Dan Liljenquist: Delays in Obamacare? Congress should repeal it

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  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    July 13, 2013 7:03 p.m.

    I am fine with repealing it. They just need to let us all know what the alternative is? Are we scapping pre-existing conditions legislation? Are we going beck to de-insuring those over 18? What are we talking about.

    There has been no one who has put out a descriptive plan of - if not obama care - than what.

    Just repealing is the lazy mans way out. It is a step backward, that doesn't addressing the spiraling upward medical cost that were happening before there was even the first words of obamacare in Obama's eye. Conservatives have got to go beyond just being against things..... they need to promote solutions.

    To this point - crickets.... nothing. Just rhetoric.

  • Beverly Eden, UT
    July 13, 2013 10:42 a.m.

    We trust the government to protect our city with police officers and fire fighters, but we turn to insurance companies to protect our health. Fortunately, most of us will never need the police or fire department, but unfortunately most of us will need health care. Hopefully, the Health Care Act will be the first step in getting rid of insurance companies. There concern is not our health, it is the almighty dollar. Just count the dollars the insurance companies have spent on lobbying our elected officials. Do you think they should spend that money on their customers who need health care support?

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    July 12, 2013 1:49 p.m.

    First and foremost, Dan needs to lose his lifetime health coverage provided by the State taxpayers from when he was in the legislature.
    After he loses his social healthcare coverage, then we can talk.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 12, 2013 12:11 p.m.

    @Mike Richards
    "That plan is to do as Mitt Romney did and let the STATE or the PEOPLE handle their health care needs. "

    Obamacare allows states to opt out and develop their own plans as long as it covers at least as many people and is no more expensive than Obamacare. So far only Vermont has gone this option.

    "Can you name one monopoly that has ever reduced costs, provided incentive for technology advancements or cared about quality?"

    Healthcare. There's a difference between a corporate monopoly (which is for profit) and a gov't monopoly (which is not for profit). The US healthcare system is the most expensive in the world in terms of % GDP spent on it. All of the European healthcare systems are cheaper and at least most of them are much more gov't involved than the US is.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 12, 2013 12:06 p.m.

    If there's a part of it that doesn't work why not just fix that part? Heck a lot of Democrats would like to get rid of the employer mandate. Why not just pass a bill that gets rid of that part of it if most in Congress think it'd improve the bill?

    Or do Republicans just hope Americans end up suffering so that they can benefit politically?

  • Lightbearer Brigham City, UT
    July 12, 2013 9:45 a.m.

    Wait a minute. I thought all life was sacred. Or is it only sacred if it's unborn and/or you don't have to help pay for it?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 11, 2013 10:34 p.m.

    That little girl who needed the transplant is a living, breathing human being who needed help from an administration that had no intention of treating her. The doctors had no qualms about helping her, but the "secretary" had "qualms" about the cost. She didn't think that that the family of little girl should expect to use the "people's money" for something that insignificant. Of course no one heard her say that. Of course Obama was never heard giving directions on who could be treated or who could be rejected, but without the public outcry, that little girl would have died.

    There's a pattern. Read what Obama said about blotched late term abortions. What did he say about little boys and little girls who had survived an abortion attempt?

    Do you really want Obamacare? Do you really trust anything about that has been done by this administration? Can you count on public outrage when you need medical care, care that you've already paid for, care that is owed to you? Are you willing to gamble - your life?

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    July 11, 2013 7:33 p.m.

    Mike Richards, 12:47 PM

    I assume the little girl you're talking about is the one who recently received the double lung transplant. The reason she was initially refused that transplant was because they usually aren't given to children that young. It had nothing to do with Obamacare.

    I know you're bound and determined to hate the man no matter what and that's your right, but at least tell the whole story first.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 11, 2013 5:39 p.m.

    Mike Richards "I said "Major Medical", not sniffle insurance. You can find many very good policies that will cover everything above $10,000 for much less than $2,400 a year. " File this under "if I had some ham I'd make you a sandwich." For the vast majority that $10,000 is an astronomical sum - just die and shut up - right?

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    July 11, 2013 4:05 p.m.


