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Comments about ‘Robert Bennett: Making our own spending decisions: The Affordable Care Act's folly’

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Published: Monday, April 14 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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GaryO
Virginia Beach, VA

“The real issue is, ‘Can the government impose its religious beliefs on employees?’”

No Mr Bennet. The very basic issue is “Why do “Conservatives” only want to obstruct and destroy, and why can they offer NO sensible solutions to anything?

Businesses have NO business intruding into the lives of other people, INCLUDING their employees.
The Founders created the Constitution to give us good GOVERNANCE and that is exactly what the Obama administration does. The Constitution says nothing to suggest the Hobby Lobby can tell people what to do in their private lives. The Hobby Lobby can abide by the law, just like everyone else.

And no, a good health care law does NOT give out free money to be used at the discretion of citizens.

The ACA is about health care. It’s not about handing out money. Why is that so hard to understand?

bandersen
Saint George, UT

too little too late, but at least he represents what most Americans have realized, the ACA is a train wreck that a blind man that couldn't hear, smell, or think would have seen a continent away. Unfortunate, but perhaps liberty, the Constitution, and God are making a comeback!

cmsense
Kaysville, UT

Well said except one key component of insurance is not being able to pick and choose when you want insurance benefits such as pregnancy otherwise its not a true insurance market. If people are allowed to just choose maternity coverage when they plan on a pregnacy, the math doesn't work out. Its not cable where you can have all la cart pricing. Ex. I predict I won't have any orthopedic issues this year, or maybe I'll wait till I'm 65 to pick up cardiac coverage. Hey, my blood pressure is low so I don't think I'll have a stroke so I'll drop neurology and hypertension coverage. I'm only prediabetic, so I won't pick up diabetes coverage for a couple years. Why pay for that? Health issues aren't always predicable and insurance doesn't work if people can game the system. Al la cart healthcare wouldn;t work well. Also women would pay a lot more for coverage due to pregnancy, higher rates for depression, etc. There does need to be a core benefits package but I'd agree pediatric dental coverage and contraception could be optional.

arod
Ogden, UT

Brilliant! Is this not a marvelous idea that a vast majority in Congress could agree on? We Americans love choice.

liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

I think that the senator is missing the point of opposition to Hobby Lobby's law suit.

Hobby Lobby wants to tailor their employees coverage based on the owners religious beliefs. (Although their 401K plans are invested in pharmaceutical companies that manufacture contraceptives!) Opposition to their claims are not based on bigotry against religion, but on the legal can of worms it would open up if Hobby Lobby wins.

Some religious sects reject modern medicine in favor of prayer, would they be exempt from the ACA? What about Jehovahs Witnesses, could they reject any portion of medical coverage that has to do with blood transfusions?

Why the sudden interest in the minutia of contraception coverage? I think this whole birth control coverage argument is an effort to weaken the dreaded Obamacare!

ordinaryfolks
seattle, WA

This opinion piece has a good point. The tax free employer provided insurance system is a problem. It distorts everything.

However, the opinion piece is full of malarkey. There is no workable system wherein we can design a system in which one's preferences (or lack thereof) for cafeteria style insurance can be satisfied economically. Everyone should either have insurance or be given insurance. We will all need to be taken care of at some point in the future, and it is fundamentally unfair to have the rest of us pay for your health care when you don't bother to obtain it or pay for it.

Yet this simple fact, and the cogent argument fails to move the far right. Just what planet do you live on if you expect something for nothing and expect the rest of us to pick up the tab for your health needs? Do you really want to establish a "let 'em bleed in the streets" mentality for those foolish enough or poor enough to lack health coverage? Otherwise, we all end up paying for it one way or another, and that is the crux of the matter.

Nate
Pleasant Grove, UT

When people make a spending decision with the thought in mind that a third party will be helping them pay, they purchase more goods. With the increase in demand come higher prices. If we want to control costs in health care, we should place the responsibility to pay back on the consumer of the service. People tend to be more careful with their own money.

For catastrophes, there is insurance. For our daily consumption of health care services, there is no need for a third party to be involved -- neither employer nor government.

When Congress decided a long time ago to reward employers with a tax credit for insuring their employees, they created a market distortion. Subsequent attempts to control health care costs have all moved in the wrong direction. Now we have Obamacare making things worse, driving costs even higher. Single payer won't be the answer either. Freedom is what we want.

rwils
Provo, UT

Agreed, arod. We Americans do love choice, at least most of us, which is why it is puzzling that we elect a government that feels the need to make our choices for us. I wish both the government and the people recognized more fully our innate capacity to make wise decisions and that both embraced the responsibility to do so.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

Mr. Bennett is correct! This is just more government bullying. Vote out the Obamacare bullies in November!

bandersen
Saint George, UT

The real issue is whether citizens can summon enough courage and sense of self-worth to demand that government allow them to make their own decisions about everything, except the basic common Constitutional provisions laid out 225 years ago. How simple can it get? How liberating! Imagine, a country where government believes that people aren't just pawns to be played upon? Imagine, a country where citizens were thought of as competent, capable, thinking individuals? Wow, now that is a country I can believe in and want to get up and go to work!

