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Letter to the editor:

Mandate flies in face of liberty

Fri, Apr 13, 2012 (2 a.m.)

Donnedia Edmond’s letter, “Support Obamacare for help it provides,” praising unspecified aspects of Obamacare for saving her life because she couldn’t afford the out-of-control costs of health care is heartfelt. Her care was apparently accomplished without the need for government thuggery in forcing a small percentage of individuals to pay for something they do not want or feel they do not need.

The notion that the individual mandate will make all the difference in the world is little more than a distraction and is insidious because it sets a dangerous precedent.

We all expire regardless of medical history, but the American blessing of individual liberty must live forever, because if it dies, the core concept of all our country stands for goes with it.

The war cry of mandate proponents would be, “Damn the Constitution, full speed ahead,” and the doors would be flung wide open for imposition of personal mandates by way of forced medical checkups in the name of keeping the costs of health care down. That would be just the beginning of a new dark age in which the light of freedom would be extinguished.

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Discussion: 79 comments so far…

  1. There is a lot of hyperbole in this letter. But even so, if one makes allowances, it is to some extent echoing the basic principle expressed by Franklin when he said words to this effect: those who would trade liberty for security deserve neither.

    Our government was meant to be one the respects and protects the basic rights of being human. I doubt that our founders envisioned (or would approve of) a nanny state where the people expect the government to provide their every need.

  2. The letter writer and the comments following are interesting, but don't go far enough. As SCOTUS ponders whether or not to strike down the medical insurance mandate, I have one question: what is a true solution to the skyrocketing costs of medical care? Some voucher system that provides x amount of dollars toward a persons/family medical care is not enough.

    ...imposition of personal mandates by way of forced medical checkups... This is already in existence. Some employers are already forcing checkups on their employees who, if they don't comply, face the loss of their company medical insurance. Another example of a personal mandate is the withholding of monies from paychecks to fund Medicare. Although it is considered a tax by many, in fact it is a mandate.

  3. Re Carmine. Another comment that doesn't go far enough! I would be interested in your solution to the issue.

  4. Most conservative commenters label those they view as free riding on the rest of society as "liberals" or "leftists" or some other unflattering terms. Yet, when it comes to the health insurance mandate, they call free riding on those that buy and pay for insurance a constitutional right. Amazing!

  5. Re Carmine.

    1. Ryan's budget will never see the light of day in the Senate. Then what?

    2. "Medicare is for a class of people..." Yeah, the class of people called employees. If you work, you pay. As simple at that. As for the employees who don't need or want their employer's medical insurance, they still pay the Medicare withholding on their paychecks.

  6. Re Carmine. PS: The guarantee to all Americans... Wonderful. So all your cited folks who don't want or need their companies medical insurance suddenly need medical treatment, and run to the nearest emergency room for care. Who do you think pays for that? Let's call it what it is: freeloading on the taxpayer's dime.

  7. This letter basically tells us stuff we already know.

    First, Tea/Republicans everywhere love to complain, point fingers and use this issue only for political gain, but they NEVER EVER come up with ideas about how to improve it. They just want it destroyed at all costs. And go back to the way it was. PURELY for political purposes only.

    There always seems to be the excuse that the Constitution is first and foremost for those that oppose the Affordable Care Act. It disregards the fact that people are the most important thing in our country. If a country cannot take care of it's people...we cease to exist anymore.

    Which amazes me, because the Founding Fathers of this great nation are spinning like tops in their graves at this warped reasoning at what Tea/Republicans blabber all the time. I guarantee if they were around right now, they would slap those stupid tri-corn hats off of Tea Party protesters, telling them not to wear them anymore, they're making them look bad with a nutball, extreme and radical view that bastardizes everything they stood for that made this nation great.

    And finally, the letter writer seems to make an excuse that everyone lives and everyone dies. And that the process in between those two events just...happens. Leave it alone. Don't care for the sick. Don't take care of the people in this country. Basically, everyone that is not well are just supposed to die. Can't help you. Not our fault you are defective. Tea/Republicans are not concerned with governing and leading anyone. They could care less if you live or you die. But if you have money you want to give to them, well, hell....they'll make an exception. But only reluctantly.

    The main point I'm coming to regarding these efforts against the Affordable Care Act, is they really don't understand how heartless, uncaring and selfish they come off.

    I really, really look forward to the day when Tea/Republicans all over this great nation quit playing this confidence game on their voters and come back to reality. When that happens, and ONLY when that happens, is when America starts grinding the gears and moving forwards, not backwards.

