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Letter to the editor:

Health care act will ruin America

Tue, Mar 27, 2012 (2:02 a.m.)

This week, the Supreme Court is hearing arguments regarding the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s requirement that all individuals purchase health insurance, referred to as the individual mandate.

Two of the central arguments it will hear in favor of the mandate are that: 1) people without insurance obtain treatment in emergency rooms, thereby “free-riding” on the rest of society; and 2) health care is the single biggest cause of bankruptcy in America. I hope the nine most esteemed legal minds in the nation will be able to see the inherent contradiction in those two arguments.

The individual mandate is an assault on our country’s founding principles of individual freedom and property rights. The Fifth Amendment in the Bill of Rights states that “No person shall … be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” We shall see if liberal justices can twist and parse those words sufficiently to strip them of all meaning.

Nothing less than the fate of our country hinges on this decision. The progressive idea that individuals should provide for others is the premise for socialism, and it has bankrupted every country that has embraced it. Our nation’s founding principles have enabled us to create the most successful society in history. If the Constitution can be parsed out of existence, then our “life, liberty and property” have no protections, and the United States will cease to exist.

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Discussion: 58 comments so far…

  1. Without regard to whether I agree with this author or not, I must say this is one of the finest letters I have seen selected for publication inasmuch as the author has stated clear premises and a logical argument.

    It is a refreshing change.

  2. If Mr. McCord wants the freedom to be uninsured, he could waive all treatment he could not afford to pay for. But I am not free, legally or morally, to allow him to die in the hospital parking lot or at the scene of his auto accident.

    The price of Mr. McCord's freedom of choice is the loss of my freedom of choice to pay less for my own health care and lower peoperty taxes instead of covering operating losses at UMC.

  3. The tragedy of the Act has not even nearly been realized. The individual mandate is only the tip of the iceberg with the heavy taxation and payment burdens and penalties that are in this cruel piece of legislation that was crafted in dark rooms by cheats and incompetents to come later.. The Act will be a Trojan Horse to American who will never be able to pay the tab for this legislation. Remember that half of wage earning Americans pay no income taxes. Purpotedly because they are too poor. Who do you think will foot the bill for this pig of legislation.

  4. Great letter. The majority of people who go to the emergency room without health Insurance are those who would not pay for it anyway, as they are low income. When I worked in the low income black area of St Petersburg FL I overheard woman talk of taking their babies to the emergency room because she was crying, or coughing, the kid had an earache, etc. 99% of these should have gone to a clinic, but going to the emergency room is the only health care these people know.. The government would better serve these people by opening up walk in clinics staffed by the military and/or opening up VA centers they already have, then they can charge what they need to. This will lessen the burden of those who actually pay for Health Ins. and bring that costs down or at least more stable.

  5. Who will pay for those uninsured visits to emergency rooms or hospital stays?

    Do you realize those costs are passed over to your insurance policy and don't disappear into a void?

    Health care in this country runs at 17.5% of our GDP because it's run for profit. No European went bankrupt losing their homes over health care.

    Granted the system set in place may not be the best but it can be tweaked if both parties worked together. Of course that won't happen because the right will not give an inch when it comes to dealing with Obama on any issue.

  6. Richard McCord is just another armchair amateur Constitutional 'scholar', one of many on the right who know nothing and everything at the same time. His contention that free riding and bankruptcy are contradictory is poor reasoning at best when considering the millions of people who have gone through one or the other. Another of his complaints regarding doctors working for free because Medicare is paying less needs to be examined for context. How much medical attention do people receive that is either useless or bad? Should Medicare always pay even for incompetent care?

  7. dipstick: get your facts straight. FDR was NOT president when "we" won WWII. He was dead! HST was the prexy at the time and he was the one who authorized the dropping of the A-bombs on Japan. McCord is right about this being a seminal moment in our history. The "healthcare" issue isn't really about "health care" any more than the contraceptive issue was about religious freedom or women's health. It's about Osama Obama's and his fellow travelers lust for power and control by government drones over our lives and our freedoms. The parable would be the Arab & the camel. The Arab, snug and cozy in the warmth of his tent, was begged to allow the camel to put his nose in the tent for a bit of that warmth. Being a humanitarian, the Arab agreed. Soon, the camel asked for permission to also put his neck inside. Again, the Arab agreed. Then it was the camel's torso until, eventually, the Arab found himself outside and the camel had taken over the tent. That's the way it is with "Progressives." An inch here, an inch there, and suddenly you've lost all you had and it's too late. Beware of "progressives," folks. They are just camels disguised as human beings!

