Comments about ‘Robert Bennett: Health care decisions should be left up to individuals’

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Published: Monday, July 7 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I liked the Bennett/Wyden plan better than I like Obamacare. But even when Senator Bennett's party controlled both houses of congress and the White House, he couldn't get it passed.

seattle, WA

I would not be a bad idea to have health insurance de-linked from one's employer.

it would be a better idea to create a system that says healthcare is a national right, and that government funds such a system. In this way, we all pay into the health care system as individuals and there are no shirkers. The more you earn or spend, the more you contribute. (Pick a system.)

And by the way, the doctors and hospitals don't have to be employees and property of the government. Other than Britain or Canada, this is how things work in first world countries.

Lakeville, MN

"Not my boss's business." I agree, so why force the boss to pay for it? One of the problems with the Federal Government trying to "fix" everything is that they are too far removed to make decisions that benefit individual circumstances. It's the case with healthcare, education, welfare, etc. Government power was supposed to be localized for a reason. I agree that letting people choose the healthcare plan that works for them and their family is a much better solution than blanket coverage.

Jeff Harris
Edmonds, WA

Bob, referring to the VA system as a single payer system is cherry picking facts. Not is the VA system a single payer system, more significantly, it is a single provider system. I am not aware of anyone who is arguing for a single provider system.

Poplar Grove, UT

"With the scandal at the VA having tarnished the idea of a single-payer system run by the government"
Well, that whole sentence undermines Mr. Bennett's own arguments. Mainley because, it proves he doesn't know what he's talking about. A single payer system would be where all US citizens get Medicare(or some similar medical insurance) that is operated by the government. The VA is a universal system, where the government owns the hospital, employee's the doctors, nurses and other medical personnel. They are in no way the same thing.

Bountiful, UT

I don't know how de-coupling insurance from Hobby Lobby's owners would be workable, by their own act of conscience.

If they're unwilling to provide insurance that includes certain contraceptives, wouldn't they also be uncomfortable giving the money to their employees, who in turn could turn around and purchase the same contraceptives?

It seems the only way Hobby Lobby could remain plausibly uninvolved is to not provide healthcare credits at all. Actually, if they boosted the employees salaries without an insurance credit, the employees could still purchase the contraceptives in question, which Hobby Lobby would object to.

Could they require employees to not purchase those contraceptives, under threat of termination.

This slippery slide has silicone all over it.

Springville, UT

Bob, health care decisions are in fact in the hands of individuals, as long as the health insurance companies agree. I've seen the judgment and decisions of doctors overruled by health insurance companies. The idea of an unknown, unseen institution making our decisions has been with us for a long time. So then the question is, if this is going to be the case, is it better to provide universal coverage, even though so decisions will be limited by the balancing of costs vs. benefit? I would say so, yes. Recap: We already have portioned medical care. Let's make it universal and not worry so much as to which institutional interest makes the decision. In fact, I would prefer the federal government because they are not in the business of making money off us.

Light and Liberty
St. George/Washington, UT

Esquire: "not in the business of making money off us." Are you kidding? If laughter could be taxed, would you still make that statement? Those who don't want to make decisions would do well in any other system in the world now or in history, which would send a shiver up the spine for most!

La Verkin, UT

Wow. I seldom find myself defending Mr. Bennett, but I must here. While I don't believe the national government should be involved in health care outside of regulating interstate commerce, if we are stuck with it doing so, the plan to let each employee determine the health care program they prefer is much less onerous than what we have now. Two other quick responses.
@IOCC, try not to exaggerate. HL has never indicated that they are interested in controlling what their employees do, only opposing paying for things they disagree with. Big Difference.
@esquire, In what world of massive taxes, fees and required contributions does your final sentence make sense? "I would prefer the federal government because they are not in the business of making money off us." And, if you don't think they are making money off us now, just wait as the debt rises and more is needed to fund those social security and medicare accounts as more people reach retirement age and start taking money out of the system that is already in serious trouble.

Orem, UT

Giving individuals more control over their health care insurance is the opposite of what Obamacare is all about.

It is a huge wealth redistribution plan where healthy people are forced to pay way more for insurance than they actually need in order to pump money into a system that must provide expensive care to others. If you give people choices, they would opt for cheaper alternatives and the system would collapse.

Virginia Beach, VA

“Hobby Lobby's owners' religious convictions are very well known. ” No, not really. Did you know the owners of the Hobby Lobby belong to a religion that considers Mormonism a dangerous cult?

SCOTUS essentially says this corporation can obstruct federal support for something that violates its religious beliefs. And “demonically inspired” Mormonism violates those religious beliefs. Check out the “Assembly of God Church Statement on the LDS.” Could they eventually dictate that their taxes go toward Mormon suppression?