  8. All of you people screaming about the mandate causing lost freedoms sure as hell missed the boat. Try back tracking over the last 20 years or so and you'll find you've lost more than a health care mandate.

    Do any of you have any idea how many public schools are teaching the bible? Tax payers monies are being spent to build a religious based amusement park costing $172 million to build and they get $43 million in tax rebates. Hundreds of anti abortion laws have been written in just the last year and a half. Fictitious Anti Sharia laws were written so poorly they affected other religious pratices. Voters rights are being stripped away and few seem to care. American citizens have been tossed in jails for weeks because they looked Hispanic. When was the last time we saw a Congressional vote allowing us to invade another nation?

    You can whine and moan about a health care mandate that works in Mass. and in other forms such as auto insurance, but the real problem is the rights you no longer have under the Patriot Act because your paranoia and bias has misdirected you.

  9. Yes the mandate flies in the face of Liberty. And taxing to provide Medicaid and UMC health care for illegals is UNconstitutional. Stop paying doctors on "fee for service" and pay for outcomes--similar to HMO's. Let the doctor and staff have some interest in your health, not just interest in the amounts they can charge and keep charging over and over again.

  10. RefNV,

    Yes I quote John Dean and Chris Mooney. Yes I ackowledge if we had listened to Carter we wouldn't have these fossil fuel issues. And maybe yes I don't represent the masses. I don't think like the masses in general, never did, never will.

    Could it be I'm able to see connections that seem unrelated to others?

    I warned friends just a few years ago don't buy, wait housing will fall. I said the TARP will fractionalize the Republican party, it sure did. I've often written about Goldman Sachs robbing clients and I was told I know nothing. Low and behold a top CEO exposed the "Vampire Squid" from the inside. I've argued gas pricing has nothing to do with presidents but yet some go tone deaf and ignore my words. I've argued the SCOTUS decision about Civilians United would destroy our political system. You all are watching it now in effect with the outright purchase our Congress.

    As it stands the public is screwed in general. They are fixated on talking heads and scripted "reality shows" which bolsters negative information they receive through the "boob" tube.
    Watch someone while the TV is on. It's very similar to the empty eye glass stare you seen on a casino floor as they yank the handle.

    Roger Ailes was genius in getting together with Ruppert Murdoch, who influenced the gov't to have more media outlets that was required by law. It was Ailes who developed thet plan under Nixon and we now see it as a cable giant.

  11. "Look at your 6:39am post. Lots of non sequitor points that had nothing to do with Obamacare."

    The post was about mandates and how you people are whining about a mandate when there are far more serious issues to address regarding the Constitution. I posted other things I've seen happening for years to this country that are far worse than a lousy mandate.

    http://psp.sagepub.com/content/early/201...

  12. Vernos,

    Many Americans would agree that there are too many government mandates... of all kinds. The ACA will add one more.

    You continue, as do others, to try to equate the mandate under Romneycare with the one under the ACA. They are not the same. One is in a state that doesn't have a Commerce Clause in its Constitution. The other is a national law that condradicts the Commerace Clause of the US Constitution.

    But even if we throw that all aside, one big issue remains. Millions of Americans have no health care insurance because it is too expensive. They go to emergency rooms and don't pay the bills. That drives up the costs of medical care and insurance for everyone that does pay.

    The ACA will insure these millions but at rates that still won't cover their costs for health care. The amount not paid for will continue to drive up health care costs and insurance. Please tell me how that really addresses the problems of ever increasing costs.

    The truth is that Congress has never done anything to address rising health care costs and the ACA doesn't do anything either.

    The ACA has some good parts but most importantly, it doesn't control costs and that means we will either have rationing of care or this will be another program whose costs spiral out of control and add to our debt.

    We need to tell Congress to try again but lock out the lobbyists this time and make some really tough decisions.

    Michael

  13. Michael,

    With all due respect, my argument isn't about health care. It's about how people are caught up in debating or arguing health care while much worse has happened to this country. ACA is miniscule compared to the lost wages and purchasing power of the middle class. Thieves have stolen billions from Wall St. but yet walk free. We are on the verge of invading another country and no one sees it happening. That is my argument about mandates, they are nothing more than to distract from real problems.