  8. Helping others isn't just an underlying concept of socialism, it's also the basic premise of the Christian religion.
    As far as socialism bankrupting countries, has the letter writer checked America's balance sheet lately? Unfettered capitalism appears to be worse than amoral.
    Having got that off my chest, I tend to agree with the writer that the cost of health care may bankrupt every industrialized country no matter what type of governmental system rules. Tightly rationed health care is inevitable.

  9. No country has healthcare without mandates. Hell, Washington had mandates for people to but hospital coverage, Heath coverage, muskets, balls, powder.
    The lead healthcare plaintiff dropped out because of thousands in medical bills.
    Peoples lousy decision is what damages the country. Lack of education, violence, obesity.
    A business model where people aren't required to pay for the goods and services they consume is doomed to failure. If you order a burger and refuse to pay you can be arrested for " defrauding the inkeeper". Yet there were 123 million emergency room visits and vast numbers failed to pay a dime and were not punished.
    $78 billion in losses to our 1700 emergency rooms.

  10. http://www.politifact.com/rhode-island/s...
    Washington had a major problem with seriously ill seamen. How did he deal with it? MANDATES!!!

  11. http://www.forbes.com/2010/02/19/expensi...
    The above nonsense combined with million dollar hospital bills is what needs to be dealt with next. Cancer clinics are going belly up because of these almost incomprehensible drug costs. Treating a group of people with cancer can cost as much as a WW2 battle ship. Millions.

  12. Medical care isn't forced on anyone. People choose life. If I am diagnosed with a terminal illness today I can refuse all treatment and die in my hot tub.
    The late stage prostate cancer drug Provenge extends life by a couple months at a cost of $10 grand per infusion. Men are lining up for it. It is one of the main threats to Medicare. Millions of men get prostate cancer.

  13. Dipstick said: ...."you sound like one of those republicans during the '30s when FDR started Social Security."....

    Is this the same Social Security program that is broke? Fine job the politicians have done with that, don't you agree?

    You can expect the same performance with Obamacare.

    Most of the supporters of Obamacare on this blog are greedy!! Greedy Seniors that is. By the time the dung hits the fan in the next 2 generations they will have long been dead. They just want theirs now and they want it FREE.

  14. Broke..My wife gets her SS direct deposit on the third Wednesday of the month like clock work. SS should be partially privatized with individual accounts that start at birth. More like a defined benefit pension plan but it works fine.
    What is more problematic are the young prodigious spenders that refuse to save and invest. The baby boomers have trillions in net worth. Check it.

  15. "It will RUIN AMERICA!"...

    Jeez, are ya sure about that???
    It'll be worse than Nuclear WAR!!!

    "Is the use of exaggeration as a rhetorical device or figure of speech. It may be used to evoke strong feelings or to create a strong impression, but is not meant to be taken literally."
    (via wikipedia)

    "Yeah...that's the ticket."


  16. The Constitution does not prevent the government from instituting a single-payer, or universal health care system. It has partially done so with Medicare. The majority can decide to institute taxes to pay for it. It's not a good idea, but they can do it.

    The individual mandate is not a tax. It is a required payment to a private company, which violates the Constitution's due process provision. Even if viewed as "public use," i.e., the money is taken to benefit the general public, the Constitution requires "just compensation." On either grounds, the law is unconstitutional.

  17. I'm still reading through today's transcript, but it appears that by basing the mandate on the Commerce Clause the government has unwittingly given the Court the chance to back away from earlier decisions without actually reversing itself. In other words, the Court has the opportunity to draw a line and say "We will not bend the Commerce Clause any further."

    Justice Breyer doesn't seem to be firmly committed to this being a proper use of the Commerce Clause and we could see a 6-3 decision striking down the mandate.

    I am using the transcript from Politico: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/031...

  18. I read the other day that Reagan's solicitor general gives odds of an overturn 10%. This is pretty consistent with most conservatives who actually know something about law.

    I know in your tea-bagging echo chamber it is unthinkable that the health care law could stand, but people out here in reality don't expect the supreme court to overturn anything.

    A few key points to remember...

    The MAJORITY of Americans support the health care reform law.

    Obama was a constitutional law professor and is very intelligent. He wouldn't make something blatantly unconstitutional the centerpiece of his first term.

    The supreme court bases their rulings on the constitution, law, and precedent. They don't take into consideration what angry seniors write on their blogs or in the comment section.

  19. TEA - "Librals/progressives/socialists/marxists are not capable of looking at precedent/the failures of said ideologies."

    I'll give you a failed ideology. Cut taxes for the wealthy to create jobs. Better know as Reagan Economics, Trickle Down Economics, or as Bush the Elder called it, Voodoo Economics.

    Here is another failed ideology. Get rid of the Glass Steagall Act because you can trust banks to self regulate.

