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Posted at 1:55 PM ET, 02/ 9/2011

Ben Nelson on the individual mandate: "We need to find an alternative"

By Greg Sargent

Here's Senator Ben Nelson, one of four red-state Dems who is now talking about changing the individual mandate, on MSNBC sounding extremely committed to the idea.

He says that the mandate has now "attracted questions about its constitutionality," claims it's not "accepted by most people," and concludes it's time to look for a "market based approach" instead:

Ezra Klein says that Dems should be talking along these lines, in part for policy reasons and in part because it's a good way to reveal that Republicans aren't serious about reform. By being open to changes to improve the bill, Ezra says, Dems are effectively calling Republicans's bluff: They won't be willing to go along with any tweaks to the bill, because they are committed to full repeal or bust.

Indeed, conservative writer Marc Thiessen is explicitly warning Republicans not to play along with any efforts to fix the law, because it will make the Holy Grail of full repeal harder to attain.

So by all means, talk about changing the mandate. But in narrow political terms, I'd really like to see how Nelson will deal with the inevitable GOP attacks over the fact that back in 2009, he explicitly endorsed the idea of compulsory health insurance:

INTERVIEWER: When you spoke of the extension of coverage, do you mean by that that you support, in principle, the idea of mandates and that individuals and employers be required to purchase health insurance?

NELSON: Well, I think it's important that it'd be compulsory. I don't particularly like the idea of calling it a mandate. We have compulsory auto liability coverage in America today in virtually every state.

Like Kate Pickert, I don't think the effort to change the mandate legislatively will get very far. Red state Dems like Nelson, however, are likely to continue to talk about it, in hopes of distancing themselves from the unpopular mandate in advance of reelection.

But it's unclear how well this will work politically; after all, if there's one charge GOPers are very good at branding Dems with, it's the "flip-flopper" accusation. So one hopes Dems who take this route will think through in advance a way to explain their change of heart.

By Greg Sargent  | February 9, 2011; 1:55 PM ET
Categories:  Health reform, Senate Dems  
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Comments

It's time to draft Tom Perriello for U.S. Senate in Virginia.

Get on the ball folks.

http://wfc2.wiredforchange.com/o/8622/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=221

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 9, 2011 2:19 PM | Report abuse

O/T:

Uh-oh.

"Republican leaders of the House of Representatives emerged from a White House meeting on Wednesday voicing optimism that they can work with President Barack Obama on ways to cut federal spending and make progress on international trade deals."

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/09/us-usa-congress-obama-idUSTRE7185JH20110209

Posted by: wbgonne | February 9, 2011 2:20 PM | Report abuse

"Free" trade! Supply siders rule the roost.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 9, 2011 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Here's a novel idea, a really simple solution: Instead of an individual mandate, let's just have a special surtax, maybe 1% of taxable income or something, maybe lower would work, and dedicate that to an expansion of Medicare, call it . . . I don't know . . . Medicare for All?

Everyone agrees taxes are constitutional; it's right there in Article I. Medicare has been held to be constitutional as well. Combine the two.

Now why didn't anyone else think of such a simple idea?

Posted by: Mimikatz | February 9, 2011 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Has Paul Ryan found his Health Care reform bill yet?

You know, the one he claimed to already have prepared, back in 2009.

Did he really have one prepared or was he just using The Big Lie tactic?

Since he has not introduced it, after his party took control of The House, it would appear that Paul Ryan is just another one of those right wing liars, who only have reform bills of their own, when ever they are out of power.

Why are none of the media willing to ask him, where is the beef Paul, that you claimed you were keeping in your freezer, until you took control of the kitchen?

Posted by: Liam-still | February 9, 2011 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Mimikatz, I have at least two problems with "medicare for all".

first, it will do nothing to control costs. Medicare is running out of money quite quickly, even your "tax" won't stop that bleeding.

next, Medicare for all amounts to single payer which is simply not what America needs. I have argued the downsides of single payer over the years. I understand that socialists love it. But the I cannot imagine that the American citizens who aren't steeped in Euro marxism will see the 18 week waiting periods as a small price to pay for living in a worker's paradise.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 9, 2011 2:42 PM | Report abuse

"Paul Ryan is just another one of those right wing liars..."