    How about if we start at the beginning? Where did the people give Congress authority to tax them for healthcare? Would you state which clause in Article 1, Section 8 authorizes the federal government to tax us for insurance? Please don't try to wiggle your way out of that question by claiming the "forgoing powers" clause. You and I both know that the "forgoing powers" refers ONLY to the enumerated duties listed in Section 8, otherwise Section 8 would not have been necessary. (Military and Defense are listed at least 6 times in that section even though defense is clearly mentioned elsewhere, but "elsewhere" does not give Congress authority to tax us - only section 8 does.)

    It is not the responsibility of the federal government to wipe our noses. We are independent people, free from the heavy boot of the government. We earned the right to pay our own way through life. Except for the few items enumerated in Section 8, we have told the federal government to leave us alone. In other words, if you want health insurance, talk to your insurance agent and don't expect anyone else to pay for your policy.

  • tesuji St. George, UT
    July 11, 2013 3:23 p.m.

    The problem with the "repeal and start over" idea is that Republicans will never allow a new bill to pass. They seem to be satisfied with the status quo: an expensive, inefficient health care system that is costing more and more every year. Even people who have health insurance are getting pushed into minimal plans and/or high deductible plans because of rising costs.

    50 million Americans don't have any health care, and are forced to wait until they are very sick and use the emergency room - the most expensive solution there is.

    Obamacare is surely not perfect, but I say let's see how it works, and reform it as needed. The status quo isn't working.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    July 11, 2013 2:07 p.m.

    @patriot "It is sad to see America sinking in the mud like this with no way to save itself."

    Don't be discouraged. We are witnessing the high water mark of liberalism in America. Big Government is being discredited by its own self. Obamacare will serve as an object lesson and a warning for future generations. It's a fiasco -- a highly visible failure, impossible to ignore.

    Observe the efforts in this space today to blame the impending train wreck on the opposite party. But we all know who's responsible for it.

    In the Senate, 58 Democrats, 2 Independents, and 0 Republicans voted in favor.
    In the House, 219 Democrats and 0 Republicans voted in favor.

    And everyone knows who signed it -- the guy whose trademark is blaming other people. He won't be able shift the blame this time.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 11, 2013 1:40 p.m.

    " I believe the best course of action would be to repeal Obamacare and start over on health care reform." But the medical industrial complex will dictate a similar outcome.

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 11, 2013 1:02 p.m.

    Are we living in anarchy or under the rule of a monarch? Because based on what I learned in Civics class the legislative branch passes laws and the executive branch is tasked with enforcing those laws.
    So since when is the President allowed to pick and choose which laws or parts of laws the executive branch enforces? I am allowed now to pick and choose which laws I follow?
    This notion that employers should provide health insurance is ridiculous. Wouldn't our economy benefit if businesses focused on doing what they do instead of running HR departments? If a company does choose to provide health insurance then the employee should pay taxes on that as income. How is that not income?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 11, 2013 12:47 p.m.


    I said "Major Medical", not sniffle insurance. You can find many very good policies that will cover everything above $10,000 for much less than $2,400 a year. Many employers buy that kind of insurance for their employees and then fund the difference, relying on the statistics that show that very few people need major medical coverage more than a few times in their lifetime. Other employers offer health savings accounts where you pay from your health savings account for all non-major medical, then your policy pays for the large expenses.

    If you can't afford to pay for your own medical, then why do you have the cell phones, the computers, the TVs and all the other extras?

    Obama wants 18% of all income that goes to doctors and hospitals. He has already let his "secretary" deny coverage to a 10-year-old girl for lifesaving health-care. Were it not for public pressure, that little girl would have died. His plan does not reduce that 18%. It increases it.

    Americans used to be known as people with a back-bone. Now too many need their "nanny government" to wipe their noses.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    July 11, 2013 12:27 p.m.

    I know that Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barack Obama had good motives in doing this. Their hearts were in the right place. But motives are only good in theology. They can argue for leniency on the judgment day because they really, truly in their heart oif hearts did intend to help the working poor.

    What matters in government is that they should have gotten it right irrespective of what their intentions were.