    How about letting industry self regulate on pollutants they can dump into water supplies?

    If Obama Care is over turned, I hope you nay sayers have deep enough pockets to support the increase in health care cost as companies jack up their rates. CEO's definitely will look to increase profit margins.

  20. How this takes me back to the fear mongering of the 60's in the John Birch Society. Their meetings were incredibly hopeless. There is nothing like creating fear to try get your way. Sadly, it works with many people.

    Have you ever pondered deeply how fear torments a person? How there is a never ending list of things to fear? Put one to rest and there are others on the horizon to keep our adrenalin fix going. Fear is associated with guilt on some level, even if we cannot recognize it.

    If you can ponder that, see if you can spend time pondering love. What it means, how it benefits everyone, how it stops the fearing.

    Love is the only "religion" there is, and fear is the antipathy of love.

  21. @Roselenda, if you live in Clark County, and EMS is the first responder, one may need more than a POA and bracelet.

    In a critical life threatening situation, EMS doesn't have much time to look for POA's. They will resusitate.

    In Clark Co, there is a specific DNR for EMS. This is important because they may be required to resuscitate someone if they cannot quickly locate the permission. This extra step is worth the $5 if anyone is serious about a DNR instruction.

    Here is important information that pertains to EMS DNR in Clark Co.

    Clark County Prehospital EMS DNR information:

    DNR Application:

    Other forms:

  22. While I am at it, here is information and forms for the NV Advance Directive and Healthcare Decisions Power of Attorney. They are free.

    One can have them witnessed by non-relatives (free) or have it notarized for a fee.


  23. Taxes are so low most companies and half the individuals pay nothing. Reagan and Clinton didn't have trillions in yearly med costs....competition from China , India and South America. They didn't have 10000 people a day retiring.
    We are a mature economy with an aging population. That puts restraints on growth and job creation. It also causes entitlement cost bubbles.

  24. Neither Reagan or Clinton had any major wars during their Presidencies either.

  25. @TEA, what would be your suggestion for the minimum Income Tax for seniors receiving $14,000/yr in Social Security benefits, without any other income?

    Would that be a tax on a tax?

  26. @bigk, China has a decreasing poverty rate as they raise prospective consumers out of poverty. They are creating their own market for their products.

    There is an interesting video of the address of President Felipe Calderon, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, on Mexico's process of getting out of their financial crisis. He is leader of the G20.


    In his talk, he speaks about Mexico reaching it goal of Universal Healthcare for all of its citizens.

  27. Healthcare has built Canada into a place to enjoy life. No Canadian has ever lost his home, his life, his livelihood because of a broken arm. In Amerika, this happens every day.

    Break an arm and it can easily cost $5,000 plus time off from work.

    REMEMBER ALSO, that Barrick Gold escapes taxes in Nevada so they can bring their riches to Canada, to help fund the Health Care in Canada. Nevada helps to pay for the great Canadian Health Care System, and Navadans suck hind tit to pay for Socialized Medicine on their own ticket while denying the same for all of us here where the gold is dug.

    Ever heard of 'Survival of the Fittest'?

  28. C'mon now, let's be serious, it isn't just healthcare liberals crammed down our throats, anything liberals propose or pass is destroying America. But not for liberals, America wouldn't be so screwed up.

  29. As sung out years ago, "another one bites the dust." Another step in the right direction as the Supreme Court asks the right questions and observers note that this thing, the whole thing, looks like history. Sure, Congress will take it up again. But Americans still have their individual right to pursue life, liberty.....and their own style of life and standard of living.

  30. MSG to the 9: reject the whole thing. Without the individual mandate, even Congress would not pretend that we can afford all the added Medicaid to the UNentitled.

  31. Jeff...

    As you know, when it suits the right's purpose, the Constitution is ETCHED IN STONE.
    When it does not, it is AMAZINGLY MALLEABLE!

    When interpretation is necessary:
    "It shall say what we NEED it to say, not what it WAS MEANT to say! Don't be silly!"

    When it's context seems perfectly clear:
    "You left-wing kooks are simply not understanding what our Founding Fathers meant to tell you; can't you READ!?!?"

    Bottom line;
    It is folly to allow a divided court to decide the fate of our future Health Care delivery system based solely 'along party lines'.

    Frankly, if my wife or daughter needs a life-saving medical procedure, I could give a damn what the framer's of the constitution thought or meant 275 years ago...and the ONLY REASON some folks care today is that it backs up their personal, government-sponsored, politically-radicalized and wholly indoctrinated point of view, assuming you view it through the proper prism.

  32. You may retain and exercise your right to free speech. I may retain and utilize my right to close my door and not listen to you. You do not have a right to be heard, just to speak.