Friday, April 13, 2012

Supreme Court To Determine the Constitutionality of Health Care Act

Even if you have no interest in the constitutionality of laws passed by your representatives it is important to at least understand the basis of this case as your income and freedoms are at stake.  Simply put the case before the court is on whether Congress has the power to force citizens to purchase a product.  In the case of healthcare there are strong arguments on both sides of the political spectrum, but I prefer to make my own decisions and live with the consequences.

We have a historic opportunity to listen in on 6 hours of courtroom oral arguments before the Supreme Court on one of the costliest pieces of legislation- the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which was passed by a Democrat controlled Congress and signed into law by President Obama.  Officially the case is known as Florida v. Department of Health & Human Services and has 4 main parts: Anti-injunction Act – can court strike down before it takes effect, Individual mandate, Severability – does whole healthcare act stand if one portion is unconstitutional and Medicaid – the acts costs violates states rights.

I have embedded a video of the oral arguments on the individual mandate portion of the healthcare act.  I find that it is the piece of the law that most have some knowledge of and have rendered an opinion on.  To keep everyone’s interests I would strongly recommend listening to the first 5-6 minutes of arguments made by Donald Verrilli, the U.S. Solicitor Generalas it is understandable and provides the basis for the whole case.  Also, listen to the first few minutes of the arguments by Paul Clement, the attorney for Florida and 25 other states found at 56:00.

Since the topic of health care in the United States is so vast and faceted I’m going to limit my opinion to my own personal experiences and what is taking place in this country.  This partisan law was rushed, it was riddled with financial inadequacies (dare I say lies), it was not read admittedly by many of our representatives, the rules of the Senate were changed for passage and it is a financial boondoggle that destroys this country’s future.  When passed it was championed as an affordable answer to insuring the nation’s 40 million uninsured, now its costs have doubled to $1.8 trillion over 10 years and I would not be surprised to see it triple or even more.  The Obama Administration has issued 100’s of waivers of the law to businesses and labor unions affecting over 3,000,000 people – that alone should raise eyebrows as to the law’s fairness and credibility.

I don’t see the logic in any of this.  From what started as an emergency room epidemic of $12 billion a year of people not paying for their visits to a CBO estimate of $5,800/yr for each of the 40 million uninsured.  The only logical answer is the move for socialized health care for all because no matter how you add up the numbers it doesn’t even remotely make sense.  If the Democrat goal is to socialize health care, as found in many European countries, then I would hope that those that exercise their votes for this cause do a simple search and truly believe and accept that those country’s taxing structure is at least double of what you and me each pay in taxes. 

Now I’m not going to say there isn’t a need for some type of fix here for the uninsured or underinsured because there is.  What I’m saying is this law is not the answer.  Clearly we would be much better off for the government to continue to reimburse the hospitals the $12 billion annually for emergency room visits instead of entering into such a financially devastating situation for our country.  Also, I am not just spouting off as a wanna be politician either because I do know the feeling of not being insured and it can be very unsettling at times. 

Extras:  C-SPAN again has done a brilliant job of documenting the actions of all the federal powers and a complete explanation and videos of all portions of the argument can be found here: