Robert J. Samuelson: Forcing Affordable Care Act was poor judgment

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  • sergio Phoenix, AZ
    June 20, 2012 1:13 p.m.

    It is all just self serving party politics with no real commitment to national interests. If President Obama had not indroduced the health care act then Robert Samuelson would today be arguing how Obama how failed to act on health care during his first term. It doesn't matter what President Obama does or doesn't do people like Samuelson will take a contrary position and attacked Obama as being in the wrong. Reading Samuelson it appears much of the time it is he who is in the wrong. But then I guess he sales more print being contrary and negative. I guess he feels he has to earn a living some how and he may not be qualifed for much else.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    June 19, 2012 8:59 p.m.

    Chilly, on the other hand, the more insurance companies get involved in health care the more expensive it will be and the more bureaucratic access to it will become. (Although, granted, it won't be government bureaucrats, but those belonging to the companies.) Over time, as costs sky-rocket, physician salaries will have to be controlled by the companies and fewer qualified people will go to medical school. Medical school standards will be adjusted down and the quality of doctors and medical care will fall. Obamacare is another big step toward trying to avoid that. In the name of "fairness" I must ask, "What workable alternatives have Republicans offered?"

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 19, 2012 4:07 p.m.

    The reason I speak as I do is because I have this thing about equal opportunity and America comes the closest in my mind to providing that.

    For me, equal opportunity is not about the mental capacity, wit, accident of birth, timing or any other incidental reason for superior status above others. And these things should be discounted in the run for success and the good life.

    If I were King, every one would have the same access to the satisfaction of basic needs. That would include, food, clothing, housing and of course, health care. Only the optional wants and desires would depend on the individuals gumption and energy. However I realize that because we are animals as opposed to insects, like the bees, such is a very long time off.

    Health being the most important part of life is too important to be left to the whims and uncertainty and sometime skullduggery individuals most concerned with their own fight for life.

    So until Jesus comes, the best chance for impartiality is probably our government.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    June 19, 2012 12:56 p.m.

    Universal health care is the objective. The Affordable Care Act does not achieve that goal and it is not affordable. It was enacted with a partisan congressional super majority and without adequate discussion or thought. In order to achieve the original objective it must be re-worked and given durable funding. The workable parts of the act were carryovers from the Widen (D-Oregon) Bennett (R-Utah) proposal, not Obama's, and were included only after Ron Widen threatened not to support the bill. Widen acted on principle and was not bought out with exemptions like Nebraska and Louisiana.

  • SEY Sandy, UT
    June 19, 2012 12:17 p.m.

    My view is diametrically opposed to that of Ultra Bob, but there are some things he says with which I agree. Where I am opposed is in his belief that health care should be a governmental responsibility. But I do believe that things would be much better if individuals purchased their own portable insurance policies. The cost, however, can't compete with employer-provided insurance.

    Employer-provided health insurance emerged during WWII as a result of wage and price controls. Employers had to find a way other than wages to attract employees (there was a shortage of them because so many were in the military). The War Board declared that fringe benefits like health insurance would not be calculated as part of a person's wage. We've been unwilling since that time to separate them again.

    What's needed is a market solution, not a government one. As you can see, our current system derived from very bad government policy, so to call it part of the free market is misleading. Corporations and government are complicit in the system, making them both guilty of the rising price of healthcare. If individuals had more control, it would cost less.

  • chilly Salt Lake City, UT
    June 19, 2012 10:29 a.m.

    The more government gets involved in health care the more expensive it will be and the more bureaucratic access to it will become. Over time, as costs sky-rocket, physician salaries will have to be controlled by bureaucrats and fewer qualified people will go to medical school. Medical school standards will be adjusted down and the quality of doctors and medical care will fall. Obamacare is another big step toward mediocre medicine, in the name of "fairness".

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    June 19, 2012 8:12 a.m.

    Mr. Samuelson is absolutely wrong on the premise that pushing the health care agenda was a mistake. The fact that Mr. Samuelson has devoted so much effort and time to the subject is proof in and of itself that it was a good decision on the Presidents part. This was a problem crippling American society and it hadn't been touched in 50 years, and wasn't going to be touched. The President broke the inertia.

    Health care is complicated and expensive so any public policy will have detractors..but at least we are now talking about it in a 21st century conversation.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 19, 2012 6:37 a.m.

    I don’t believe that President Obama had much input into the ACA. It is not what he promised the American people. Obamacare is a creation of the commercial business interests of the health care industry.

    Facts:

    Employers are not required to provide benefits such as Health Care Insurance to their employees. They do it because it is profitable to their business.

    Health care insurance would cost the individual less if each person purchased his own insurance.

    Health is the most shared, most common, most defenseless and most deadly enemy of people in general. More people die from poor health than any other cause.

    Health care should be the number one priority for government in it job of protecting the people.