it provides public education and tightly controls guns. Universal health care programs are a source of national pride despite vigorous complaints about service and cost. Let's get rid of education & guns to?.

  • Laurels Sandy, UT
    Feb. 2, 2011 10:36 a.m.

    Roland Kayser is correct on two counts:

    1. This will probably boil down to Justice Kennedy
    2. It is amazing that one person can have so much power.

    A few years back I read the book "Supreme Conflict." It provided an interesting glimpse into the dynamics of the Supreme Court as well as an analysis of the personalities of the justices.

    It painted Justice Kennedy as someone who relishes and craves the attention and power being THE SWING/DECIDING VOTE gives him. If that assessment is correct, he should get quite a high with all of the attention coming his way on this issue.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    Feb. 2, 2011 10:33 a.m.

    VST said "This opinion article is NOT about the merits of this law."

    This opinion article is about nothing else but the merits of this law. Mike Richards bluntly states that "Congress passed the health-care act and Federal Judges overruled Congress" totally ignoring the fact that an equal number of federal judges have ruled in favor of the law. Why should the adminstration worry about the judges who are against the law when an equal number favor it? It is not incumbent upon HHS or the president to bring anything to the Supreme Court. A bill has been passed by the Congress and the adminstration is now implementing the pieces of that law that was passed. That's how our CONSTITUTIONAL SYSTEM works. It is incumbent upon those who oppose it to bring it to the Supreme Court.

  • Laurels Sandy, UT
    Feb. 2, 2011 10:28 a.m.

    To Conservative:

    Your comment about escaping the U.S. health care system by moving to China made me smile :)

    Considering...
    ...A large percentage of the U.S. national debt is now held by the Chinese,
    ...Secretary Treasury Geitner regularly travels to China to negotiate with the Chinese government to continue funding our mushrooming deficit,
    ...Much of our deficit is brought on by the escalating costs of Medicare and Medicaid...

    Well, I'm not sure moving to China is a viable solution to escape being part of the U.S. health care system.

    I personally thought the editorial made some good points. Rather than implementing a massive overhaul that nobody has a full grasp on as to its its content, unintended consequences, or constitutionality, it might be a better idea to address problematic sub-issues a chunk at a time as occurred in 1935, enabling a more controlled process that can survive the constitutional challenges and are more focused on solving specific problems.

    To continue full speed ahead with implementation when such divergent opinions exist in the federal courts regarding the law's constitutionality is not prudent and creates "terrible economic, legal and organizational turmoil."

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Feb. 2, 2011 10:14 a.m.

    There's a fat chance that the President will back down and 'allow' the Supreme Court to rule. In his mind, the Presidency is the only branch of government in the United States. In his mind, he does not have to bow before anyone except foreign leaders. Congress and the Court are just minor players in the game that he plays.

    However, this is America. The Constitution divided power between three branches of government. The President is required to execute the laws of the land. Congress passed the health-care act and Federal Judges overruled Congress. Mr. Obama, if he is faithful to his oath of office, must execute the law of the land, which, in this case, is to retire the health-care act. If Mr. Obama disagrees with the Federal Judges who have ruled, his only option is to take the case to the Supreme Court where they will give final ruling.

    The health care act must be dismissed immediately and remain dismissed unless the Supreme Court rules otherwise. Just like ordinary citizens, Mr. Obama cannot pick and choose which laws he will obey. He gets his authority from the Constitution. He had better respect it.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 2, 2011 10:00 a.m.

    Justice Kennedy will decide whether the law is constitutional or not. Amazing that one man can have so much power in our republic.

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder A Tropical Paradise USA, FL
    Feb. 2, 2011 9:49 a.m.