    So, I conclude, that they are right wing, robber baron capitalists who want to stick it to working class people. Like the Koch brothers. Right wing Democrats (Reid, Pelosi and Obama not the Koch Brothers). Where are those bleeding heart liberal Republicans who were against Obamacare? Bachmann? Perry? Gingrich? (Geez, Pelosi, Reid and Obama, this is embarrassing, you are further right than those wackos!)

  • Henderson Orem, UT
    July 11, 2013 11:46 a.m.

    "We fought a war to be free from the political tyranny of "Europe"."

    You might need to take a history lesson. Of course, that would involve actually going to college rather than constantly bashing it. We didn't fight a war to be free from the political tyranny of "Europe."

    "There are still "King Men", who want a King"

    I agree. They come in the form of insurance. What do they know about health care? What do they know about my needs? All they know how to do is make money. So they slash hospital staff, add red tape, and cut my insurance because of pre-conditions. How many hospitals work with bad equipment and dirty tools to save costs? How many hospitals rely on fewer beds because of cuts?

    Like you said, they desire to be kings.

    "We have excellent health care in America. "

    If you can afford it.

    "For $2,400 a year, they could buy major medical insurance."

    You're showing how out of touch you are. Without employer provided health insurance, a family will often pay $2,000 dollars PER MONTH not PER YEAR (as you suggested) to be covered.

    That's not affordable. Sorry!

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    July 11, 2013 11:29 a.m.

    The Republican plan is to let the free market decide. That sounds good until the market starts doing what it naturally does, price-fixing, colluding, monopolizing, profiteering, etc. My father-in-law was against Medicare until he had a heart attack with a $68,000 bill attached. All of a sudden he was in favor. The clear answer is to provide Medicare to everyone and drive out of business the entire health-insurance system that exists only to gouge us and enrich itself.

  • FreedomFighter41 Orem, UT
    July 11, 2013 11:28 a.m.

    "The goal of health care reform should not be to insure everyone. It should be to ensure that everyone has access to affordable services. Contrary to politicians' statements, the former prevents the latter."

    I could not find a better argument for a single-payer system than this quote. Thank you. Lets provide quality affordable health care to all.

    Lets stop making wall street fat cats rich off of our health. Get rid of insurance. Force these folks to actually get productive jobs. Lets start treating humans as human beings not as commodities.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 11, 2013 11:23 a.m.

    We are not Europe. We fought a war to be free from the political tyranny of "Europe". We rejected government mandating every part of our lives. There are still "King Men", who want a King. They refuse to cherish their liberties. They refuse to take responsibility for their choices. They want a "safety net". They want to do whatever please them without paying the consequences. Children want the same thing. They want. They want. They want. Mostly, they want "Daddy" to pay for it.

    We have excellent health care in America. We also have cell phones. We have automobiles. We have air conditioning. We have TV. We have every comfort imaginable. If we want to see a doctor, we can choose from hundreds of doctors. BUT, we have to pay for the doctor just like we pay for our cell phones. Many people pay $100 month for their cell phones and another $100 for their cable. For $2,400 a year, they could buy major medical insurance.

    But, they don't want to. They want somebody else to pay for the necessities while they spend their money on their "wants".

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    July 11, 2013 11:12 a.m.

    It is sad to see America sinking in the mud like this with no way to save itself. Yes we can and should blame corrupt and inept leaders like Obama but Barack didn't elect himself to office. The people of this country - as a majority - have fallen off the wagon. As a majority now America has become a lazy, ignorant, entitlement bound, uninformed society not deserving of freedom or prosperity. The remaining 40% who are patriotic and smart don't have the political power anymore to overcome the ignorant and stupid majority along with their corrupt media. It feels like we are being drug under by a giant boat anchor tied around our necks. Obamacare is nothing more than an ugly by-product of the state of the union.

  • FreedomFighter41 Orem, UT
    July 11, 2013 10:55 a.m.

    This long history of complaining about the ACA from the right reminds me of Laman and Lemuel from the Book of Mormon. When Nephi's bow broke, what did they do? Did they help him fix it? Did they offer solutions? Nope. All they did was murmur.

    Same thing here.

