Comments about ‘Letter: Unified Coalition’

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Published: Tuesday, Oct. 29 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Over the years, your Republicans devised several "free market" fixes for our healthcare problems. Every single one of them featured an individual mandate. That's why I think that your opposition to Obamacare is completely fraudulent. Obamacare was your idea.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

Part of the reason we have Obamacare is because we've been robbed of the single payer system we actually should have gotten. Tea party republicans, who have managed to hijack the situation, have effectively derailed any voice of reason in the republican party, and are doing harm to the nation in the process. We do need a unified coalition, free from the extreme.

Baron Scarpia
Logan, UT

Perhaps the GOP will "rise again" as many after the Civil War hoped for the old South... the GOP stood for abolishing slavery and rebuilding the South back then. Today, those goals would probably be too liberal for the TEA Party.

Perhaps the GOP will rise again to take away people's health care and prevent the country from rebuilding its roads, bridges, power lines, and infrastructure... That will attract voters -- NOT!

Ranch
Here, UT

Too funny, Ron, since the ACA is exactly what the Republicans came up with. The only problem they have with the plan is that it was implemented by a Democrat instead of a Republican. Too darn funny.

joe5
South Jordan, UT

I don't think you understand what really happened. The problem was never health insurance. Over the last several years, insurance company profits have been running in the neighborhood of 4%. That's not egregious. In fact, you'd be hard-pressed to find investors for a company with such a low rate of return.

No, the problems were government regulations driving medical costs, the constant threat of lawsuits against medical professionals, the extremely punitive awards given by judges and juries, the inability to provide inexpensive medicines due to FDA oversight, etc. Virtually every problem was the result of bad legislation, not high insurance rates.

So what does the government do? Decides to take over the one area operating on marginal profits; health insurance. If the government really wanted to help, they would have treated the disease instead of the least significant symptom.

But, see, the government was never about helping. They weren't even about claiming the monies for themselves. The government is all about control. Controlling every aspect of your life and mine is their ultimate objective. Obamacare is only a symptom, an indicator. Bondage is the disease that needs to be treated before it becomes fatal.

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

The tea party is not going to work with anyone. There way of shut down the government. A free market solution would use the insurance companies like the Republicans put in place in Massachusetts.

liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

The ACA IS a free market system based on plans floated by by the ultra conservative, Coors family funded, Heritage Foundation! It also has much in common with the successful Massachusetts Romney care.

The biggest problem with the ACA is that it is endorsed by President Barack Obama. If Obama embraced the entire Republican Party Platform the whole platform would immediately be rejected by the GOP as a "liberal" scheme to bring down the country!

Semi-Strong
Louisville, KY

Liberal Larry is correct. The basic concept of the individual mandate is conservative. It requires you to take full responsibility for yourself. No freeloading on the system.

People say "but I don't want ANY insurance". Ok. Sign a binding and enforceable contract that says you will refuse any and all public or charitable support (ever) for anything related to illness and I will let you go without insurance. You want your family to go without insurance? They sign too. That means you can NEVER go to a public or charitable hospital or plead your case on TV or radio for help. Why? Because you could have been responsible and gotten insurance.

Simply put, the mandate requires you to be responsible for yourself. A conservative principle if ever there was one. Don't like the current implementation? No problem. But that is another issue entirely.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

CBS News) "CBS News has learned more than two million Americans have been told they cannot renew their current insurance policies -- more than triple the number of people said to be buying insurance under the new Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare." Next up? Watch for Demos up for reelection try to hide under their desks. Demos, YOU own this mess! Ted Cruz and Mike Lee were absolutely right about Obamacare!

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

So Mountanman, you believe that only around 700,000 people will sign up for insurance on the exchanges. Wow! In addition everyone knew there would be a "small" percentage of people who would have to upgrade their coverage. Key here is small. It's 2 million against the backdrop of 180 or so million with coverage that is adequate.

Continuing on with the fantasy world of the right..it was "liberal" Democrats that gave us the ACA. Folks if you really see the world this way it's no wonder you think the world is slipping from your grasp. It has. It doesn't look anything like you believe it does.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

@ Pragmatist. Call CBS news and complain to them! They are the ones who reported this, not me!

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

A Pragmatist. Obama called the governor of Kentucky (a Democrat) who had reportedly a high number of people signing up for Obamacare insurance and congratulated him. Later it was learned that 87% of the people had signed up for Medicaid, not health care insurance. OPPS!

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Some people think that the Constitution is dead. They have buried it. They refuse to refer to it when they demand that the Federal level of government "give" them more "soup". They have already traded their freedom for a bowl of soup and now they want everyone to join them as psuedo slaves.

