Comments about ‘In our opinion: Affordable Care Act: Clarification please’

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Published: Wednesday, Feb. 2 2011 12:00 a.m. MST

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ECR
Burke, VA

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.

Esquire
Springville, UT

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.

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

Time to put the public option back in.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

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.

Considering
Stockton, UT

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.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

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.

Conservative
Cedar City, UT

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.

Brother Chuck Schroeder
A Tropical Paradise USA, FL

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?.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

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

VST
Bountiful, UT

The main premise of this opinion piece is that HHS should take the necessary legal steps to expedite the hearing of this Court Decision before the U.S. Supreme Court for final resolution of constitutionality of this health care law. This opinion article is NOT about the merits of this law.

I agree with DNews that the hearing before the Supreme Court should be expedited.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

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.

Laurels
Sandy, UT

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."

ECR
Burke, VA

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

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.

Brother Chuck Schroeder
A Tropical Paradise USA, FL

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?.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

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?

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

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.

T. Party
Pleasant Grove, UT

@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.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

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.

TwoCents
Cedar City, UT

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.

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