Oh say it ain't so mickey.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/11/obama_admits_quest_for_biparti.html

Posted by: shrink2 | February 9, 2011 2:49 PM | Report abuse

You can not forbid Medicare negotiating Prescription Drug prices, under Medicare, like the Republicans did, and then turn around and complaint that Medicare costs too much.

The Republican Arseholes love efficiencies of the free market system, except when government tries to apply them to their purchasing practices.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 9, 2011 2:51 PM | Report abuse

You can not forbid Medicare negotiating Prescription Drug prices, under Medicare, like the Republicans did, and then turn around and complain that Medicare costs too much.

The Republican Arseholes love efficiencies of the free market system, except when government tries to apply them to their purchasing practices.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 9, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Here is the problem for the Democrats. Obamacare is filled with nasty surprises and they voted for it.

They can "re think" some of the provisions NOW in the hope of keeping their sinecure but the fact remains, they voted for it first time around. I doubt their opposition will let them forget this fact

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 9, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse

"I'd really like to see how Nelson will deal with the inevitable GOP attacks over the fact that back in 2009, he explicitly endorsed the idea of compulsory health insurance:"

He'll do exactly what Chuck Grassley, the Heritage Foundation, and all the other Republicans who for YEARS supported the mandate now say: "hey, when I supported it nobody expected it might be found unconstitutional."

Only Nelson will add: "Probably isn't, but let's err on the side of caution and replace it, so we can keep the protection for people with pre-existing conditions to get insurance."

Posted by: theorajones1 | February 9, 2011 2:54 PM | Report abuse

"Medicare is running out of money quite quickly, even your "tax" won't stop that bleeding."

Medicare's costs are growing more slowly than the cost of private insurance. It's interesting that you define out of control costs as "less cost growth than the private sector plans."

"next, Medicare for all amounts to single payer which is simply not what America needs."

The President and Congressional Democrats apparently agree with you. They created a plan that would preserve health markets, and give consumers more power to choose between health plans. You are the ones declaring it unconstitutional.

This doesn't exactly leave us with anyplace to go but to expand the very popular Medicare program or accept tens of millions uninsured and under-insured lining up outside our ERs or dying of preventable and treatable diseases.

And, by the way, if Medicare is so horrible, why is it more popular than private insurance?

Posted by: theorajones1 | February 9, 2011 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Another Dem acting like a Repub and guaranteed to lose his election because of it.

Why vote for a Dem who acts like a repub when you can vote for the real thing? This strategy never fails to perplex me. As a Dem I wouldn't vote for Nelson and as a Repub I'd likely vote for the genuine article. I'm not sure why politicians like Nelson seem to think they are somehow special. They aren't. They get replaced all the time.

The demise of the blue dogs in the recent election just proves my point.


Posted by: Alex3 | February 9, 2011 3:05 PM | Report abuse

The only people who are against the mandate are those who can afford insurance, but do not want to pay for it. They want to wait until they need health care, and then freeload off of the system.

All The Republicans are going to bat for; is that small minority of people who can afford to pay, but want to freeload instead.

ObamaCare looks aafter all the millions of people who have preexisting conditions, and also helps the very poor to obtain coverage.

All that the Republicans want to do, is to take away health care from millions of sick people, in order to defend the rights of those dead beats who wish to game the system.

ObamaCare is not perfect, but it is light years ahead of The Republicans' NoCare, and their shameful policy of Pandering to the Deadbeats in our society.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 9, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse

It is ironic that the Repubs' legal fight against ACA may eventually lead to a single payer system. Health reform will happen one way or another. The question is do you go with the Republican private market plan with mandates, which is what we got, or you go single payer. Take your choice.