    Then of course we have to deal with those on the losing end of an argument coming back by labeling everyone else a socialist or communist. Joe McCarthy is back, and he is black, bearing the name Allen West. Something Michele Bachmann uttered when she spoke of Obama's FEMA reeducation camps and his private army. That sort of insanity is far scarier than what the SCOTUS does about the mandate.

  14. There are two countries that have a for profit healthcare model.....The US and Mexico! That should say it all.

  15. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/03/...
    Fox has the most conservative viewers in the country. They can't convince their minions to go strongly against the law.

  16. http://thehill.com/opinion/columnists/da...
    The above from a REPUBLICAN pollster. People who think Americans are against the law in big numbers need to read the above.
    Only about a third want the law completely thrown out.

  17. When things are as expensive as medical care and defense everyone needs to throw something into the pot. People under 35 are destroying the nations emergency room system. 123 million emergency room visits and the majority pay nothing. We have lost over 20% of our emergency room's in the last 25 years because of uncompensated care. Most of the major hospitals in the country are under severe distress because of uncompensated care.

    The numbers of people that can live their lives without any medical care are so few that you can't even find statistical data on the subject.

    Every major country with the exception of the United States and Mexico has mandates. There is no other way to do it.

    If you could rely on people to be responsible and pay for the medical services they need voluntarily this crisis wouldn't exist.

  18. Vernos,

    I am glad I am not as scared by some people on the left as you are some people on the right. I've listened to both Alan West and Michelle Bachmann. Both are quite a bit farther to the right than I am, but I don't think either is a threat to me or the country. In Bachmann's case, she ran for the R nomination and did not come close to getting it... as it should be. Alan West tends to make incendiary comments as do firebrands on the left (witness the recent comment about Ann Romney). I don't let this stuff tie me up in knots.

    I'm sorry but the argument about the ACA mandate is not just to distract for many Americans. It is another step down a road they don't want to travel.

    I do agree with you that Americans get distracted from our most important issues easily and that is sad and dangerous. But you and I would agree about what we need to concentrate on but not on the solutions. You see Conservatives as what is wrong and I see a Congressional system (that fully encompasses Conservatives, Liberals, Moderates, R's and D's) that is completely compromised by lobbyists for powerful interests.

    Our leaders have discovered that if they give us stuff, even if it cannot be paid for, and still do the bidding the of folks with the lobbyists and money, they can be popular enough to get elected and stay in office.

    You can argue all you want about the Conservatives and all the Conservative supporters can argue about the Liberals, but I have news for you Vernos..and them.. We are being sold down the river by every single person in public office in the Federal Government. They have the formula that works for them and unless we stop rewarding them for using it, we are done.

    Michael

  19. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/...
    The above represents nearly all polls taken on the subject. 50% is not a large majority.

    If the law and all of its provisions get repealed 3 million kids are going to lose their healthcare coverage and 87,000 adults are going to lose their catastrophic coverage. If you don't think there's going to be some back splatter when that happens I've got news for you!

    I believe the health insurance industry feels that the court will overturn parts of the law. They are starting to redo their actuarial assumptions based on the laws repeal. What they are finding is that the trend that was in effect before the law was passed will escalate. The numbers of people signing up for Medicaid are going to skyrocket, costs will continue to go up at a much higher rate than aggregate inflation and the Medicaid liabilities will increase by trillions.
    10-20,000 people a day are signing up for Medicare and Medicaid.That number will go much higher.

  20. What does forcing people to buy health insurance have to do with getting free stuff? The current system provides an incentive to get free stuff. If you are seriously injured or ill all you have to do is walk into an emergency room and leave without paying the bill. Last year people fail to pay $78 billion hospital bills. That's free stuff!
    The entire country only has about 5700 hospitals. The losses many of these hospitals are forced to endure is staggering.

    Brian Brannaman runs UMC hospital. Call him up and ask him about uncompensated care. UMC has the only top-tier trauma and burn center in several states. Every crackhead who blows himself up in a meth lab gets flown here for care and we get stuck with a big part of the bill. The hospital itself has lost hundreds of millions of dollars over the last few years.

    If were going to have a for profit healthcare model people have to be willing to pay for the services provided. Otherwise that model doesn't work.

  21. Gerry,

    Please tell me why Congress could not put back into place the parts of the ACA that are popular, such as kids covered until age 26, not excluding pre-existing conditions, no benefit cap) even if the ACA is ruled unconstitutional?