“Change the tax law so that Hobby Lobby and every other employer can give its health care expenditures directly to its employees, tax free, empowering them to control their own money and pick their own plans.”

That would be kind of like abolishing social security wouldn’t it? Would the abolition of social security be next?

We could privatize social security just like GW wanted to do in 2003. And people could take their money and invest in the stock market. Of course, if we had done as GW suggested in 2003, much of that money would have been lost in GW’s stock crash of 2008, wouldn’t it?

Maybe we should just avoid half-baked “Conservative” schemes.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

Bob Bennett knows that his plan would never pass Congress. Obama said he was 90% for it, but realistically knew that it would never pass Congress.

Who stopped it? The Republicans in the pay of the insurance companies, that's who. Bob has only his party to blame for the failure of Bennett-Wyden.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

I agree with Bob Bennett. The government has no right to force a company to hold money from its employees to pay for prescriptions. Only the very uninformed think that a company is paying for those prescriptions out of its own pockets. Employees are paid a wage. Taxes are withheld. Benefits are withheld. Social Security (including the employer's "matching funds" are withheld.

Pay the employ 100% of the money earned and then let that employee pay all the taxes and all the "benefits" himself. If people had 100% of their paycheck in their possession and then had to "give" the government the taxes that the government has assessed there would be a revolt. People would finally understand what the government is doing.

Health care is not a gift from government. It is not a gift from the employer. It is an expense that every American pays, either directly or in lieu of wages. Those who have "subsidized" insurance are requiring you and me to pay for their insurance premiums.

Kent C. DeForrest
Provo, UT

"it can find a way to exempt the rare corporation with strong moral objections."

I know you were only quoting this, Bob, but no corporation has strong moral objections. My apologies to both Romney and the Supreme Court, but corporations are not people. They do not have a moral sense. They can certainly behave in a way that is immoral, but that is a function of the people who determine the corporate culture. Let's stop talking about corporations as if they were living, breathing human beings. They are a hunk of property.

CMO Beaver
Beaver, UT

the Hobby Lobby decision was about one thing and only one thing.... federal government power

the Feds put on the power play and they lost as they should have

all of the chatter about women and birth control options is white noise, the most embarrassing thing about this is really Justice Ginsburg and her editorial that has nothing to do with jurisprudence, she should step down

Springville, UT

@ Light and Liberty and ShaunMcC, taxes are different than marking up products and services to make a profit. Taxes are revenue for government services, not meant to provide a return on investment. If you think taxes are the same, perhaps you should learn more about the concept of government. You may not like to pay them, but that doesn't mean you are correct. you aren't.

There You Go Again
Saint George, UT

Republican Bob Bennett does not know what he is talking about as pointed out by DN readers above.

How does a Republican hang around DC for as long as the former Senator and not know the most basic kind of distinction regarding health care?

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

"It is the law that makes you free" is probably the most true statement in the modern world.

The war against our federal government is a war against the rights and freedoms of all Americans. All rights and freedoms of all Americans depend on the federal government having power and control over all Americans and their enemies. The government takes freedom from some people so that all people might have greater more desirable freedoms.

If we remove the control over the health care business, Americans will lose the freedom to have proper, dependable, responsible and economical health care. The notion that every individual knows what's best for himself is not necessarily true in health care. And when we give private individuals control over our health care we give away out right to know what's best for us.

Orem, UT

GaryO: "...Maybe we should just avoid half-baked “Conservative” schemes."

We should avoid ALL half-baked schemes, not just the conservative ones. Obamacare wasn't even half-baked. Almost no one who voted for it even bothered to read the bill. The fact that Obama has changed the law dozens of times (without constitutional authority BTW) since it passed is proof of how little it was thought out before passing. Unintended consequences (or maybe they really were intended like losing your doctor) are everywhere with this law.

So I agree with you. Let's avoid the half-baked ideas (Cap and Trade, Immigration Reform, Gun Control, Legalized Drugs, Wealth Redistribution, SM Marriage, etc.) I would list some conservative half-baked ideas too, but for now they have no power to actually get any of them passed.

Phoenix, AZ

"...it would be a better idea to create a system that says healthcare is a national right..."

Healthcare IS a nation right. If you want/need some care, go to a doctor and get it. If you want healthcare insurance, go to an insurance company and get it. It ain't rocket science.

"...and that government funds such a system."

If the government funds such a system, you will find that the government will begin to decide about much of your life... such as what you can drink and eat (except cannabis) and what services you are eligible to receive. If you get old, and almost everyone will, and need some serious health care, the government can tell you to go pound sand. Called in some circles 'death panels.'

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