Is that harsh? I don't think so. The Constitution enumerates 17 duties that the Federal level of government is allowed to tax us for. ObamaCare is not on that list. The Constitution has a provision to handle ALL things that are not on that list. The 10th Amendment clearly states that ALL things outside the scope of authorized duties are to be left to the States or to the People; therefore, ObamaCare, if the Constitution is respected, is a duty that is to be left to the States or to the People. It is not an authorized duty of the Federal level of government.

The Court declared that ObamaCare is a tax. They have not addressed the legality of the ObamaCare tax. ObamaCare is not on the list of authorized taxes.

Semi-Strong
Louisville, KY

Mountanman,

I think Medicaid expansion is part of the program.

Mike Richards,

Seriously? You think the Supremes said it was a tax and was therefore okay but did not bother to look and see if they thought it was a constitutionally legal tax?

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

@Semi-Strong,

If you were more familiar with the Court, you would know that the Supreme Court is an appellate court. An appellate court can only rule on cases that lower courts have already judged. Lower courts CANNOT rule on a tax until that tax is implemented and DAMAGES can be proven. At the time that the Supreme Court ruled on ObamaCare, no lower court had ruled on whether the TAX caused damages because that part of ObamaCare was not yet functional.

Do you think that the Supreme Court would rule outside its authorized sphere? If there is anyone in America who should understand the law, it would be those justices who sit on the Supreme Court. Although, in reality, everyone of those justices "judges" according to his political ideology, they correctly refused to declare the ObamaCare TAX unconstitutional until a lower court first ruled.

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

Mountanman, not complaining, just saying first of all no enrollment numbers have been released, secondly you're a month in to an admittedly slow three month enrollment period, and you have at least 50 million people being mandated to sign up. The 700,000 number could be right for the first month but is ridiculous as a final number. However the 2 million number is probably pretty accurate as a final number because the insurance companies had to purge their noncompliant plans by Oct. 1. So put your party horns back in the box your timing is way off.

It's still the law. It's not going anywhere. Will there be changes certainly, and my guess is one of the first will be coverage requirements.

BTW Medicaid expansion is part of the plan, and if a substantial number of the 50 million uninsured can qualify for Medicaid we've got real economic problems that will have stretched back decades. So If I were a Republican I'd be very hesitant to talk too loudly about this.

joe5
South Jordan, UT

pragmatist: *sigh* Let's assume for a minute that you're right that ACA is a good plan, that people will sign up for it in droves, and that only a small percentage of people will be hurt with either worse coverage or higher rates or both.

If that is true, the:
- Why are so many, including those in liberal strongholds such as unions, trying to get excepted from ACA?
- What are even liberal bastions of the media (such as MSNBC) openly and vigorously criticizing it?
- Why is the Democratic Senate talking about delaying it for another year?

It seems to me that you are right: Some people do still live in a fantasy world. We just disagree on who they are.

Semi-Strong
Louisville, KY

Mike Richards,

Here is what the Supremes said:

"In this case, however, it is reasonable to construe what Congress has done as increasing taxes on those who have a certain amount of income, but choose to go without health insurance. Such legislation is within Congress's power to tax."

Sounds to me like they think it is okie-dokie.

Moderate
Salt Lake City, UT

"CBS News has learned more than two million Americans have been told they cannot renew their current insurance policies."
They were told that because their policies don't meet the new standard for coverage. That is not outrageous.

For example, look at auto insurance. The State of Utah requires that you carry liability insurance in the amount of (at least) $25K bodily injury/$65K per accident/$15K property.
Can you buy auto insurance with lesser coverage? Yes.
Will that auto insurance meet the legal standard in Utah? No.
Answer: Buy the correct auto insurance.

Same thing with health insurance. The point of all this is to ensure that a person can pay their medical bills. If a person carries insurance that is below standard and won't pay the bills, then we've gained nothing. Setting an insurance standard is not new.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@joe5 – “No, the problems were government regulations driving medical costs.”

You’re misinformed on this issue…

Regulations do not drive medical costs (which over the long run are ~3 times higher than inflation), and the medical malpractice issue is smaller than many believe. There have been numerous studies done on this and the percent of increase to overall medical costs are typically in the 1-2% range (which is still too high but nowhere near the main cost driver).

The main driver of healthcare costs is simply the inherent (economic) nature of the healthcare industry and the fact that producers (not insurance companies - they are just the middle man) have pricing power far in excess of most industries – and monopolistic industries typically deliver some mix of lower quality and higher costs. In the case of U.S. healthcare, the quality is very good but the costs are disproportionate.

This is the reason no developed country in the world has a purely free market healthcare system… they just don’t work very well.

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