    Michael

  22. Gerry,

    How do you make people with little or no money pay for their care? You can't! Even under the ACA, the premiums for the poor will be small, so you still have the same problem. Unless we are willing to say no to treatment to those that can't pay (and we aren't), those of us who can pay, will have to carry the burden of those who can't. A government run system doesn't change that either.

    Michael

  23. The individual mandate came from the health insurance industry. The health insurance industry is a very low margin business. They only make a few cents on the dollar. If you enact the law with provisions that require insurance companies to provide much greater coverage than they have to be given an additional revenue stream to offset the increase in cost. The individual mandate did that. Without the mandate they would dramatically increase premiums to the point where businesses and individuals could no longer afford to buy insurance. At nearly $18,000 a year for a good family policy I would argue we are at that point now. The policy I had in California was $89 a month in 1982. That same policy is currently over $20,000 a year. Totally unacceptable!

  24. Gerry,

    I have to ask you. Do you really believe that what is going to be collected due to the mandate will be enough to satifiy insurers so they don't raise premiums? Come on! We both know the answer. And, the costs of Medical Care just keep rising. You know the insurers will pass the costs along to us. I just don't see how the ACA is really going to make things much better.

    Michael

  25. So giving insurance billions less will solve the problem. The 86 countries with mandates pay a fraction of what we pay for medical. Deadbeats, for profit care and huge administrative costs administering 5000 insurance plans are a big part of the problem.
    You can get a degree in medical billing. Our doctors have more people on staff dealing with insurance and billing issues than patient care. In 2000 insurance companies were turning down 100,000 requests for medical services a DAY.

  26. http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/youn...
    Carmine... Young Americans under the age of 34 shouldn't be forced to buy something they don't need. Your kidding right? You obviously don't have any children. My son is in his 20s. He has severe asthma. His 26-year-old girlfriend who is from the Philippines, has severe hereditary high blood pressure, even though she's only 115 pounds. He has lost two friends in motorcycle accidents. Many more have been hospitalized due to various sporting injuries and accidents.

    I was hospitalized as a young child for a severe upper respiratory infection that almost killed me. I was also hospitalized for tonsillectomy at 13 years old.

    It's young people under the age of 34 that are blowing up the entire emergency room system. Read the above article.

    When I was young man I was sitting around my parents living room with a draft card in my pocket waiting to be dropped into some rice field in Vietnam. Talk about ruining your whole day. Just because the Constitution allows us to kill off our young people but doesn't say anything about health insurance hardly makes one better than the other. You do what you have to for the good of the nation. Some things work and some don't. The things that work you keep, the things that don't to get rid of.

  27. People are not dogs. Many young are not healthy. Huge numbers are obese. A father and grandfather and none of your children and grandchildren have serious health issues. You are one lucky guy!!!!
    Many of the baggers including Carmine have Medicaid. We get stuck paying for him.

  28. http://statehealthfacts.org/comparemapta...
    4 billion prescriptions written and over 200 billion a month spent on medical care and we are discussing who should and who shouldn't participate in the system. Good luck! People won't pay when they can get care through emergency rooms as well as Medicaid. All that will happen is yet another crisis to add to housing, banking, retirement and the deficits.

  29. Mitt Romney, Republican leadership and Paul Ryan all said they would get rid of "ObamaCare" and Planned Parenthood. Republicans want to get rid of minimum wage earnings. Almost 50% of the country is borderline impoverished. Who will pay for the health care treatment working class and low income women and their children will need since the only option left is the local ER?

    When the same people I listed above attack Medicaid and Medicare, who will pay for prescriptions and health care no longer available?

    For two years right wingers screamed about death panels, but isn't it they who are setting the groundwork? I can still hear "Let 'em die!" shouted at one of the Republican presidential debates.

  30. http://moneyland.time.com/2011/06/01/nea...
    The govt has its way of defining impoverished. The above are in sad shape even though they may meet the standard.

  31. Poverty is a fact of life. No way to get rid of it.
    Carmine....as a 62 year old grandfather you will on Medicare shortly. As will I. We will take out twice what we put in on average and others will get stuck with the bill.
    Giving the young the option to opt out is what we have currently. That and 123 million emergency room visits to our 1700 emergency rooms. It works great. Ask any emergency room administrator.

  32. St. Patrick's day south side Chicago. 49 shot 11 dead. Nearly all under 30. How many insured????Probably not many. The cost...a FORTUNE. How are Chicago hospitals doing financially???? Rather poor.
    http://crimeinchicago.blogspot.com/2012/...