    When will the GOP stop imitating Laman and Lemuel and help solve some of our nation's problems?

  • Cameron Eagle Mountain, UT
    July 11, 2013 10:52 a.m.

    Those complaining there are no alternatives to the ACA simply reveal they aren't paying attention. There are dozens of alternative plans and polcy proposals out there.

    They also reveal a terrible penchant for blindly following the "we have to do something!" argument - without knowing whether that "something" is better or worse than what we already have.

    The goal of health care reform should not be to insure everyone. It should be to ensure that everyone has access to affordable services. Contrary to politicians' statements, the former prevents the latter.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    July 11, 2013 10:44 a.m.

    It should be repealed. And replaced with a single payer health care system. Which has been proven time and again in nation after nation to provide a better outcome for a lower per capita cost than our mess of a system.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    July 11, 2013 10:40 a.m.

    Iron Rod,
    Too much MSNBC for you! The repubs HAVE offered solutions, MSNBC and the DNC just won’t let you know about them. Please stop repeating the lie that repubs offered no solutions.

    But when you pull a knife out of someone’s back, do you replace it with something, or just try to heal the wound. Doing NOTHING would have been better than Obamacare.

    See comment above. Question, why are you fighting against freedom as your name and comments suggest?

    Steven Warren,
    See comment for Iron Rod.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    July 11, 2013 10:39 a.m.

    The House has repealed it. Over and over and over again. Complete waste of time.
    Fine, you want to get rid of it, propose something better. The status quo is completely unacceptable. I'm not a huge fan of the ACA either, but a single-payer plan proved politically untenable. So we went with a conservative, Republican plan, the Mitt Romney plan. And Republicans still whine about it.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    July 11, 2013 10:38 a.m.

    "The alternative plan is the only plan that is Constitutionally legal. That plan is to do as Mitt Romney did and let the STATE or the PEOPLE handle their health care needs."

    So why hasn't Utah done that? Massachusetts did. Why not Utah?

    Under the ACA Utah is permitted to opt out and create its own state operated health care system like Romneycare for Mass. So why hasn't Utah's legislature gotten off their rears to do it? Do we lack the proactitvity and accountability to do it? Do we fear funding it just like how we fear funding education?

    Repubs have not a single leg to stand on.

    Don't like Obamacare? Fine. But offer a solution. Want a state centered solution? Fine. Then Utah, get off your rear and create and fund it.

    Don't want to do anything? Fine. Then stop complaining.

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    July 11, 2013 10:07 a.m.

    Liljenquist's column is a microcosm of the national Republican Party--just say no but offer no solutions. Today's Tribune cartoon ("Republicans vow to repeal and replace Obamacare with . . . Eleph-icare") accurately depicts what the GOP has to offer.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    July 11, 2013 10:06 a.m.

    @ Chymist. There are about 40-50 million uninsured Americans (many by choice). That's more than the entire population of every country in Europe and with their near zero population growth and very little immigration,can you tell me how we are going to pay the healthcare bills for 40-50 million people? Single payer will not help, all that does is eliminate competition and creates a healthcare monopoly. Can you name one monopoly that has ever reduced costs, provided incentive for technology advancements or cared about quality?

  • The Skeptical Chymist SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    July 11, 2013 9:49 a.m.


    Every European country that offers a universal healthcare plan provides health care coverage for ALL of their citizens at about half the cost of healthcare in the US. It is not noticeably worse healthcare coverage, either. There an a GREAT many inefficiencies in the US system, and most would be remedied by expanding Medicare to cover everyone.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    July 11, 2013 9:48 a.m.

    Freedom fighter. The Republicans have proposed several alternative plans; tort reform, healthcare savings accounts and allowing insurance companies to compete across state lines. One can argue about the effectiveness of these proposals but the most important ingredient is CHOICE! Obamacare is forced upon us and no one has any choices!

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 11, 2013 9:42 a.m.

    The alternative plan is the only plan that is Constitutionally legal. That plan is to do as Mitt Romney did and let the STATE or the PEOPLE handle their health care needs. If a State's Constitution allows that State to mandate health insurance, then that State has been authorized by its citizens to perform that duty. If a State's Constitution does not allow the State to mandate health insurance, then that duty falls to the people to furnish their own health insurance.