    Yes it's true, a federal district court in Florida (not Utah) ruled on behalf of 26 states, including Utah, (I like the fear of loss hyperboil add-on here as if it were them that did this in Utah), that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's mandate to purchase health insurance is unconstitutional because it exceeds Congress' power to regulate interstate commerce. The court went on to find that the insurance mandate is so central to the overall reform that the entire act is unconstitutional. The court's key consideration was "whether or not Congress has the power to regulate -- and tax -- a citizen's decision not participate in interstate commerce." Previous expansionary rulings of the Commerce or Tax Clauses addressed only voluntary economic activity that directly or incidentally affect interstate commerce. These two clauses have never been extended "to include the regulation of a person's decision not to buy a product." Hudson rejected the arguments made on behalf of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services that such a mandate is allowable under both the Commerce Clause and the General Welfare Clause. In Florida we do it right Utah. Any questions?.

  • Conservative Cedar City, UT
    Feb. 2, 2011 9:32 a.m.

    CONSIDERING wrote: "I object when such persons are so arrogant as to assume any moral, constitutional, or legal ability force me to be part of such system, to use it, or to fund it for others."

    In our society, every life is considered priceless.

    That means if you need a liver transplant, then you'll go on the list and eventually get it. At a cost of probably $300,000.

    Premature babies will get all the health system support they need, period. That could easily cost $hundreds of thousands.

    Older Alzheimers patients will get all they need.

    All of these huge medical expenses are paid for: a fraction by the patient, partially by insurance (if they are insured) and the rest by society as a whole.

    CONSIDERING: you ARE part of such a system. You use it and you fund it for others. You can escape it by moving to China.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Feb. 2, 2011 9:00 a.m.

    To "Esquire | 6:38 a.m." they have said what they would replace the healthcare bill with, you just haven't bothered to find out.

    If you went to the NY Times and read "House Republicans Plan Their Own Health Bills" that would give you some insight to the Republican plan.

    If you read "House Republicans launch healthcare law push" at Reuters, that would further explain what the Republicans plan to do once the HC bill is repealed.

  • Considering Stockton, UT
    Feb. 2, 2011 8:37 a.m.

    I don't much care if others want to be part of a government run healthcare system.

    But I object when such persons are so arrogant as to assume any moral, constitutional, or legal ability force me to be part of such system, to use it, or to fund it for others.

    It seems the same liberals who think a woman has some "right" to privacy to kill her unborn child for no other reason than she doesn't want to be pregnant think that the rest of us have no right to privacy in terms of how we choose to pay for services, what arrangements our doctors may want to make with us, etc.

    I try to be very charitable with my money and even time. And I resent someone else presuming to tell me how much of my money has to go to support which of THEIR favored charities.

    Liberals, if you want to pay to provide health care for a bunch of people you think are deserving, feel free to do so. But stop trying to pick my pocket.

    Even more importantly, stop trying to come between me and MY doctor.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Feb. 2, 2011 8:12 a.m.

    House Republicans did put forth a healthcare plan, which was voted down, during the healthcare debate. The plan covered a whopping 3 million of the estimated 40 million uninsured!

    Grow up Republicans.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Feb. 2, 2011 8:00 a.m.

    Time to put the public option back in.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Feb. 2, 2011 6:38 a.m.

    Playing games? You mean the Republicans who want to repeal and replace it with something else, yet they won't tell us what that something else is? They want to repeal and do nothing else. They can push repeal along with their ideas in a single bill. And games by activist judges, they same kind of judicial activism you have decried in the past? The Florida decision was political, because the entire law was stricken, not just the mandate. It was over reaching, yet you are OK with that. It's all politics, and no one wants to step up and say, this is how it should be done to fix the problem.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    Feb. 2, 2011 6:09 a.m.

    Four federal district courts have heard challenges testing the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Two judges (Steeh and Moon) concluded the law is legally permissible; two came to the opposite conclusion (Hudson and Vinson). It is interesting to note the difference the so-called liberal press gives to the two opinions

    The rulings in favor of the Affordable Care Act by Judges Steeh and Moon received back section (A2, A15, A24 and B5) coverage in the Washington Post, New York Times, Politico and the Associated Press with an average of 509 words.

    The rulings against the act by Judges Hudson and Vinson all received front page coverage with an average of 1695 words in those same four publications.

    It is apparent that the corporations that own the major market media are doing their best to kill this bill. I see the Deseret News has joined that same group. Lets not fool ourselves with a claim that it is a level playing field when it comes to consideration of our national healthcare concerns.