Sometimes, if it weren't for the amount of suffering going on out there, I find myself rooting for ACA's failure. It will lead to a much more progressive solution.

Posted by: Alex3 | February 9, 2011 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Considering that Ezra Klein was such a big cheerleader last year, pointing out all the great measures in the bill and trying to convince all those on the left who pretty much knew it wasn't nearly good enough that in fact it was, it seems slightly cheeky of him now to take Nelson's side. I read his explanation and I don't buy it, either politically or policy wise.

Posted by: lmsinca | February 9, 2011 3:12 PM | Report abuse

"The only people who are against the mandate are those who can afford insurance, but do not want to pay for it."

I am against the mandate for Socialist reasons. Hopefully the Republican Supremes will make it go away and then we can get on with health care reform. When we decide we can't afford fattening all the parasites in the "free" market (such as, the Governor of Florida), we'll end up with a well regulated, single payer system, perhaps like Canada, the Germans, the Scandis, the Aussies, or the Kiwis, hopefully not like England.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 9, 2011 3:17 PM | Report abuse

skip said:

"So Mike, you are now the benchmark? If you say that the left doesn't hate the right, then you speak for EVERYONE? I hardly think so.

I expected this kind of weak response. It is hardly surprising. America's liberals seem to hold out hope that we will forget the vitriol and hatred you spewed during the Bush years. We haven't and we won't."

Holy hell skip. Who peed in your Cherrios this morning? I don't get why you're looking for justification to spew vitriol.

That sure seems counter productive. Or is productivity not something you're interested in?

Skip's argument is basically, I know am but so are you. And hence we go round and round.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 9, 2011 3:20 PM | Report abuse

""Sometimes, if it weren't for the amount of suffering going on out there, I find myself rooting for ACA's failure. It will lead to a much more progressive solution.""

Especially since it hasn't really ended that much suffering anyway. The individual market still stinks and no one of modest means can afford it and not many are able to afford the pre-existing conditions pool. Some small businesses are picking up small group insurance because of the tax breaks but that and the age 26 benefit are about it. We have over 50 million without medical insurance.

Posted by: lmsinca | February 9, 2011 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Shrink,

So you are perfectly willing to let millions of sick people get dropped from coverage, just so that someday in the distant future, your perfect bill, will get enacted. Not me.

The Republicans will have control of The House for at least the next decade, and anything that they would be willing to pass, would be far worse than the current ObamaCare Health Care Reform.

Yes: I am embracing the name ObamaCare, because once we start calling it that, then it loses all the pejorative energy that Right Wingers have imbued it with.

ObamaCare is not perfect, but it is a hell of a lot better, than your futuristic fantasy.

I see no reason to sacrifice the savings and homes of millions of people, who need help now.

This is the best we are going to get, for at least another decade, and the mandate is the only way to cover the costs of covering everyone.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 9, 2011 3:27 PM | Report abuse

I think there are actually people who oppose the mandate and the Affordable Care Act precisely because they CAN afford insurance and want to preserve their special access to health care as a personal privilege. In other words, they don't want everyone to be covered. They want their access to health care to be a mark of their own personal success. If everyone has it, it really isn't a perk any more.

Health insurance is a stupid way to cover health care costs. There is no value-added there. Everyone needs health care at various points in their life. They are born, get sick, something goes wrong inside, they fall victim to an accident or contract an infectious disease. Eventually they die. Happens to everyone. It isn't like having your house burn down, a relatively rare occurrence. It is more like education, and ought to be provided at cost by the gov't and paid for with tax money. Medicare does this, and seniors love it. The only problem is that many doctors overtreat because payment is pretty automatic. If fee-for-service were replaced with HMOs like Kaiser, the cost problem would shrink greatly.

The real problem with health care in the US is that too many people see it as a potential chance for profit, maybe big profits. As long as so much of our health care dfollars is siphoned off to profit we will always have a second-rate system in which we overpay for less good outcomes than many other countries.