  33. RefNV - "The poverty rate is 14%. Same as 1965 before LBJ's great society."

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/stor...

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Squeezed by rising living costs, a record number of Americans, almost 1 in 2, have fallen into poverty or are scraping by on earnings that classify them as low income.

    The latest census data depict a middle class that is shrinking as unemployment stays high and the government's safety net frays. The new numbers follow years of stagnating wages for the middle class that have hurt millions of workers and families.

  34. Re Carmine. I always appreciate your comments, and read them, searching for the nuggets of common sense that I usually find in them. I am 63 years old, and my wife is 11 months older. She will soon become a beneficiary of Medicare. She will pay a premium for coverage A and B, and I will supplement her coverage under Tricare For Life. There is no free lunch. The demographic that you cite is the MOST LIKELY TO REQUIRE MEDICAL INSURANCE. If they can't afford it, it doesn't mean they can do without it. In a perfect world, Paul Ryan's plan would be debated in the Senate, and the good parts of it would probably be concurred with. This modified bill would then go to a joint committee of the house and senate, and could result in something truly beneficial to all Americans. I can dream. Unless you are wealthy enough to be self insured, you will rely on Medicare and any supplemental coverage you can afford. Medicare must not be cut or compromised by ideologues who can't think or legislate from a pragmatic point of view, but only through knee jerk radicalism. All of these congressional jerks have medical coverage that you and I can only wish for. Yes, Medicare is primarily used by our retired/aging citizens. Do you begrudge them some medical security in their (and soon to be) your old age? I hope not. Regards

    Gary Lind

  35. Median family income is $54,000 a year in this country. By the government's definition those families are definitely not impoverished. But, healthcare costs are expected to be $20,000 per family this year. A good college can run $50,000 a year or more. Housing costs on both the East and West Coast are exorbitant. There are millions of families in this country with the median income that have almost no savings or investments.

    My above survey reflects that only one family in four can definitely come up with $2000 in 30 days. Another recent survey reflects that 66% of Americans could not come up with $1000 for an emergency.

    These people may not be impoverished by government standards but they are stretched to the breaking point.

    Regarding your comment that 72 million Americans could be cared for by clinics. I completely agree with that. The problem is many of those people don't pay for the emergency room visit nor would they pay for clinic visit. Where do the clinics get the money to stay open if millions of people show up at their door looking for free medical care.

    Many cancer clinics are shutting down across the country because the clinics as well as the patient's can't afford the exorbitantly priced medicine.

  36. Re Freeman 1535 post. The annual median wage fell in 2010 for the 2nd year in a row to $26,364, a 1.2% drop from 2009, and the lowest level since 1999. The only way to reconcile your tin foil hat figure of 54k per year would assume that both working adults in a given household work full time, for the median or above. 54k year MEDIAN INCOME is a load of crap.

  37. Carmine, I counted 18 comments from you today and they all had merits. I beleive you would do very well on Presidental debates, and Jeopardy program hands down.Continue to keep us straight.

  38. Re Freeman. So, as I stated, a household with two working adults, full time, would gross less than your stated figure of 54k per year median income. I would suggest you enforce your figures with supplemental data. Do you include income, other than wages, such as medical benefits, 401k contributions, outside income such as retirement benefits, dividends on investments, interest on CD's or other forms of income which you did not include? Wages = equal income for most working individuals/families. 80% of working Americans, individually or as combined 2 person income do not make 54k per year of "household income". Your response?

  39. Vernos,

    I prepare Bankruptcies as part of what I do for a living. I have prepared thousands and almost all of the filers have incomes of less than $ 54,000.

    Many of these filers have cars newer than mine with bigger payemnts than mine. They have cable or directv, plus movies (which I don't have), have the newest fanciest cell phone with a data plan, go to starbucks for coffee and have credit card and payday loan debt of $ 25,000 or more. Most of these people make 30,000 or less.

    There are poor people here Vernos and people who had bad things happen to them financially, but huge numbers of Americans work at jobs that just don't pay enough to live the way they feel 'entitled' to live, so they do what our wonderful government does.... they borrow on credit until they just can't pay anymore or something unexpected befalls them and then they file bankruptcy.

    Our society feels entitled and is selfish. If we keep feeding this entitlement mentality, we will all rue that we did.

    When I was a kid, we had people we knew that lived better than us and worse than us but we accepted our lot and did not try to live beyond our means because we felt 'entitled'. I think we should help the truly poor, but Vernos, they simply don't exist in the numbers reported by the media.