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

This whole flap, for most people, is more about partisanship than "religious conviction".

One must look at the bigger picture to come to a reasonable solution. It is easy to separate out this one thing and make a reasonable case against requiring contraception coverage.

This should be viewed more as, "do we allow each employer to pick and choose what coverage they want offered".

Think of the ramifications of that.

Should a business owner be allowed to cover only the birth of the first child? Or deny transfusion coverage? Or deny lung cancer coverage for smokers? Or deny aides coverage?

Where does it stop?

Think about what constitutions "religious conviction". Or even what constitutes a "religion"

I could probably find or invent a religion, and pick and choose coverages based on my criteria.

Lastly, Bennett states that "They also claim it is something all of the employees want."
I am quite sure that no one said that. It would be ludicrous. To state that "most employees want it" would certainly be true.

anotherview
SLO, CA

There is no proof that the morning after pills disrupt implantation of a fertilized egg. The FDA literature on the possible "thinning of the lining of the endometrium" also applies to monthly birth control pills, which Hobby Lobby does not oppose.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, the Becket Fund initiated Hobby Lobby's lawsuit, ie. contacted Hobby Lobby, informed them of the cobtraceptive mandate, and offered to represent them in a lawsuit. The Becket Fund is now representing the Greens in their lawsuit against the mandate.

In the spirit of full disclosure, a member of DN's editorial advisory board works for the Becket Fund.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

No. The real issue is 'why do employers have anything to do with health care'? Health care is an imperative for a healthy, functional society. It is a condition necessary to empower people, according to the Pope. One thing is for sure, it isn't something the average person can make a reasonable decision for themselves on when they truly need it, nor is it something that all but the very rich can afford on their own. And it's not a pawn in somebody's religious agenda, that's for sure.

Thid Barker
Victor, ID

Hutterite. You missed the most important part of Obamacare; forcing some people to pay higher premiums, higher co-pays and higher deductibles so a few others can get something for nothing! Shhh, not suppose to talk about the millions of Americans who are being forced to work for that which they will not receive so others can receive without working! We used to call that slavery but today we call it "social justice".

Moderate
Salt Lake City, UT

In their hatred of Obamacare (a plan with conservative origins) the Republicans are slowly moving towards supporting a Single Payer solution (a traditionally liberal plan).

Esquire
Springville, UT

What an odd twist of an argument. Let's do this and be done with it. Universal health care. Like the rest of the world. No religious considerations. No nonsensical arguments. No twisting and turning ourselves into pretzels. The debate over the ACA just won't go away, even though it is a modest program in its results. I am tired of it. The GOP offers nothing, not a thing, by way of resolution. The current system is absurd, in large part due to the Bush medicare prescription rip-off. We are run by special interests and paying dearly for this incredible mess of a system, and as a result, effectively subsidizing the rest of the world. Rather than keep attacking the ACA, why don't you actually come up with something? We get nothing, nothing, nothing. Except more political games, intended to sow discontent in order to acquire power, and wealth for yourselves and your associates. I have had enough! From Bob Bennett, The DesNews, The GOP, the whole lot of you. You serve yourselves and not the people. If you served the people, you would actually offer something substantive of value. You don't. Just more whining.

RG
Buena Vista, VA

To GaryO,
“Businesses have NO business intruding into the lives of other people, INCLUDING their employees.”
No, Bennett’s point is that businesses should not be providing any health insurance for their employees; the employees should buy their own. Just like we buy our own car insurance. Since when did your boss tell you what car insurance you have to get?

BTW, Why does Obamacare fully cover even cheap contraception (which I can afford to pay out of my pocket), but not fully cover life-saving antibiotics?

“The Founders created the Constitution to give us good GOVERNANCE and that is exactly what the Obama administration does.”

Let’s see…targeting the IRS to conservatives, letting people die in Benghazi and then covering it up with a lie about a video, fast and furious, giving govt. $ to one’s pals in Solyndra and then losing the investment, wasting other $billions and passing Obamacare in the least transparent method possible with backroom deals and exemptions for Obama’s friends, and then botching its rollout, and then changing the law by presidential decree making it up as he goes…this is incompetent and fraudulent government. Why is that so hard to understand?

Thid Barker
Victor, ID

Esquire. We already have single payer healthcare. Its called Medicaid and Obamacare! Those with current healthcare insurance pays for everyone else! What more do you want?

Mikhail
ALPINE, UT

A point that makes sense, but that Mr. Bennett did not take far enough, is the issue as to tax treatment of insurance premiums. The system has been that the premiums become tax free if offered by an employer, but are not tax free if they are otherwise. The free market solution would be to give the same tax exempt status to all health insurance premium payments - or none at all.

Part of the distortion, which Mr. Bennett points out, is that people feel like they have been getting something at the cost of their employer, when the fact is they have been paying for it all along.

Esquire
Springville, UT

@ Thid Barker, learn about the other systems. We don't have a single payers system. Besides, the Bush prescription drug program is a financial disaster for the taxpayers. Go do some research.

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