    The United States Constitution DOES NOT authorize Congress to tax us for health care nor does it allow Congress to mandate health care for American citizens. The Court ruled only that Obamacare was a tax. Because that tax had not been implemented, no harm could be proven; therefore, the Court could not rule on the TAX. The Court did not approve Obamacare.

    The Duties of the Federal Government are enumerated. Those duties cannot be added to or subtracted from without an amendment. The 10th Amendment handles all duties not enumerated and strictly forbids the Federal Government from appointing itself to perform those duties. They are to be left to the States or to the People.

  • FreedomFighter41 Orem, UT
    July 11, 2013 8:55 a.m.

    Until repubs offer an alternative plan, I'll just consider their complaining about the ACA as merely sour grapes for a Democrat passing a Republican health care plan.

    They must be really angry that Bush never got around to doing anything about health care despite having 8 years to do it.

    The party of no solutions and do-nothing is becoming less and less relevant with each passing day.

  • NedGrimley Brigham City, UT
    July 11, 2013 8:40 a.m.

    The whole point and purpose of the ACA was to bring about a single payer system. It may happen sooner than expected...

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    July 11, 2013 8:11 a.m.

    All the time, man hours and money wasted on this. I can only imagine how many hospital's and Doctor's we could of built.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    July 11, 2013 7:55 a.m.

    Everyone that demands Cadillac quality healthcare for Yugo or Pinto prices is fooling themselves! You get what you pay for! Obamacare is just another attempt by the government to short circuit economic realities and get something for nothing! Like every other price manipulation scam, it will fail! In fact, it already has failed! There is only one way to get cheaper healthcare; settle for less quality healthcare and even the great Obama can not change that! Obamacare offers neither cheap healthcare nor quality healthcare.

  • JKR Holladay, UT
    July 11, 2013 7:53 a.m.

    "...as in medicine", as a practicing physician I am thoroughly sick of trying to treat uninsured people. These persons often cannot afford medicines required for their conditions, and they certainly cannot afford home IV therapy, not to mention hospital bills. No one plans on becoming sick or injured, but this happens every day. Most of these uninsured patients have smartphones and they drive automobiles, so it's easy to ask questions about their priorities. (Their automobiles must be insured, by law.)

    The saying about how your freedom ends where my rights begin applies here. The general public has the right to avoid paying for medical care of the uninsured. Mr. Lilenquist and the other ACA naysayers should offer solutions to these problems rather than just saying "no". For now the concepts of individual insurance exchanges, employer coverage, and expansion of Medicaid are all we have. Let's get going.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 11, 2013 7:41 a.m.

    "Where, as in the case of sickness and accident, neither the desire to avoid such calamities nor the efforts to overcome their consequences are as a rule weakened by the provision of assistance – where, in short, we deal with genuinely insurable risks – the case for the state’s helping to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance is very strong."-- Hayek

  • The Skeptical Chymist SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    July 11, 2013 7:25 a.m.

    We waited a very long time for Congress to do anything regarding health care, and then, when Obamacare was finally adopted, it was essentially a Republican plan. The individual mandate was first proposed by the Heritage Foundation in 1989 and subsequently was offered as part of the Republican response to President Clinton's health reform plan in 1993. Finally, a version of Obamacare became the signature accomplishment of Governor Mitt Romney in Massachusetts. I agree it is a hodgepodge, and we can do better. But if we repeal it in its entirety and then try to put together a new plan, we will be waiting forever to get something new in place. I suspect that Mr. Liljenquist would be one of those, who if in office, would be actively preventing replacement legislation from being enacted.

    There are better alternatives - specifically, a single-payer system. Why not expand Medicare to cover everyone? It has very low administrative costs compared to private insurance, and it works well. We could allow individuals to purchase supplemental insurance from companies of their choice, just as Medicare participants do. Problem solved.

  • Iron Rod Salt Lake City, UT
    July 11, 2013 6:11 a.m.

    OK if the Affordable Health Care Act is repealed, what is planned to replace it with?
    Or are we happy with the current insurance situation?