    Michael

  40. Re Carmine. As I reflect on my medical benefits through a 20 year career in the military and 23 years in the private sector, I can only say that things could be worse. But they may soon be. Part of the "carrot and stick" approach to a career in the military, was the promise of medical care for life. This is now threatened. It is not so much an issue of paying a premium for medical care, as it is the government that I served reneging on a "promise" of free medical care for life, if I made it my career. I don't see any congressional representative declining the medical coverage offered to them, and I don't expect them to. I think that their coverage will remain untouched by budget cuts or other "readjustments" that will affect you and me. Tricare for Life was a hard fought entitlement earned through lobbying by Military organizations that I am a member of. With "sequestration" about to become the norm, and defense budgets slashed, it is only a matter of time before they come after a "promise" made to me upon enlistment. Keep up your commentary, and I will keep responding (sometimes negatively). That's what this country I (and you) still love and support.

    Gary Lind

  41. Carmine......why is it good not to have insurance when you get shot? Insurance gets you better surgeons and hospitals. Had these guys been insured you probably wouldn't have had 11 dead.
    Frank, we obviously have nothing better to do or we wouldnt be doing this.
    I'm done, a great night to all.

  42. Re Frank Simmons 1731 comment. I agree, to an extent. Once the banter begins, it is hard to shut it off until one party or the other decides they have made their point. Anonymous commentary contributes to the dialog. Face to face conversation is a thing of the past. I joined this blog to see what my fellow bloggers had/have to say, you included. Most folks that comment on this blog have their opinions, day after day. Right or Left, it IS THE SAME OLD SAME OLD. Part of the discourse is to savor diverse opinions, and stick up for your own. Playing devil's advocate is fun and enlightening as well. Cheers.

  43. Do the math: the same care WITHOUT insurance companies would cost us all billions less. Billions in administrative costs that insurance companies pay employees to "process" claims and their profits. LIMITED ER visits paid by the government might be an acceptable way to transition society from "entitled" dependence. We could gradually limit what ER's can do, what procedures for what people--for which the government would pay. AND reduce the list and people eligible over time--say 10 year limit to end government payments to ER's. pssst: ER's traditionally calculate into their charges enough to cover the non-payers--except when there are so many non-payers that they cannot stay in business. Under "present" laws, courts have held that ER's must treat life-threatening situations for anyone who shows up;--doesn't mean we can't have cops on duty to track the recurring illegal theft of benefits by illegals--the extreme cases--the illegals getting recurring dialysis at UMC for over $100K a year per person.

  44. Social Security is mandated retirement insurance. A person makes payments on the policy while working and receives policy payoffs after properly retiring. If they lived to be 120 years old, the payments would keep coming. If they drop the day after retirement, the payoffs stop.

    Social Security as an insurance policy, works extremely well and guarantees stability in retirement years. All other forms of privatized savings can disappear in economic disaster.

    Automobile insurance is also mandated, even if the person has the same financial worth in cash as the insurance policy purchased, they MUST BUY automobile insurance.

    Insurance mandated by the Government is completely Constitutional and that is proven without debate, so what's the problem?

  45. The mandate would take money from many people to give to insurance companies. No incentive to control spiraling health care costs and no incentive to steam line insurance companies. The mandate redistributes more wealth, even wealth that many do not have, but will be forced to generate to comply with the "law."

  46. From the very start, the Affordable Care Act, was faulty: passing a 3,000 page act before READING all of it!!!!

    The fact that the forced mandate does affect COMMERCE between states, should send it back for reexamination, scraping the worst parts and keeping the good parts, as allowing for pre-existing conditions.

    Not long ago, Las Vegas PBS, had a program about an alternative to the present mindset of providing healthcare: everyone gets it and it centers around "preventative" healthcare and patient choice about their healthcare. Healthcare professionals examine, advise, and treat according to the preferences of the patient. The doctors spent more time with patients, and were exceedingly effective. What was found through such healthcare models throughout the USA, was that patients had much better healthcare and quality of life, and the overall costs of healthcare went DOWN!!!

    It did not matter if a patient had preexisting conditions, nor any ability to pay. Models that practiced this type of healthcare went from red ink to black ink, and a remarkable faith in the ability of a medical care team to effectively help manage patient health and keep costs down.

    Politics creates human casualties in governance. When greed enters, there are either the winners or the losers. Our political system cannot survive when greed supercedes any common good.

    Blessings and Peace,
    Star