Posted by: Mimikatz | February 9, 2011 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Some Very Encouraging News:

"PHOENIX – Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords spoke for the first time since she was shot in the forehead, her spokesman said Wednesday, yet another significant milestone in her recovery from a traumatic brain injury.

Giffords spoke first several days ago and is speaking "more and more," spokesman C.J. Karamargin said Wednesday. He didn't know what her first words were, but said at breakfast one morning she asked for toast."

Posted by: Liam-still | February 9, 2011 3:30 PM | Report abuse

All, House GOPers with Muslim constituents are silent on Pete King's hearings:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/02/house_gopers_with_muslim_const.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | February 9, 2011 3:34 PM | Report abuse

"It is ironic that the Repubs' legal fight against ACA may eventually lead to a single payer system. Health reform will happen one way or another."

Exactly. The GOP don't have a plan that will stop the spiraling of healthcare costs, and at the same time insure the tens of millions that don't have health insurance. They simply don't care.
Things will reach a breaking point where the present system becomes unsustainable. The GOP will eventually have to acquiesce to the notion of a single payer system and coin it in terms that the right wing will find palatable. I may not see it in my lifetime, but I hope the healthcare insurance industry is driven into oblivion.Except the US, no where in the industrialized world is a citizen's health a commodity driven by the profit motive.

Posted by: filmnoia | February 9, 2011 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Mimik, that is true, but it is heading from second to third rate.

Eventually Americans will realize how stupid is Liam's idea, "yeah sure it is bad, but it is all the industry will let us do, so it is better than something they won't let us do."

Blaming Republicans for Obamacare's problem (much, much more of the same) is comical. Tom Daschle is a Republican? The Democrats have all four hooves in the trough. The American health care industry is about to get even bigger and more powerful than it already is, you can not add money and call it reform. But congratulations on bipartisan bickering America, it may make you feel better, you still won't get what you pay for.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 9, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Shrink,

You are the one who is living in a fantasy world. What you claim to be holding out for; has no chance of getting by a Republican House for at least the next decade. In fact; it is highly unlikely that any Democratic President will opt to even take up such a battle, in this century, after what Clinton and Obama experienced.

In case you ever do emerge from your fantasy world, and stare reality in the face, for once, you might want to take a look at how long it took to get this far.

ObamaCare is much better than what it replaced, and a hell of a lot better than your fantasy reform, that will never get off the ground, as long as Republicans hold sway over The House, the Senate or The White House.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 9, 2011 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Bad Republicans are why we just have to eat shıt and die. Got it.
You don't have to say it for the third time, I got it the first time.

Fun thing is, I am at the receiving end of all the money you people will pay. I've forgotten more about the reality of the American health care industry and its politics than you can imagine Liam. My industry has America by the short hairs. But just keep blaming me, blame each other, that way, nothing will change. Ka-ching.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 9, 2011 4:11 PM | Report abuse

OK, here goes,

Theora, when you assert that "medicare is more popular than private insurance" can you tell me what data supports that conclusion? I have two thoughts:
(1) Medicare Part A is funded out of SS and appears "free" to the beneficiary. As opposed to commercial insurance that one must pay for.
(2) Medicare HMO's, the Advantage program, have grown in market share over the years. These are those dreaded, nasty, claim denying insurance companies that liberals love to hate and Medicare bene's sign up for in droves. Square that circle for me.

next, there is nothing "free market" about Obamacare. The number of new boards and bureaux and the vast quantity of regulation these public nipple suckers will generate will be quite sufficient to stifle any foolish notion of freedom in the healthcare industry.

and spare me the emotional appeal. If Americans were indeed abandonning the uninsured by the millions, I would have to climb over corpses to get from my office to my car. So would everyone else. That's just nonsense.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 9, 2011 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Mike, it was not my intention to spew vitriol. I am simply pointing out the facts as I see them.

When the left, lead by former Enron associate Paul Krugman, launched their unfounded attack on Sarah Palin what last shreds of respect I had for the movement and its adherents was extinguished.

As a supporter of Bush's response to muslim terror I listened in horror to the way that the left treated our president, but I retained some sense that there were good people, even among those who spewed hate against Bush.

But what I call the calumny-a-thon was really the last straw. It was a disgusting act of group think topped, like a cherry on a sundae, by liberals actually critiquing the manner in which Ms Palin responded to the calumnies.

It was simply disgusting and America is best served by remembering that the left is quite capable of that kind of nastiness and that it can be unleashed at any time.

Hate is the norm now. Liberals will try to deny it, because hate is supposed to be somthing they are against. Yeah right. ten years ago I saw an article aptly titled: don't hate Bush because he's stupid. Ten years of it Mike.

I would have far more respect for America's liberals if they could find it in themselves to be honest about their hatred and own the behavior they have exhibited.

It is just that simple.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 9, 2011 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Poor "Palling Around With Terrorists" Sarah.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 9, 2011 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Now Mimikatz:
============
The real problem with health care in the US is that too many people see it as a potential chance for profit, maybe big profits. As long as so much of our health care dfollars is siphoned off to profit we will always have a second-rate system in which we overpay for less good outcomes than many other countries.
================

yeah, that profit thing is just sooo pesky, isn't it? I mean it did nothing for personal computers, right? the fact that they are faster and cheaper today than they were even five years ago has nothing to do with the profit motive, I guess. I must have missed where Congress and the Standing government issued regulations mandating that PC makers improve their products at lightning speed.

I missed the government mandates for improved TV's too. Oh and better cheaper microwaves and lunch boxes and furnaces and eye glasses and contacts and medicines and all manner of things that people make and sell in the expectation of profit.

Why the motivation for profit is just such an awful thing I simply don't understand why anyone would fly in an airplane owned and operated by a profit making firm. I mean you're five miles in the air! Airlines are have great PR departments I guess so they don't have to worry about mundane day to day events like the crash of a plane filled with paying passengers, right?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 9, 2011 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Shrink,

You can keep on living in you fantasy never never land, or you can try to actually explain how you see Single Payer getting passed through The Republican House.

Telling me to that you got it, three times in row, is just your way of trying to deflect from the reality; that you have no real answer to how some thing better than ObamaCare would stand a chance of getting enacted in the next two decades?

I know what you claim you want, because you have told us that scores of times; but you still have not told us, how that is going to become law.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 9, 2011 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Mike. In case you wondering how it is that the left became disgusting, here's an example:
=============
Poor "Palling Around With Terrorists" Sarah.

Posted by: Liam-still
+++++++++++++++++

This is one of the nastiest people commenting here. He has routinely spread lies about me, just as he spread lies about Ms Palin and any one else that has the nerve to disagree with him.

This is hate Mike. Face it. Many of the people who share your political persuasion are unkind at best and downright ugly at worst.

Once again, America is best served by remembering just exactly who the liberals really are. Few would believe that a movement embraced by the likes of Liam could actually have anyone's best interest as a core goal. Ugly people create ugliness. Liam is yours, he's your political movement. Own him. cherish him. He's defining liberalism for you. Enjoy.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 9, 2011 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Sure I have, I was tapping away over on the Aschenblog and the Fix before that, back when the health care debate was going on, even before the debate was going on. Heck, what could have happened in health care was one of the reasons I spent time and some considerable money getting Obama past The Clintons. I've read every page of the bill, some sections many times, I am planning to exploit it, there are some mental health gold veins. Health care admin-r-us. But suffice it to say, single payer will become law when America can no longer afford this same old thing, the silo shell game into which the Democrats, with no help at all from Republicans, just injected massive amounts of money. It is good money, it isn't like mocking up a war. Health care corporate welfare is a lot better than Haliburton/Xe corporate welfare.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 9, 2011 4:51 PM | Report abuse

"yeah, that profit thing is just sooo pesky, isn't it? "


There goes the Right Wing again. Comparing PCs and TVs and the profit motive to one's health and the health of their loved ones.
Talk about false equivalency!
Until there is a general consensus in this country that healthcare is a right and not a priviledge we will continue to have this type of skipsailing drivel.

Posted by: filmnoia | February 9, 2011 4:51 PM | Report abuse

filmnoia, is the equivalency false just because you say it is, or can you actually argue your assertion?

it is quite simple to say "False equivalency" just as it is quite simple to say "racists!!". but the charge or assertion has to be true.

I'll gladly argue healthcare cost with you. any time. Why? Because like shrink2 I am on the recieving end of the money you want to pump into healthcare. Obamacare could improve my income enormously because I get paid to view the arena, model impacts and provide analysis and recommendations. The more complex healthcare finance becomes, the more valuable folks like me will be. Do you want to spend your tax dollars on lawyers and accountants or do you want to spend at the bedside? for myself the answer is simple, the less of folks like me the better. But Obamacare will generate millions of lines of regulation. that regulation will be complex, contradictory and expense to obey. for what? To what end? so folks like you can salve your conscience about some mythic groups of underserved Americans?

Oh, one other thing. I note how the left has turned on its victims here. When they were selling Obamacare to the public the argument was that there were 30 million, no wait 40 million, no wait, fifty million uninsured that must be cared for by compassionate Federal bureaucrats.

Now that the contrary argument, that many of those uninsured are that way by choice, has won the day, the terms have changed. Now those former victims are "freeloaders" that must be forced to do what the liberals think is best.

Just amazing. A 180 degree course change. If the Titanic could alter course that quickly we'd have missed a tragedy, and a very mediocre movie too.

Oh, and prove your "general concensus" assertion too, if you don't mind. Logic dictates that if you have a right to goods and services provided by others, someone in the equation is a slave. If your "right" results in an inescapable duty placed on others, those others are slaves.

Nice, huh?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 9, 2011 5:07 PM | Report abuse

"Oh, and prove your "general concensus" assertion too, if you don't mind. Logic dictates that if you have a right to goods and services provided by others, someone in the equation is a slave."

You spend a lot of verbiage that signifies nothing. You can't equate healthcare , which is a necessity, with a voluntary choice to buy a consumer product. You really don't provide a reason why healthcare must (or should) be a profit driven commodity.
I wonder whether those healthcare professionals in Germany, the UK, Canada, etc. consider themselves to be "slaves" of their healthcare systems. Your dog eat dog notion of an orderly civil society is really so 18th century. I guess as long as you have yours then that's all that matters.

Posted by: filmnoia | February 9, 2011 5:52 PM | Report abuse

"Considering that Ezra Klein was such a big cheerleader last year, pointing out all the great measures in the bill and trying to convince all those on the left who pretty much knew it wasn't nearly good enough that in fact it was, it seems slightly cheeky of him now to take Nelson's side. I read his explanation and I don't buy it, either politically or policy wise."

Ha! "Slightly cheeky" indeed.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 9, 2011 6:33 PM | Report abuse

"Health care corporate welfare is a lot better than Haliburton/Xe corporate welfare."

This is simply money wasted, not money spent harming ourselves. Well, that's something I guess. I wish you were around here during the HCR debate, Shrink, then you could have been "right" along with me, Ims and a few others, not realizing that it didn't make a d*mn bit of difference because (pardon the pun) the fix was in from the start.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 9, 2011 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Medicare, the way things are going, Medicare could do just that. With its one-two punch of rising health care costs and more seniors to cover, Medicare will eat up more and more of the federal budget in the years ahead. But its also politically untouchable. www.1wallmart.com When either Democrats or Republicans try to suggest ways to trim the costs, theyre accused of trying to push Grandma down the stairs in her wheelchair. Republicans did it to the Democrats during the debate over the new health care law, and Democrats are doing it now, at the height of election season, as Republicans float their own proposals. the collapse of medicare is eminent within 10 years

Posted by: dietfood | February 9, 2011 7:08 PM | Report abuse

@ss28: the less of folks like me the better.

truer words were never written....

" that many of those uninsured are that way by choice, has won the day"

Any data to support that (bogus) claim? It is the expense of insurance that influences people to make that "choice" hence the subsidies for low income folks (but above medicaid levels) so that they can "choose" health insurance. Are the subsidies enough to offset all costs? No, mostly because conservadems and repubs weakened (almost fatally) HCR before voting against it...

". Logic dictates that if you have a right to goods and services provided by others, someone in the equation is a slave."

Only in rightwingnutistan does logic work this way. When I was unemployed, I used roads, bridges, unemployment services provided by the state, etc. while not paying taxes... Who are the slaves in this scenario? When I use a library in a different state, who is being enslaved? Just plain silly...

"Do you want to spend your tax dollars on lawyers and accountants or do you want to spend at the bedside?"

I would rather the govt take 20% of my healthcare dollar for administration than have it go to bonuses for insurance executives, whose companies spend millions to deny coverage to people.

Posted by: srw3 | February 9, 2011 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of the Constitutionality of the Mandate, there real "flaws" in how
it goes about enforcing it, specifically the way the IRS will determine if you
can afford group/individual/family insurance premiums.A "huge" issue is the
policy benefits being "dictated by HHS". If they require policies to include
specific benefits that your current policy doesn't include; you will have to get
a new insurance plan that will likely be at a higher cost. So, you can't "keep
your insurance" if it doesn't meet the HHS guidelines. So the Presidents continual statement that "you can keep your current insurance" is simply not true.

The new entitlement,
"premium assistance" for those unable to afford a policy premium through the
"exchange"(which is not in existence and the actual cost unpredictable); is
based on the individual/families "modified adjusted gross income".
Unfortunately, an individual/families "modified adjusted gross income" doesn't
take into account expenses that are not tax deductible, such as electric, gas,
car payments, water, loans, credit card payments and the like. To assume based
on the IRSs formula that an individual/family has disposable income that is adequate to pay for Health Insurance with benefits mandated by HHS, is a fallacy. So the Government is actually mandating that in many instances people borrow money to purchase health insurance or give up other necessities they planned to use those funds for.

Instead of us paying for those seeking "emergency room" treatment, we will be subsidizing their premiums and paying for medicare patients to receive "free"?, preventative tests.

Doesn't seem we will be any better off and probable will cost us more in the end.

Posted by: fedupwithgovernment | February 11, 2011 1:06 AM | Report abuse

Regardless of the Constitutionality of the Mandate, there are real "flaws" in how
it goes about enforcing it, specifically the way the IRS will determine if you
can afford group/individual/family insurance premiums.A "huge" issue is the
policy benefits being "dictated by HHS". If they require policies to include
specific benefits that your current policy doesn't include; you will have to get
a new insurance plan that will likely be at a higher cost. So, you can't "keep
your insurance" if it doesn't meet the HHS guidelines. So the Presidents continual statement that "you can keep your current insurance" is simply not true.

The new entitlement,
"premium assistance" for those unable to afford a policy premium through the
"exchange"(which is not in existence and the actual cost unpredictable); is
based on the individual/families "modified adjusted gross income".
Unfortunately, an individual/families "modified adjusted gross income" doesn't
take into account expenses that are not tax deductible, such as electric, gas,
car payments, water, loans, credit card payments and the like. To assume based
on the IRSs formula that an individual/family has disposable income that is adequate to pay for Health Insurance with benefits mandated by HHS, is a fallacy. So the Government is actually mandating that in many instances people borrow money to purchase health insurance or give up other necessities they planned to use those funds for.

Instead of us paying for those seeking "emergency room" treatment, we will be subsidizing their premiums and paying for medicare patients to receive "free"?, preventative tests.

Doesn't seem we will be any better off and probable will cost us more in the end.

Posted by: fedupwithgovernment | February 11, 2011 1:06 AM | Report abuse

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